Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Habeas Corpses: When the Forever War Turns Society Into a Gigantic Privatized Prison....

I've been thinking about The Forever War so much that it's triggering all kinds of associations. I'm imagining variations on the dystopic Earth described in the middle section of the book.

For example, incredible imagery from the beginning of the game Half Life 2 flashes through my mind in the darkness while listening to the album I'll Sleep When You're Dead. Picture this: the cattle train transporting you and your fellow prisoners has just rolled into the heart of the black citadel. The door slides open and you and the rest of the chain gang step out onto the asphalt in single file. You nervously raise your manacled hands in an attempt to shield your eyes from the blinding spotlight that seems to hit you out of nowhere and makes you feel totally exposed. You're the first in line, so you do your best to squint so you can see where you're supposed to go next. There's a helicopter circling above you, which makes it impossible to distinguish the harsh commands ringing in your ears from the nearby loudspeakers. However, you can make out the silhouettes of  a group of men standing in front of you. One of them is beckoning you. You take a few tentative steps towards him but then freeze up with a sharp intake of breath: the black silhouetted figures are holding nightsticks, so it looks like the reception committee will be forcing you to run the gauntlet.

You can also now see the uniforms and impassive masks worn by your captors, and in this moment you experience a great blackness rushing through the very core of your being, leaving only a sense that you are now totally owned and that no one will ever be able to help you. A shadow falls across your face as your eyes follow the hand wielding a nightstick that has raised above your head. You brace yourself for the blows you know will now surely come. But then, in that split-millisecond, you hit upon the role-reversal fantasy that you desperately hope will sustain you during the dark solitary years that lie ahead.

 It took no time at all then for you to start imagining what you would do if you stood on the other side of the line. Exactly two minutes in fact. And from that day forth you dedicated yourself to finding love on a prison ship... 

"I found love on a prison ship..." {X5}

"Number 247681-Z, step to the line"


Two types of people in this world to recognize
Conquered, and the one holding the rifle at the next in line
The crosshair in my eye is a vessel to god
The container that kept you around is in a hole in the yard

Sail the cemetery seas, half the crew leaves then move on
You have no idea how right my head is screwed on
When I wake up and put this suit on, I feel escape begin
Expirations are needed, I facilitate the end

There are two types of mornings/mournings in this life I can surmise
I wake early in the first to help supply the second type
Technician of repetition clips in the numbest of traditions its
The little wondrous blunders that can summon one's demise

I know the line to walk, talk softly, punch a clock, aim (pow) done
I see the shelter in contrition, best to limit wagging tongues
But today's a confrontation with a thought that's not assured
She's inching closer to my services and further from my world

"I found love on a prison ship..." {X8}

Does this job ever bother you, darkly creep up in your conscious too?

Nope, in fact I'm so enamored with the standard
of being handed a command to (pow), it's almost romantic
The lead giveth, I take it, if I didn't understand it

I'm saying during the tenure of your gig, have you ever herded a pris
Who despite the traitorous label, makes you nervous as a kid?
Maybe beyond a date with the lead, there's something else meant for
A prisoner with the beauty of 247290-Z

Oh God, you gotta be joking, I get it she's smoking
Go get a taste, I'll hold you down for thirty, she must be purty, you're open
Your secret's safe with me, go on a raping spree
I gotta couple numbers of my own, just return the courtesy

No, nah man, that's actually not on my mind
Somehow its different this time. I mean
Should a creature so sublime and young really be in line for the gun
And am I the one to dispense it? She seems almost defenseless
And her eyes have the surprising effect of rendering me restless

"You know, you look really pretty without handcuffs on
Without the dirt on your face..."

Like the piss and stench of the huddled traitors evaporates from the room
And in that moment I can see her truly, and she can see me too
Beneath the body armor and weaponry, my heart quietly thumps and whispers
"Drop the guns and grab her, now's the time to make your run"

Sitting in my transport as we slip through traffic veins
She doesn't ask me where we're going, only holds my hand and gaze
She's my only reason now, and my only hope to live
We pull up to the cabin way above this damn metropolis

Me and prisoner 247290-Z
Somewhere that is Soilent Green, we're living life instead
No more war on traitorism, only me and her
She can clean my gun and I could help her clean the floor

Back to something natural, we'll live off of the land
When Radon levels drop we walk the trails and talk and laugh
I tell her she's innocent, and she'll show me she's not
I kiss the number on her arm and lay her on the cot

I'm the first to touch her without gloves on
She's the first to kiss me without crying
Life before this was just dying
Me and prisoner 247290-Z
Away from all this violence, live inside each other's heads... (repeating X4)

"Number 247290-Zed, step to the line"

"Dammit Lindt, fire your weapon!"

"Yes sir"


"I found love on a prison ship..." {X7}

"She's dead Lindt, just how we wanted it. Great."
"Just how we wanted it (laughing)"
"You shot the shit out of her Lindt. I'm proud of you. Go home"

--(El-P Habeas Corpses [Draconian Love] lyrics)

1 comment:

HellCombatant said...

Every trained SAS knows that a last bullet must be kept for himself. In the ancient code of the Samurai, it was written that a man cannot be kept prisoner against his consent. Hoplessness is futile. Remember Mishima...Tatenokai Banzai.