The Amazing Adventures of Sara Corel
A novel by Toomey
Chapter Thirty-one: Politics
It was a hot Houston
summer evening on Washington Avenue, a neighborhood undergoing
the trauma of 'gentrification'. The area had been decaying for a
long time, cheap but once-proud post-war housing inhabited by
elderly retirees and low-rent immigrants who were now being
forced out by rising property taxes engendered by the intense
building spate of upwardly-mobile new homes, townhouses and
condominiums. The trendy and successful coexisted uneasily with
their urban-poor neighbors and the hodgepodge of illegals and
minorities who frequented the low-end shops and cantinas that
hung on along the area's main drag.
boogiemobile left the avenue to penetrate one of the hipper,
tree-lined areas near T.C. Jester -- where yuppies walked their
dogs and jogged dutifully -- spreading that amazingly penetrating
mindless bass-boom like an obnoxious challenge to the unwelcome
newcomers in their expensive designer perspiration attire and
running shoes. The gentry gritted their teeth and stoically
endured the offense, hands hovering over their cell phones ready
to summon the gendarmes should the intruder decide to prolong his
incursion long enough to constitute a public nuisance.
He did. The car
stopped, perched precariously on the edge of the street
alongside the drainage ditch. The noise from the massive
speakers got even louder, rattling double-paned windows along
the entire block. The residents glared at the vehicle's
occupants, who responded with expressive hand gestures, colorful
phrases and a tossed beer can or two.
The cell phones
speed-dialed. It would be a long time before any response showed
up, and nothing substantive would be done. As far as the cops
were concerned, this kind of thing was not worth abandoning a
donut over. Eventually, they'd chase the car away, and
eventually it (or another one like it) would be back. It was a
though. Frustrating to the new homeowners who had invested so
much in their inside-the-Loop swankiendas, only to have their
expensive peace and quiet trashed at the whim of distasteful punks who
evidently got off on being rude. Or just plain didn't give a
A rock bounced off the
side of the car. Another struck the roof. More followed in
deliberate succession, hitting the trunk, the rear window, the
driver's side door and the hood. Amidst serious cursing, four
intentionally ugly-looking characters got out of the car to
confront the pitcher.
He was a middle-aged
new resident, wearing navy Everlast joggers and white Etonics.
Some of the others on the street knew him vaguely as a slightly
eccentric writer of some kind who occupied a newly-minted garage-apartment
studio in the area. Close enough -- he was one of them.
Somewhat to their own surprise, they rallied protectively to his
side, cellular calls taking on a new urgency as the threats from
the low-riders escalated. The thrower was undeterred, launching
new salvos that struck home, doing considerable damage to the
gaudy paint job and cheap chrome decorations of the cruiser. He
didn't stop until a cop showed up and arrested him.
The punks filed
charges. The tosser insisted on a jury trial, refused to hire an
attorney and claimed that he was defending himself from an
assault, citing the Biblical precedent of stoning bad actors.
Several jury members -- themselves no strangers to the pounding
assault of unavoidably noxious noise from other shitheads --
bought it and browbeat the rest of the panel into acquitting
activists claimed it was racism and raised a stink. The whole
mess became a cause celebre in the media, with the cranky
stoner achieving something of a celebrity stautus among admirers
who were tired of anti-nuisance enforcement apathy and overjoyed
that somebody had finally stood up to low-life creeps and gotten
away with it.
Soon after, a car sped down
that same street in the early morning, tires screeching, shots
from the driveby pouring into houses on both sides, injuring a
dog. Consequently, other jukemobiles were stoned by
newly-defiant gangs of angry homeowners who were energized by
how good it felt and outraged by the threats of violence. In an
impromptu show of force, bassers paraded slowly down Washington
in ear-splitting protest, and when they got to jogger-infested
Memorial Park, there was a massive stone-spewing confrontation.
There were more arrests and more trials, but citizens who
answered jury summons seemed to have had enough of the kind of
irresponsible and offensive behavior that provoked rock-throwing
reactions in the first place.
One thing led to
another, and it eventually caused a lot of national public focus on the
whole concept of Political Correctness, an abomination that
showed every sign of having finally run its course in the
mainstream of society. A lot of people had had quite enough of
the obviously stupid blather about the supposed moral
equivalency of alternative 'cultures' in their midst that
celebrated illiteracy, illegitimacy, irresponsibility, rudeness,
hatred, substance abuse, self-mutilation, dependence, impiety,
ugliness, body odor and tasteless clothing. They were damned
tired of enforced 'diversity', of having to put up with a bunch
of crap from low-grade morons. As much as anything, it had to do
with the utter exhaustion of public tolerance for the obvious
dregs of society exercising their unearned license to be
Yeah, that's it. Just
plain inconsiderate. A long-rising tide of inconsiderate
behavior threatened social order, destroying the quality of life
for the majority of people who had had a decent
upbringing and expected to treat and be treated with common
courtesy. Not only did inconsiderate behavior go unpunished, the
perpetrators seemed to revel in it -- and nobody dared to
protest for fear of offending the offenders' sensibilities.
