It’s April of 2026, a lone raven feasts on the corpse of a loved-one left by the side of the road. Governor Matt Bevin is halfway into what would be his third term. The fireplace crackles as he sits in his favorite chair with a copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and a glass of Beefeater’s gin. A steady, content feeling comes over him, he experiences a fuzzy, warm buzz as the alcohol hits his gut. There’s a very secure feeling being the only man inside a stone fortress.
Meanwhile, Kentucky has reclaimed its former moniker. A man can’t relax his attention for a second lest annoying gangs of hungry, grubby children will swoop in and steal his gun, pack, and wife. When representatives of the Transylvania Land Company signed the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals, Cherokee Chief Dragging Canoe told the White Man that they had secured “a dark and bloody ground”. No historians claim to know exactly what the old Injun was talking about but some have suggested that he was referring to a kind of existential evil. “America is not a young land; it is old and dirty and evil. Before the settlers, before the Indians . . . the evil was there . . . waiting (from Wm. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch).”
In 2015, the people of Kentucky made a decision to elect Tea Party favorite Matt Bevin as Governor of the Commonwealth. Perhaps they didn’t know what an ultra-conservative-led state really entailed. I mean, it’s not like the opponent was that much different when it came down to it. Well, the first thing King Matt did after taking office was reduce the minimum wage for state workers. That was back in 2016. Then, he took away former felons’ right to vote. Then, about a year later, Jack Conway, upset that he lost the gubernatorial race and desperate for power, blackmails Bevin with dick pics from Snapchat and is put in place as Leader of Kentucky Homeland Defense. After that, things started getting a little crazy. There were troves of marauding APC’s in the streets of Lexington enforcing Martial Law. In the year 2019, Bevin got rid of term limits and installed himself as Marshal of the Democratic People’s Republic of Kentucky. He told his wife, Glenna, in a flat and cold tone that even scared himself a little, “You’re fired, you old cunt. I’ve got troves of unemployed women that will pleasure me and then clean the entire fortress for piece of moldy bread! I mean, fuck, Glenna, I got rid of the minimum wage entirely and since the corporations have all the power now people started working for defective plastic bracelets they could trade for bottles of baby formula! I even had them remove the gold fillings from the mental patients’ chompers before we kicked ’em out of the hospitals. We melted the shit down and used it to line the trim on my fleet of Humvees! This is my fucking dream!”
Fast-forward to the year 2025. This is what the former Commonwealth has become. Mayors of large cities became millionaires overnight by signing shady water treatment deals and pocketing the money. Eventually, you can’t get the city’s ‘drinking water’ on your skin without rashes and strange discolorations breaking out. After the gradual lack of funding to government health programs, mentally-ill patients refused their anti-psychotic medications were unmercifully thrown out of state mental hospitals. As a result women and dogs are violently raped and dismembered in broad daylight. Amputees denied coverage for prosthetic limbs go around hopping on one leg. Instead of steady traffic on the streets and highways, hundreds of people brave the cold to wait at the bus stops of privately-run transportation conglomerates that charge outrageous fees. Every single union in Kentucky is busted except for the police and firemen unions so that working class people have to work an ever increasing amount of jobs ~ so much so that waitresses, baristas, and teachers have to resort to prostituting themselves on the new ‘Subscriber-Only’ Internet. A wealthy bureaucrat can buy a sex slave for ten dollars. Business is deregulated to the point that normally safe products like pacifiers and medicines contain deadly poisons that arbitrarily kill consumers. “Oh I see another one died today after taking Tylenol for a headache. Natural selection, you know.” Evangelical Christianity becomes the state religion with loudspeakers placed on every corner announcing the call to prayer as if Latakia was transported to Louisville. Evangelical preachers go from door to door making sure everyone has a Gideon Holy Bible. Stand Your Ground laws are passed in every township so that eventually mailmen and dog catchers are periodically shot on sight. Vast amounts of subdivisions are abandoned due to the eradication of the middle class. Wild bands of tigers and lions, their ancestors freed from the zoos due to lack of funding, roam and threaten scavenging humans looking for water and shelter.
Yes, this is Christian Country now, not Wildcat Country! Behold the new Republican Dawn. We’re all trapped in the belly of this dying beast. We’re on so many drugs with the radio on and the curtains drawn. Green mountains, slate rock . . . . horses grazing. All 57 rooms of the Fortress are empty except for the Big Man Himself. A dust devil swirls in the wind . . .