All right, folks. I get it! People are scared, and tired, and hungry. And in times like this, it’s very easy to start playing the blame game. But as tempting as it is, we can’t just blame all our problems on the gigantic Terror Orb that hovers over Earth, enslaving and torturing us. Trying to pin our troubles on the Orb is lazy, and besides, approaching the Orb with anything resembling a pin is grounds for a stint in the Agony Chambers.

I know folks like to judge the archeologists that unearthed the Terror Orb and awakened it from its eons-long slumber. Others condemn the reckless scientists that attempted to harness the Orb’s dark energy for personal gain, and incurred its terrible wrath. And some people will fault the Collaborators, who sold out the rest of humanity in exchange for the sweet release of death. But how about taking a little personal responsibility? Remember, “remove the plank from thine own eye before attending to the speck in thy neighbor’s.” That’s from the Bible, and even though we burned all our religious texts as a show of fealty to the Orb, I think the message holds true today.

Hey, nobody’s perfect. I’ll admit that sometimes, when we’re being herded into our Chattel Warrens and chosen for the Suffering Pits, I get a little angry at the omniscient, city-sized sphere that exists only to cause human misery. But then I remember that the infinite physical and mental anguish that the Orb subjects us to is only as devastating as we let it be. There’s no sense in blaming the Terror Orb for everything. Remember, when you point a finger, the other three fingers are pointing back at you, assuming they haven’t been broken as punishment for speaking ill of the Orb.

It’s up to each of us to make the best of our circumstances. Sure, we’re stuck toiling in the salt mines, working 20-hour shifts of backbreaking and meaningless labor. But we’re focussing on the negative — what about the four hours each day when we’re NOT dragging baskets of ore to the quarry? We’re free to spend that time however we want — pacing our cells, picking gravel out of our wounds, or writing pro-Orb propaganda. The way I see it, there’s no reason not to keep on the sunny side of life. And yes, I’m aware the Orb positions itself directly in front of the sun to keep us swathed in permanent darkness. I’m speaking metaphorically.

As far as I’m concerned, the real “Terror Orb” is a bad attitude.

Everyone wants to talk about the problems caused by a gargantuan artifact that feeds on fear and looms in our atmosphere like an evil moon. But no one wants to talk about the problems it’s solved. Before the Orb, I took so many things for granted, like shoes, and the pleasant feeling of not being whipped. I’m finding new and inventive ways to cook gruel every day. And hey, thanks to the salt mines, unemployment is basically a thing of the past! Just a little joke, but please don’t laugh. It draws the Orb’s attention.

When our ancestors faced adversity, they didn’t hem and haw and say “woe is me.” They saw the glass as half full. When we look at the glass, we wonder if the Orb filled it with poison, which it frequently does. We ought to look to our forefathers for inspiration, which is easier now that the Orb made us dig up their skulls and make a temple out of them. We can take a leaf out of their book by dusting ourselves off and getting back on the horse. Like the poster on the wall of our Chattel Warren says, KEEP CALM AND SERVE ORB.

So the next time you’re languishing in the Agony Chamber, or collapsing under the weight of your basket of rock salt, maybe ask yourself, “how do I make the most of this?” And I don’t want to hear “the Orb” this and “telepathic dominance” that and “one thousand years of unending pain” such and such. That’s taking the easy way out. Keep your chins up as much as the Obedience Collars allow.

Now let’s get back out there. Last one to the salt mines is a test subject for the new Torture Serum! I’m not joking.