Well, fuck that. The
obvious truth is that some so-called 'cultures' are
inferior. It was time to say so.
"I consider your
unwelcome noise to be a deliberate assault -- turn it off or
I'll defend myself from further assault by whatever means are
"I've never owned
a slave in my life -- and I've never met anyone who's been one
-- so get over it."
"What the hell is
wrong with Teachers' Union teachers who can't teach fundamental
"If things were
so bad you had to leave your country, then don't bring it
with you to my country."
purposely dress to offend are not welcome here."
"That kind of
behavior is offensive to my values."
"How dare you
throw trash on my street?"
"Get up off of
your ass and get a job."
end at my nose."
"I don't owe
racist. There was a traditional, mainstream culture in the
heartland of America that had been abused, disrespected, laughed
at, ripped-off, humiliated, scorned, ignored -- and made to
feel guilty for achieving prosperity, for having children
who excelled in school, for making things work, and for
creating, defending and maintaining a damned fine nation despite
rabid criticism of their philosophy, motivation, ancestry,
politics, religion and way of life. You didn't have to be of
European extraction to belong. There were plenty of people from
ghettos who had found a way to become a part of the American
melting pot, from Jews and Italians and Irish to Blacks and
Hispanics and Asians -- and they were just as much a part of
the new paradigm of resurgent pride as anyone whose ancestors
came over on the Mayflower.
The stoning incident
may have been a spark, but the underlying resentment had been
stewing for a long time, mostly on radio talk shows and the Internet,
and around water coolers and bar stools. The ubiquitous PC
censorship had kept it from spilling over -- because stating
the obvious or telling the truth when it conflicted with the
arrogant theories of social activists and sneering academics
made the exercise of Constitutionally protected free speech a
target for opportunistic lawsuits, bureaucratic harassment,
media lynching and character assassination.
Want a good example?
How about the utterly forbidden topic of Arthur Jensen's
heretical book, Bias In Mental Testing? According to one
well-documented and scientifically rigorous study after another
(carefully cited by the author), the only conclusion a truly unbiased
observer can come to is that, for the most part, there isn't
any. By golly, it turns out that there are some groups of
people who, no matter how you slice it, do not test as well on
standardized intelligence tests as others. That uncomfortable
fact is unacceptable to the PC mafia -- so heaven help the
unfortunate academician or commentator who publicly addressed such a thing with
an open mind.
Curiously, one of the
contributing factors that may have made a lot of people start
thinking about how they really felt probably had
something to do with Susan. Her arrival in the public awareness
created an unavoidable cultural shock, an effect as
fundamentally disturbing to the inhabitants of this planet as
the arrival of Cortes (and his alien technology --
horses and guns) was to the citizens of the Aztec Empire. No costume,
guise or demeanor could hide the unwelcome fact that humans had been
ousted from the center of the universe -- again -- and were
suddenly backwards, trivial and probably unimportant compared to
the powerful, mysterious creatures who had sent her.
For the most part,
people absolutely adored Sara. She was the new Princess
of the news shows and tabloids, a cutie who did good deeds
cheerfully and self-effacingly, cared about people and acted
like the kind of kid everyone wished they had (instead of what
they really had). In spite of what should be her essential
disconnect with humanity, Sara was regarded as fitting in with
the values and ideals of the dominant culture of her
more-or-less adopted country, and people responded to that. This
incredibly alien little girl acted like one of them.
Well, why in the hell couldn't all these other outsiders in our
midst overcome their own alienness -- their own maddening
differentness -- and start behaving reasonably?
Susan was another
matter, and people made the distinction instinctually.
Dammit, she -- Susan, not Sara -- was alien.
Incomprehensibly alien. Frighteningly alien. Somehow, the videos
of the White Sands demonstration were leaked, played over and
over again on late-night cable and satellite stations to the
accompanyment of ominous speculation. Unsettling rumors and
paranoid delusions traveled the whisper circuit. Her reported seamless
integration with the Internet was seen as as some kind of
and her apparently near-omniscient awareness of the ether was
viewed with alarm.
being indestructibly powerful, unstoppable and practically
all-knowing, with unlimited capabilities and possessing vast
powers of alien calculation. And all of this potential for good
or ill was under the perhaps uncertain control of a darling little girl
who was artificially manufactured by unknown entities for
unknowable purposes. She could choose to be accountable to no human
agency, law or govenment. There were a lot of people who wet their
sheets just thinking about it.
In this election year,
the two major political parties appeared to be slightly
bumfuzzled by the significance of the sudden reversal of the
social pendulum going on around them.
