Daily Wisdom-isms: That Hideous Strength (Civil Disobedience)

I seriously think the modern mega corporation was modeled after the N.I.C.E. Fairy Hardcastle (the Chief of the N.I.C.E. police force) plays an important role in Mark’s acceptance of N.I.C.E. In this excerpt, she and a few other key N.I.C.E. members discuss a riot they are planning and that they want Mark to write an account of. Enjoy!

“You mean you’ve engineered the disturbances?” said Mark. To do him justice, his mind was reeling from this new revelation. Nor was he aware of any decision to conceal his state of mind…

“That’s a crude way of putting it,” said Feverstone.

“It makes no difference,” said Filostrato. “This is how things have to be managed.”

“Quite,” said Miss Hardcastle. “It’s always done. Anyone who knows police work will tell you. And I say, the real thing–the big riot–must take place within the next 48 hours…In the meantime, you and I have to get busy about the account of the riot.”

“But–what’s it all for?” said Mark.

“Emergency regulations,” said Feverstone. “You’ll never get the powers we want at Edgestow until the Government declares that a state of emergency exists there.”

“Exactly,” said Filostrato. “It’s folly to talk of peaceful revolutions. Not that the canaglia would always resist–often they have to be prodded into it–but until there is disturbance, the firing, the barricades–no one gets powers to act effectively. There’s not enough what you call weight on the boat to steer him.”

“And the stuff must be all ready to appear in the papers the very day after the riot,” said Miss Hardcastle.

“But how are we to write it tonight if the thing doesn’t even happen until tomorrow morning, at the earliest?”

Everyone burst out laughing.

“You’ll never manage publicity that way, Mark,” said Feverstone. “You surely don’t wait for a thing to happen before you tell the story of it.”

This was the first thing Mark had been asked to do which he himself, before he did it, clearly knew to be criminal. But the moment of his consent almost escaped his notice; certainly there was no struggle, no sense of turning a corner. There may have been a time in the world’s history when such moments fully revealed their gravity, with witches prophesying on a blasted heath or visible Rubicons to be crossed. But for him, it slipped past in a chatter of laughter, of that intimate laughter between fellow professionals, which of all earthly powers is strongest to make men do very bad things before they are yet, individually, very bad men.

Can you say “Wag the Dog”? Good ol’ Bill “the Old Shoe” Schumann. He really was real. For real. Because the media said he was real. Why would our medias, governments and corporations lie to us? Aren’t they all working for our benefit? Benevolent overlords who only want to protect us from ourselves? Isn’t that N.I.C.E.?

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About Universal Shift

I am the Sonata Unusual. I coat myself with some obtuse angle too far below zero to become any warmer. I create motivation, activate schemas, moisten gardens with scents of natural honeydew. Construct this meaning, you sleepy flock. Silence your singing—despairing contortions out of tune. Shatter the brittle butterfly glass with your hideous wailing. I am born of my god’s imagination. When I die I shall meet him. For there are many things to discuss over tea…or scotch.

Posted on May 4, 2012, in Author, Fiction, Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality, Spirituality, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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