The Venus Virus (in honour of Election Day and America's new president)
This morning's news inspired me to write a draft prologue for my work in progress "The Venus Virus".
The Venus Virus
Two years after the shock election of America's new president, armed groups of Libertarians, Male Rights Activists and White Supremacists had become bored of waiting for the return to the Golden Age they had been promised. No wall had been built. Black Lives Matter were gaining impetus and police could no longer guarantee their own immunity from prosecution if they arbitrarily executed black men in the streets. Unemployment levels among the white working class continued to rise as the manufacturing industries relocated overseas, and access to medical care for anyone below the professional classes was an impossible dream.
In contrast, by the winter of 2020, two years after the military coup, while white straight males celebrated their renaissance, everything seemed hopeless to the groups of “Others” the dictatorship had forced to the sidelines. Millions of refugees fled to the borders. The wall, built by convicts after the coup, did a better a job keeping them in the US than it had keeping Mexicans out. News reels purporting to show the hopeless situation beyond the wall, countries run by drug cartels and policed by gangs, was enough to dissuade some but not all from fleeing south. Canada protected its borders as aggressively as the US ex-president had promised to protect the southern states. The northern neighbour could not risk an influx of gun-toting refugees. Canadians feared erosion of all they had achieved in education and citizens' rights with its secular and relatively progressive politics. The victims of the Right in the United States were too numerous to help, and the Canadian government could not and would not risk war.
Jim Crow segregation of races had returned. Women and people of colour had no right to property. Rape was legal and abortion illegal. Openly LGBTQ people were summarily executed. Thick grey smog filled the city streets and acid rain eroded what remained of threadbare lawns. Full employment of white males was possible only by a return to the old reliance on fossil fuels, and these were consumed without thought of any future. A shame then that victims of carcinogenic pollution could rarely afford the health care they needed. Still they enjoyed their privilege and increased status, their white neighbourhoods, their housebound wives, their three bedrooms and fuel guzzling automobiles, their strip clubs and their absolute power over anyone who was not male or white. For those with a stubborn conscience the cheap and plentiful domestically produced alcohol offered a euphoric fog that made everything seem okay.