Lights Long Past

Paul Fahrenheidt

Paul Fahrenheidt

Many a man thought himself wise, but what he wanted he did not know.

Easter Sunday has brought me back to the place I grew up. It could have once been called “Home,” when there were people here to know. Now the faces of strangers reflect the faces of prefab townhomes with plastic sides made to look like wood. Copy, paste, copy, paste, copy, paste. For hundreds of miles in all directions.

The metropolis which surrounds the Imperial Capital of the Global American Empire is unlike its cousins further North and West. Places like New York, like Chicago, like Boston, all of them feel like there’s a center. A place where the endless energy washing across America like an inland ocean bursts upward towards the heavens; where Lucifer is making his way back to heaven.

The District differs. It’s less a city than a sea; a mirror which reflects the Uncanny Valley back towards the observer. An image of man’s stellar vision made profane enough to be brought to Earth. Its tides reach into Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland, all along the Potomac River where the blood sacrifice of blue-and-gray clad boys brought forth this cursed fortune. A place fit only for the human stock which works in the offices of Government, for Senators and Undersecretaries, for War Pigs in Raytheon offices. 

The eunuchs of a thousand empires find themselves here again, scraping together enough coin coated in the blood and suffering of their “Countrymen” to occupy a place at Court. A Versailles with none of the beauty but all of the frivolity, where the issues of Empire are ignored. There’s money to be made here if you’re willing to marry your cousin.

Northern Virginia is not so much ruled by the Richmond Government as by Dulles International Airport. In certain parts of Loudoun and Fairfax County within a dozen miles of the place, viewed from perhaps the top of a parking garage, or the crest of a hill, gazing in any direction would bring a vista of vanity. 

Light from ten-thousand bulbs. Some old and orange, installed in less decadent decades. Some bright and white, an attempt to summon forth a false sun. Some red, green, blue, neon highways contained in cathode tubes and adorning buildings built to last as long as spring snow. Ordered together along the highways and high-end hotels in their own lots overlooking the radiant runways of the Imperial Airport.

I wonder if the petit bourgeois who left their provincial places felt this way. If they missed the simplicity of their villages in Burgundy and the Alps when confronted with this City of False Light. Did it even matter? If the provincials were so willing to forget their villages for coin, the villages were worth nothing. Yet if the city forced the villages to be forgotten, what was really lost beyond some vague sense of nostalgia?

Northern Virginia is a land of endless suburbs in all directions. Toll Brothers and otherwise, McMansions and Townhomes towering over any sense of place. There’s not really a culture it tries to emulate, other than some attempt at a purely abstract world on Earth. Valueless, rootless, no past or future, rather an endless present present in the architecture and culture or lack thereof.

Perhaps there are other places similar, other parts of the Imperial Core. Maybe Elmhurst in Chicago, Orange County outside of L.A., or the Hudson River Valley. Yet this place on either side of the River of Honking Geese between the land of two Queens is the model. And it touches everyone who’s ever lived there.

It’s the greatest place on Earth.

Here was where the Internet was summoned into being by some coder playing around on his computer. Here is where its center remains. Hulking blocks of gray, black, and tan are as soulless as they’re Titanic. Inside them are miles of copper wire and silicon plates, soldered by the hands of thousands across the world.

It’s powered by the light of a million sunny days captured and transformed into the endless sea of stars on the Earth. It gathers the world to do its work. Be they the under-caste of Mayans who trim their lawns, clean their houses, cook their food, or the richly rewarded sons of the Subcontinent who manage the miles of wire and code.

Here success is assured just by introducing yourself to your neighbors, all of whom have been international men of mystery, or early adopters of world-changing tech, or players of the politics game who cashed out when the getting was good. Here is energy! Here is power! Here is the center of the Earth, of the Globalist project, ground zero for any and all innovations and desecrations brought forth by our overlords!

The human types here seem to be avatars of the countless stereotypes we see to make sense of the world. Here Neocons, Shitlibs, Ethnics, Queers, Autists, Elites, all live the exact way we imagine to be. The energy is of electricity and internet, of buildings built to last as long as the company that builds them.

This is the Faustian vision incarnate. This is the will to infinity. This is where the men sent forth to conquer the stars will come from. They made the shell as hollow and soulless as they could, so their own souls would never be limited by time and place, only driven by it.

It will reach the stars it brought to Earth, or it will die trying.