The Dem's knee-jerk
reaction was to rally to the now-besieged minorities and fringes
to whom they had traditionally pandered by cranking up the
media PC legions, thereby driving a
wedge between themselves and Mom'n'Pop America, who was tired
of supporting -- and putting up with -- their whining demands.
Their President, and his annointed successor, were indelibly
tainted with just the sort of unacceptable behavior that was
rapidly beginning to attain zero-tolerance status in the country
at large. Liberalism was suddenly being unceremoniously hauled
off to the dustbin of history.
The GOP did not profit
from this, being seen by their own grass-roots supporters as
having lacked the will and courage to do the job they had
contracted with the voters to do. Even though a type of
conservative militancy was sweeping the nation, many of the
politicians who called themselves conservatives were found
wanting and regarded as weak failures.
In other words, there
was suddenly an unexpectedly large chunk of the voting
population that was looking for fresh leadership, for a strong
voice that promised to empower them and give them permission to
fight back against all those who had disrespected them. And,
someone who would give them answers about how to deal with the
unknown -- especially aliens.
The issue of Susan
became an object in the campaign. The left-of-center candidate
portrayed her as being on their side, a caring and giving woman
(oppressed minority) who would embrace social justice and
equality, battle class enemies, and dole out all things to all
people -- a sort of flying branch of do-gooding Big Government
who could be relied upon to always save the day. They hadn't, of
course, consulted her about it. As a matter of fact, the
President reminded her quite a bit of the Wizard of Haughz.
formerly-right-of-center party (the center having marched past
them) claimed Susan was really one of them,
characterizing her as a dynamo of economic development,
imagining Great Things being accomplished in partnership with
her abilities. Why, she'd be able to take on the national debt,
lower taxes, shrink the federal bureaucracy, support
law-and-order initiatives, and defend our sacred shores. At
least some of their leadership did consult her about
their fantasies. She was polite and non-committal, thinking to
herself all the while how much they reminded her of the
The alternative to all
of the above was a new force in American politics. There had
been third-party candidates before -- some, like Abe Lincoln,
even successful. Mostly, these wannabees acted out the role of
spoilers, splitting the majority and making it possible for
opportunistic scalawags who should never have even been
nominated for dog catcher to wind up getting blowjobs in the
Maybe this time, it
would be different. There was a new hat in the ring from a
candidate who epitomized the luck -- or destiny -- of being in
the right place at the right time, one who had all along loudly
embodied all of the pride in traditional American values that
was suddenly the new vogue. His policies transcended a mere
chicken in every pot, seeming to promise a rebirth of the nation
as an unashamedly rightful Colossus astride the whole world,
justly administering a Pax Americana that would last a
thousand years. He'd been a highly publicized crusader at the forefront of the battle against
public enemies that even the feds wouldn't touch, his struggles
on behalf of 'the people' portrayed autobiographically as a war
against inconsiderate creeps of the larger variety -- as if he
had been throwing rocks at limousines.
The fact that he was a
black man served only to allow his followers to pat themselves
on the back and brag about being truly liberated from racism in
their antipathy to undesirable elements. Besides, there were a
whole lot of nuevo-conservative blacks and Hispanics who felt
empowered to finally leave the liberal blok and vote for one of
But what really
set the Black Knight apart from the rest of the field was in his
regard of Susan.
obvious," he said, "that she is a powerful gift to our
planet from her Cryptoalien masters. But she is an unwanted gift
fraught with temptation. The test is in our embracing such a
gift, lest our greed for what she can do for us leads to dependence
on alien designs. We must choose to manage our own affairs and
return this gift, with thanks, to those from whence it came."
Well, that's what a
lot of folks wanted to hear. 'Aliens go home'.
Sara couldn't help but
be reminded of Soraun. For one thing, she knew he was a phoney
with a hidden agenda. So did a lot of other people, but they
were being shouted down by an increasing number of brownshirts
who believed what they wanted to believe and were gaining the
momentum of a popular movement based on the tendency of a
suddenly released volk righteousness to embrace
The White Sands
videos, the whisper campaigns, the strident public
pronouncements -- all directed against Susan -- were being
promoted by one central propaganda machine (Team
Blue) so as to create a single entity that could serve as a
scapegoat for all those who were frightened
or envious of the alien menace. Sara -- who was beginning to
feel like she was back in Muria -- naively spoke out against
this bogus conspiracy, and thus validated too many suspicions.
A coalition of the
righteously indignant, conspiracy paranoids, nationalistic
jingoists, the politically fed-up, contrarians, soccer moms,
religious rightists, neo-fascists, reactionaries,
protectionists, fools and idiots narrowly elected Bruce Wayans President of the United States.
Chapter Thirty-two: Death
© Patrick Hill,