(May 20th, 2003, 12:01 pm)
written as a news article, taking place in a not too far off future US.
A menace, or a taste of down-home freedom of speech?
By Mr. Eiffel, correspondent.
Dallas- There's a small hill just outside of downtown that people pass on their way to and from work if riding the Metrorail. The hill itself is rather unremarkable, as hills tend to be. Some scrubby bushes, dead grass, some rocks strewn about. But what's on that hill has caused quite a bit of controversy in the community, and most all of Texas for that matter.
I'm sure many of you have heard of the Dallas-Fort Worth Cross, that lone symbol on a scrubby hill of the Lone Star that welcomes our fellow Workers on their morning commute. It's a symbol that a few of us may remember from childhood, but one that confuses the children of the Honest Citizen today.
"She asks me every morning why it's there, and I don't know what to tell her. I mean, I don't want her getting to school and talking about the "cross". She's too young to understand why people get in trouble over that kind of stuff." Said a young mother who would only go on record as "Lisa".
It's that kind of confusion and fear that led the Dallas branch of the FFR Bureau to demolish the Cross almost immediately after receiving word. A demolition that, it should be noted, consisted of three bulldozers and two dozen bureaucrats, but no media coverage.
Two days later the Cross was back up.
Enraged Freedom From Religion (FFR) officials quickly demolished the Cross again, adding two more bulldozers and several more officials to their arsenal. This time there was media coverage, though only on PBS, which is considered by many (this writer included) as nothing more than a propaganda-spreading, state-run network.
Within mere hours of the bureaucrats' departure from the site, the Cross was again back up.
In a show of force, and supposed solidarity with her citizens, Governor Kelly Prescott ordered a National Guard attack helicopter to destroy the symbol. A "peacekeeper" missile was launched hours later, obliterating the Cross in a shower of splinters. This time the footage was released to all news organizations and newsgroups. The ten-second clip spread quickly around the world, setting off a firestorm of debate, as I'm sure you're well aware, and condemnation from the Vatican.
At this point the former congressional candidate Jacob Wallace, and his pseudo-party, the Christian Right for Worship, claimed responsibility for constructing the Cross. The FFR Bureau issued a warrant for Wallace's arrest and a manhunt ensued. The manhunt ended the next day when Wallace, who had informed various news organizations and 'Net reporters hours earlier about his intention for surrender, gave himself up in front of the old county courthouse.
The trial was widely viewed, debated, and speculated over. Though, in the end, Wallace was convicted of "subversive and malicious propaganda against the great state of Texas and the people of the United States", a ruling that is, to this day, a source of heated debate across the country. It should also be mentioned that the law was passed in the state legislator only five days before Wallace was to stand trial.
Though Wallace has been behind bars for five years now, that Cross is still being constructed and destructed on an almost weekly basis around Dallas. The Christian Right for Worship says that they have had to move the location of the Cross many times, "Because every time we build the dang thing they blow it up and post guards. I'm all for dissention, but I don't want to go to jail neither. I have a family to take care of." A CRW activist responded when I asked him, on conditions of anonymity. When asked if they'll ever stop, the activist replied, "Not 'till we're able to be free again, and then, well, I guess it won't be no problem anymore."
(May 20th, 2003, 1:05 pm)
Impressive. Very smooth, and scarily realistic. Whether or no you actually agree with what you wrote, I find it fascinating nontheless.
The exaggeration is not extreme to the detriment of the realism of the piece, nor too subtle to make the point. Perfect. I look forward to more of your work.
(May 20th, 2003, 3:17 pm)
Perceptive, and as Semi said, beautifully balanced betwixt realism and satire...
(May 20th, 2003, 10:50 pm)
This one was actually inspired by a story about the Pope in the biography of him I watched on PBS. I'm an athiest, but was rather inspired by the story of him and his congregation erecting a cross in a field where their church used to stand before communists demolished it.
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