The Retromancer's Cave

Summary: An in-character blog post from an Internet celebrity reporting from the near future. One shot flash fiction.

Personal Reflections: When the Wild Wind Blows

By Mike "The Retromancer" Wolfe

Soundtrack: "When the World Ends (Oakenfold Remix)" by Dave Matthews Band

I know that last post was a pretty off the wall rant (hyperlink: Blog Archives: Flashpoints: Pacific Crisis), but you could probably understand why I was high strung. I've started a new channel for my reviews, but I think I'll be keeping this blog for my personal reflections. Just a few weeks ago, we faced what could've easily been World War III. Cooler heads seem to have prevailed (for the time being), but there's still plenty of tension. Half the pundits on TV are saying we should've gone to war, while the other half say things shouldn't have been allowed to go as far as they did. (It's interesting to note, though, that the war-hawks have never served in the military nor have any relatives who did. Typical. If they really want war, they should lead the charge themselves.) Washington itself is a cesspool of lies, doubt, and betrayal, as it always is. Plenty of people are pissed, and they're trying to find someone to blame.

But aside from the whole "end of the world" thing, I realized something. I've never seen outside the East Coast of the USA, save a short trip to the Midwest I made one day. I've been helping my aged parents, since my brother's moved out long ago. Many of my friends from high school and college had a lot more interesting experiences than I ever did, while I always played it safe. If the world went to hell, I'd die only knowing the pathetic corner of Jersey I wasted most of my life in.

I wish I could say I was surrounded with people who truly knew the gravity of what was going on. Instead of facing reality, my parents merely turned on the television and began watching reality show reruns. I guess the Boomers would rather watch D-list washed up celebrities try to dance than make final peace with those that truly matter the most to them. It was shortly after I posted that rant that I looked at site traffic. People were watching me live from around the world, including China. They spread the story to their friends and online contacts. I saw some comments saying that they said they'd call their politicians and demand they stand down.

I hate to show any ego, but in my own way, maybe I helped pull us back from the brink. Of course, some trolls are going to have fun with that statement. My article on Wikitrollicon's pretty good, so I'm hoping they can add some good stuff to it soon (hyperlink: Wikitrollicon: Retromancer). But for now, I'd like to thank everyone who actually did call your politicians. You're far more deserving of any kudos than I am. I'm just a loser who can barely stand living in a state with a bloated governor who looks like a certain science fiction villain (hyperlink: Image Search: Baron Harkonnen).

But I've realized something. I'm fine with that. I've got the regular cast of fanboys, freaks, lurkers, and trolls (hi, BrightBlight) on my forums. I've got the handful of people I've known since high school, college, and even childhood who haven't fled for greener pastures here. I was on the phone, net, or in person with a few of them, answering their questions and trying to help them cope. One of my best friends from college was about ready to poison herself, rather than seeing the world end. I let her sleep in my basement while the Crisis unfolded. Her parents had already offed themselves, but she hadn't followed them.

I had a lot of respect for her parents when I met them before, really down to earth people. At least her parents had faced reality better than my own. I'm just sad two decent people are dead for pointless reasons. Judging from blog posts and news articles online (hyperlink: Newsfeed: Elderly Couple Poisoned Selves, Autopsy Finds), this tragedy is hardly rare.

So, what's left of this mess? I realized a lot of things. You realize how pathetic some authorities really are. Even as a college student, I was afraid of my parents. No longer. My parents, those feeble boomers now living off my pitiful grad student stipend, aren't calling the shots anymore. I managed the fucking house when they were watching trashy talk shows. I stocked up on food, water, and batteries. I installed an aquaponics rig, rainwater catchment, and solar cells.

First thing, we're getting that shotgun I've always wanted (hyperlink: Image Search: Mossberg 500). I've never been much of a gun person, but my parents hate weapons of all kinds, so even better. They also didn't like my friend in the basement. They legally own the house (for now), but if they want to keep mooching off me, some things are going to change. That television is definitely going to go, or at least be reduced for playing DVDs, videos, and console videogames. I might've faced the near-end of the world, but there's only so much reality TV and celebrity pap I can take. We're growing a food garden instead of that disgusting, non-productive lawn out front. My parents need some physical activity, instead of just wasting away into sentient blobs of cholesterol in front of the boob tube.

I also learned (again) the government and its corporate buddies (as if there's much of a difference) don't give a shit about me, you, and anyone outside them. They were huddling in bunkers while the world was about ready to blow itself up. One more reason we can't rely on those parasites for anything other than a good laugh.

I've also learned not to take things too seriously. Yes, I know this is odd coming from me, but if you could die at any moment, you've got to make the most of what you have. So, know how my friend and I coped with things coming down around us? We saw that my article on Wikitrollicon was pretty short. We extended it, and made it all the more offensive and personal. I saw some of the normal fanboys rage obsessively, as if I had pissed on their sacred ground. If I can't make fun of myself and the "character" I create online, then I'm just as much of a hypocrite as all the grumpy old people and dirty politicians. I encourage my trolls to keep watching my antics and making my article even more biting. I'm sure they'll be plenty of good material to come.