Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The One Percent Ghost

One day there will be a superhero vigilante who will target the wealthy elite.

There will be a story on the news.

A billionaire found dead in his home with a note attached saying "...with liberty and justice for all..."

A few weeks later a second body found.

Another billionaire.

This one says "We hold these truths to be self-evident."

When a week later "Life", "Liberty" and "The pursuit of happiness" are found, three different bodies, two senators and a lobbyist for the NRA, it is clear that there is a pattern emerging.

Soon the powerful are riding in armored cars, escorted by small armies of mercenaries.

Some take a proactive approach and start foundations and hold press conferences where they say things like

"The time is long overdue that the people who are blessed with wealth give back to the community."

And somewhere in a dark room, the murderer takes their names off his list.

The media dubs him The Robin Hood Killer (a moniker he hates) and soon he is a celebrity.

People sell T-shirts on street corners of a hooded figure chasing down a man in a business suit who is holding bags with dollar signs on them in each hand.

The killer strikes again and again with military like precision.

People speculate that he must have special ops training.

The irony that our very own military industrial complex created the machine that would kill it's own creator does not escape the media and they start asking the questions they should have been asking all along about America's foreign policy.

After victims 14 and 15 are brought down by consecutive sniper bullets, most of the remaining 1% move overseas to their island homes and after victim 19, a tea party congressman, is strangled in his own home, both the house and senate are moved to a secret location.

Man on the street interviews show people saying things like "This is ridiculous. That man had a wife and family." but more people are in support, saying things like "These people have been keeping us down, stealing our money and lying to us long enough. It's time they experience fear the way we live with everyday."

But the killer slips up.

The police have a man in custody.

And the FBI was right.

He is a former navy seal, who has stage 4 cancer and less than two years to live.

Further research shows that he lost his daughter to a rare blood disease that he believes could have been treated if only they could have afforded better medical care.

Across the country a catch phrase begins circulating.

A show of solidarity that is plastered on t-shirts and bumper stickers everywhere.

Three simple words.

"I'm Robin Hood."

In prison, the killer is a hero to people who have no understanding of what it is he was trying to accomplish.

"You shouldda killed my landlord." one man says.

"You did what I WISH I had done." another inmate says "I used to fantasize about killin my boss, daily."

He doesn't bother to explain his mission.

He wonders if it was all a mistake.

And then...

The murders start up again.

All over the country bodies are turning up with notes tagged to them.

Horrible parodies that show that the copy-cats have no clue of what this was supposed to be about.

Good people are killed, simply for being perceived as being wealthy or having a little bit of power.

Notes are tagged to the bodies that say simply "I'm Robin Hood."

In Vegas a man is killed walking out of a casino simply because he had good fortune on the slot machines.

In Nebraska, a man who was previously dirt poor is assassinated because he won the powerball.

He never even received the first check.

He was found dead in his trailer with a note that said "For the people, by the people."

This vigilantism goes on for months, while the real killer's health deteriorates to nothing.

Once the media referred to him as a ghost, but now he looks more like a skeleton.

He is put into a prison hospital for his final days when the unthinkable happens.

A senator from Minnesota, by all accounts a good woman, is shot and killed while walking out of her home.

The assailant throws up his hands immediately after pulling the trigger and can be seen over several cell phone recordings rebroadcast on the nightly news smiling and saying "I'm Robin Hood"

The television plays in the hospital room where the original killer is waiting to die.

As he drifts in and out of consciousness he wonders if any of what he is seeing on the news is real.

A few days later FBI agents visit the man and ask him to hold a press conference.

He agrees.

The press conference is the most widely viewed event in the history of American television.

It is held in a high-school auditorium and more than 500 members of the press attend.

He refuses help to get to the table and it takes him a long time.

The room is silent as he sits down and begins to read from a prepared statement.

Every eye in every home in America and millions overseas is trained on the skeletal man as he struggles to breathe and reads the message he was told to read.

Most of the message is true.

It is true that he wants the blood of the innocent to stop being spilled.

It is true that what was happening was not his original vision and that he is sorry that things have spun out of control.

But what is clear to him, what sickens him, what makes him feel like he is disrespecting the memory of his daughter, is that these words are designed to protect the people who wrote them.

He pauses for a long time and stares down at his hands.

Then he pushes the papers away and begins to speak slowly.

"Your captors and my captors are the same...and they tell us the same lies...they say work will make us free...they say if we are willing to work hard enough we can achieve our dreams...they tell us that we are each other's enemy...they use fear to control and manipulate us and to sell us things we don't need...they tell us we are inadequate...they tell us we are ugly..."

Government officials start telling the broadcasters to kill the feed, to cut to commercial.

Some do.

Most do not.

Some refuse because of the ratings and some refuse out of personal politics.

At home, viewers turn the channel until they find a feed of the speech that will begin a movement that will later be dubbed Compassionate Capitalism.

When the man is done speaking one of the reporters asks "So your message is to stop the killing?"

The man answers "What I said was to stop killing the innocent, but to have a true revolution then perhaps those who seek to manipulate us and control us must be sacrificed."

After another long pause the same reporter asks "So who do you think should be killed?"

Turning the papers over in front of him and holding them up for the cameras to see, he says slowly

"Well I have this list."

And with that 30,000 television stations cut to commercial.

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