Everything that I am

Strangetown Observer - Winter 2008 Issue
Buzz Grunt
Jill Smith

For half a decade, the military has manipulated our newspapers to promote its own agenda. Just because my father is not a naturally born citizen of Mandala, just because my father and half of my relatives look different, our lives were placed under surveillance, our privacy invaded, without our consent. Even though I look no different from the other kids in school, the back of my ears still burned with pure embarrassment while reading what other people wrote about my family on the Strangetown Observer. When my parents adopted Gabriella, for many nights, I had a series of dreams where Gabriella had her back against me, talking badly of my family to random people I have never met.

Since the disparaging article about my family was published on Strangetown Observer, my father, Pollination Technician #9 Smith started telling me and my brothers stories about how he came to earth. Good stories can heal the heart of wounds inflicted by prejudices, unbind it from old fears, and grant it the courage to touch the world. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that one can find a medicine man of a sort in all different cultures around the world, passing on the stories of the old to impress the hearts of the young , guiding their journeys towards adulthood. So the following is the story told by a father to his beloved children in his last days:

"If you follow the milky way long enough, one can find a green green planet. All the creatures on the green green planet were green. Birth Queen ruled the planet and passed the crown to the next Birth Queen, and then to the next. Things were what they were supposed to be on the planet. The green people did what they are supposed to do, day in, and day out, under the bright suns, or under the glittering stars. It never occurred to them to question why the things were the way they were. Then one day, one of the green people was told by the Queen to take the tiny saucer for a distant planet. So for many years, there he was on the tiny saucer, looking through the telescope at the creatures of the earth, and following the standard operating procedures as the pollination technician."

"Yet one day, after a few years, the green creature whipped out a diary out of thin air and started writing about what he saw through the telescope in the language of the earth. He wrote about the motion of the clouds passing through the sky. He wrote about the colors of the different flowers. He wrote about different scales of the shadows and shades hidden in the great mountains. He wrote about the different ways earthlings seem to place their arms and legs in an effort to communicate with one another. Then after another few years, he woke up one day with an unfamiliar aching in his heart. He did not just want to observe from a distance. He wants to touch the clouds with his own hands. He wants to feel the earth under his feet. There is a yearning for the mountains and for the rivers in his heart."

"So after many years of solitude and following the standard operating procedures, the creature from the green green planet had his heart broken into by the landscape of the earth. He landed in Strangetown and fell in love all over again with an earthly beauty, and then again with his many children. There may not have been much logic and reasoning behind the standard operating procedures, and none of such could be found in his heart's yearning. As it is written, his heart felt what it felt."

"My beloved children, each of you are meant to be here, no matter how you get here, with or without the blessing of both parents. Don't let anyone tell you that it is not so. Perhaps sometimes you will feel misunderstood. Perhaps one day a stranger you have never met in your life may take everything you hold dear from you and break your heart for no good reasons, for he is following his own chain of command or what he believes to be his standard operating procedures. Perhaps sometimes you will feel angry enough to want to strike back at your enemies. Yet hold your horses and do your best to follow what feels right in your guts. Your home is where your heart is and nobody can take that away from you."

General Buzz Grunt Discharged Without Honor

Former General Buzz Grunt was discharged from his position this winter. Since the end of 2000, human rights groups have started organizing protests against infringement of personal freedom by the military. authorities. Under the pressure of the human rights group, our nation's general legislative assembly at Mandala City has started investigating misuse of military authority by former General Buzz Grunt. A series of hearings were held in front of the general assembly where various military personnel were called in to describe their activities over the years.

During these hearings, former General Buzz Grunt had always been direct and open with his arguments about why there is an urgent need to continue surveillance of the immigrant families:

"The immigrants are not born in this land. How can we make sure that their will not sale our country short in conflict situations? It is a urgent matter in national security."

However, after years of debate, the majority of the general assembly voted to discharge former General Buzz Grunt of his military duties.

Former General Buzz Grunt's military colleagues and family all (except Ripp Grunt) showed up at his residence to show support for him. His eldest son Tank Grunt was clearly upset:

"This is really not fair. My dad has dedicated his life serving this country, and this is how the nation repaying him. He is now not even entitled to retirement pension. Politicians are the worst. What do they know about how to run a country!"

His youngest son Buck Grunt who has just turned twelve this year was a bit less vocal in defending his father, yet seems to possess an interesting view:

"They did not have any clear rules about what a soldier can or cannot do about the immigrants. Why is my father being punished for doing what he think is right?"

Former General Buzz Grunt has refused to provide further comments about his current predicament besides that he is now fed up with politics and will not fight to get his military job back.

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