After the Great War of 2016, America became a devastated, post-apocalyptic wasteland, ruled by an authoritarian overlord with limited language skills. But then the Resistance rose up. This is a first-hand account from the front lines of the guerrilla army of social justice warriors as it fights back using every tool at its disposal, from social media accounts to self-published books. But will they be able to overcome their internal divisions long enough to #resist? Ugh, I can’t believe I just used a hashtag like that. I’m so sorry.
No one had ever seen the stock market fall so dramatically. Certainly, there had been concerns about the structural integrity of the New York Stock Exchange building, but no one listened to them. “Just trust the system,” they said. “The stock market will support itself. It will be sustainable.” And then the building literally collapsed.
Not that anyone traded stocks anymore. That had ended after the Great War of 2016. But for a couple of months the Resistance had been using the Stock Exchange building as an open-air market for knitted cardigans, handmade silverware, and whittled animals. In this post-apocalyptic society, mankind survives by bartering crafts and used books. If you have a Roxane Gay book to trade, you’ll eat for a year.
The fall of the Stock Exchange had nothing to do with the Resistance. It probably had nothing to do with the President. But because he had been taking so much credit for the Stock Exchange’s flourishing under our nascent post-apocalyptic society, many of the Resistance fighters standing outside of the ruins thought that he deserved the blame.
“We should blame the President for this misfortune,” said an old, grizzled fighter wearing two bandoliers. He was a bandolier salesman, and he had lost his entire inventory when his pop-up store was crushed under falling computer screens in the Stock Exchange. He started to say something else, but his voice was drowned out by loudspeakers perched on all of the extinguished streetlamps, which were replaying a speech from the President complimenting the performance of the stock market under his tenure.
“What?” I said.
“Oh, never mind,” said the bandolier salesman. “Nothing I say matters anymore. Nothing any of us says matters anymore.”
“That’s not true,” I replied, patting him on the shoulder, although I hadn’t been listening, because whatever he said probably didn’t matter. “Haven’t you heard about the counter memo that we’re releasing? It’s going to be very effective.”
He looked with questioning eyes, as if he were saying, “My eyes want to know what you’re talking about.” So I held out the latest communiqué from the Senior Council of the Resistance.
Resistance Communiqué No. 1517
This is an advance warning that the Democrat House Intelligence Committee memo on the FBI and the Russia investigation will be released today. All Resistance fighters are ordered to read it and then call into an NPR show to say what they think. We’ll show the Nunes memo for what it really is! Also, if anyone has a copy of the acclaimed Roxane Gay memoir Hunger to barter, we’d be willing to give your early access.
“And guess what I did?” I said to him.
I saw the old man’s face light up, because someone across the street lit a garbage fire in the twilight and everything around us became brighter. But he still appeared morose and hopeless — evidently, he couldn’t deduce that I had traded my own book for the memo. So I pulled it out of my pocket and showed it to him.
He was stunned. I handed it to him, and he peered over its pages by the light of the garbage fire. I watched as he reacted, his mouth curving into a smile, his jaw dropping, his eyebrows raising. It was an astonishing memo.
“This memo… it’s astonishing,” he said.
“I know. And they gave me the only copy!” I replied proudly, without any sense of foreboding whatsoever.
“I mean, I’m astonished. I need to call into a radio show to tell them what I think,” he continued. He held up the sheaf of papers and called over the figures huddling in the ruins of the New York Stock Exchange. “Everyone, come here! You all have to read—”
But just at that moment, as the speakers began playing a particularly loud Trump speech, they produced a gust of wind, which blew the papers out of his hands. They tumbled through the air towards the garbage fire. “No!” I screamed, but it was too late. The Democratic memo was burning in the garbage fire, like a poetically appropriate metaphor.