Spies and Patriotism
Decades ago, I learned many things that only a few others ever learn. I never believed that any of it had a thing to do with patriotism. I flushed my system of all I had been told about what it means to be a patriot. You don't serve your country. You serve an Empire and an array of multi-national corporations. You are, at the bottom, a thief. You steal natural resources from other nations. You bully, you terrorize, you become a vampire. It's all just a game, really, a very high stakes game, an evil game. Much of the time, you don't even know who you're working for or what the end game is supposed to be except in a general sort of way. Over time, you lose your identity. You exist in ‘a wilderness of mirrors.’ Spies are all taught the same things. but they are convinced that nobody else knows what they know. You learn how to watch without appearing to watch. You learn to recognize when someone is shadowing you. You learn how to 'drag your coat' to see whether someone is interested enough to turn you into an 'asset' or become an ‘asset.’ To an adolescent addicted to reading spy novels, it's all quite exciting, alluring, seductive. But in the end, if you learn just what you might have been doing all those years against some 'adversary,' you have an awakening. The stench that fills your nostrils is from all the sewage from all the places where you have been swimming. When you lift a manhole cover, you won't find any swans in all that sewage.