A Lift of the Curtain

hollywood-crowd

PHOTO PROMPT ©-Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

So that was all it was, cheap gifts and false fronts.  A place full of manipulated laughs and tears; predictable plots and dreams foiled by the dream-weavers.

From a distance it seemed a land of hope and magic until you lifted the curtain to expose the “Mighty Oz”: the gears of the machine being greased by the flow of money.

And more money, it was all about the money, even those ordinary people who loomed as untouchable giants, just pawns of the almighty dollar.

Sandy wept.

Her beloved America had become the fabled land that used to just mirror it.

***

Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

 

55 thoughts on “A Lift of the Curtain

  1. granonine

    If I may be so bold, I would like to point out that America is not unique among nations who are built with materials including genocide and slavery. Sometimes it seems to me that every finger in the world, including American fingers, points to America as the epitome of evil. If you study world history, you will find that it is full of man’s inhumanity to man: Greed, lust, murder, financial gain–none of it started just in America, but in every civilization that has ever existed. It is in the hearts of all mankind, not just in American hearts.

    I don’t mean or intend to start a controversy. I just have to stand up and say a word or two in defense of my country, which has offered more people more opportunities for success at every level than any other civilization in the history of the world. After reading through most of the comments today, I felt strongly that someone needed to speak up.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Nobody is innocent. Greed, corruption, genocide, slavery, etc. has existed throughout history and pretty much every place in the world. I think a lot of people around the world single out America is that we are the first to point out other country’s blemishes without acknowledging our own. And we have plenty. As for me, I think that the way to fix problems is to first admit that there is a problem, which can only be done by looking at all of the ugly places. I know far too many people that can’t see or admit the problems, so the problems continue to fester.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. granonine

        You’ll notice that I didn’t deny any of our faults. There’s a long list. It’s just, as you say, we’re not the first nor — I might add–the worst. I’m not sure what you mean about us being the first to point out other’s faults without recognizing our own, but that’s ok. I really DON’T want to argue. But I do love my country, and what is happening here this year is tragic and needless. Perhaps I’m just a tad defensive right now.

        Liked by 1 person

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Our country has been changing over the last few decades, sometimes for the better, sometimes, well… The balance of wealth has shifted towards a very small minority so several thousand have more wealth than hundreds of millions. Our infrastructure, which used to be the pride of the country, is crumbling and nobody wants to fix it because it would mean raising taxes on the ultra-wealthy. Racism is much more visible than it has been at any time of my life. 10 years ago friends from my home town used to post pictures of their cats on Facebook, now they repost neo-nazi propaganda and conspiracy theories. I see them posting photos of their automatic weapons with a caption that anyone who tries to force them to wear a mask will see the business end of the gun. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what I have seen, but it scares me. I do have a great love of this country, which is why I want to try to fix it.

          Liked by 2 people

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          1. granonine

            I think the neo-nazi stuff is terrifying, and I have no sympathy for it at all. Same with Antifa. It does trouble me that so many of our young people believe Socialism is the answer to everything. I wish they’d take a closer look at Cuba and Venezuela. The truth is, socialism.communism ALWAYS come with bloodshed and poverty. Any totalitarian system must eliminate its enemies. Millions have died because , for instance, of Nazism, Chinese communism, Cambodian dictatorship, and so on. To say nothing of the Bolshevik revolt in Russia just prior to WWI, and of course we could go back to the French Revolution, or Genghis Khan! Injustices there were, no doubt about it. But wholesale murder and destruction has never worked very well, either. Seems we just can’t find a safe middle ground for solving our problems.

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              There does need to be a safe middle ground, but hopefully one that takes care of people as well as corporation (I hate that neither party takes care of the backbone of America, the small business/self-employed) One thing is definitions – there is a huge difference between Communism and Socialism! Public schools is 100% Socialism. Canada is Socialist, as is Denmark, Sweden, and pretty much most of Europe. I don’t know why we have become so black and white that if we budge on inch to help people, we are suddenly pure Communist, and heading down the path of the Bolshevik revolt or Red China. There are some radicals that might want that, but the numbers are very small… And totalitarian, yeah, definitely need to stay away from that and recover the balance of power that a true representational democracy or republic needs. I hate when any president, Democrat or Republican, has too much power, but our two party system has completely stripped away all semblance of the checks and balances that was written into the constitution. And, again, i do really believe in private bushiness and the idea of capitalism, but I think there needs to help for people and there are businesses that are much better to be public than private (prisons!). we do need those huge corporations, looking at economy of scale, but we need to put our emphasis back on mom-and-pop companies, small businesses, self-employed, etc. Anyway, didn’t mean to get into any political arguments ;) One thing that I firmly believe – we need multiple points of view, and we need everyone to have their own opinions. Authoritarianism happens when too many people thing alike.

              Liked by 1 person

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            2. trentpmcd Post author

              One more quick thought – it seems like the world today has been going crazy, not just here. All around the world countries have been getting more extreme. China has become much more agressive and territorial. they have claimed huge swaths of international waters for ages, but are now doign some of the worst environemntal damage imaginable to build fake islands all over those waters to justify the claims (there are limits around land that are controlled by the country, so well placed islands will effectively make all of the water their private bathtub). In ways Putin’s Russia is as bad as Stalin’s USSR. He is evil incarnate. These are the worst, btu all of the world seems to be goign crazy.

              Liked by 2 people

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              1. granonine

                Yes, I agree. I think perhaps the worst thing about totalitarian government is that people are not free to speak their minds. I got cold chills watching a video of Antifa members burning Bibles in front of Portland’s courthouse. I wanted to tell them, “Hey, that’s been done before. It doesn’t work.”

                When we are afraid–physically, financially afraid to speak our mind for fear of losing our jobs our positions, then we’ve gone too far.

                I’ve lived long enough to remember some pretty tense elections, but when it was over, there were no riots; no shootings; no massive protests and burning and screaming horrible epithets. We accepted the results and went on about our business.

                Those really were some good old days!

                Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. Money is needed, and will alwas be present, but the focus of life shouldn’t be the creation of more money for a small minority, which is where we get back to that “the love of money is the root of all evil” thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I am hoping that this is that darkest hour before the dawn… It sounds like a John Lennon song, but, yes, power to the people. People like Sandy in this story who will work for that real change, multiplied by millions.

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. Nobbinmaug

    Money’s been our one true deity since its advent.

    Hollywood, with its greed and disposable people, is an excellent stand-in for America. I don’t think it’s what we’ve become. I think it’s how we were born. This country was built on genocide and slavery.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yes, our beginnings were not that honorable… I have not studied the 1619 Project, but I think it is a good thing the dark side of history is being taught. You can’t fix it if it is swept under the rug and ignored… (not that it is an easy fix).

      Liked by 2 people

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      1. Nobbinmaug

        I’ve haven’t read into it either, but it makes much more sense than rewriting and erasing history. There is no fix for what’s happened. We, as a species, have to learn from and grow from humanity’s past mistakes. You’re exactly right.

        Liked by 2 people

        Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. I sometimes want to weep when I watch this reality show we’ve found ourselves stuck in… Unfortunately, I think the man behind the curtain is as much of a charlatan as Oz, perhaps even more so.

      Liked by 3 people

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