Lidia: Have you seen the news sites this morning darling?
Stephen: Been too busy re-jigging the look of my website babe. What's the latest?
Lidia: The Prime Minister has temporarily assumed the powers of the President, and she's suspended the coming election till the national emergency is over.
Stephen: Well, our vote never gave us any power anyway.
Lidia: We do live in a marginal seat.
Stephen: Sure, but both major candidates are always so damn centrist it makes no difference.
Lidia: That's true. May as well just give the job to whichever one has the best IQ or something.
Stephen: Exactly! What is needed is a bit of intelligence in politics!
Stephen wanders over from his desk to where Lydia is sitting on the couch with her laptop, plants a kiss on her forehead, then asks her if she would like a cuppa. She asks for a peppermint tea, which Stephen goes to fix for her, and comes back in with it and his own coffee.
Lidia: I'm looking at local news now, and apparently those Emos who get in the way down at the station have been sent away to Happy Camp to be given a new perspective on life, all expenses paid by the government.
Stephen: Wow, their parents must be chuffed, to be free of the kids at no cost to them.
Lidia: Yes, but they cannot send away the ones who are adult, and a 'spokesperson' for the Emos says that this is an abuse of their rights.
Stephen: Rights? Ha! What rights do any of us have? There's never been a bill of rights here, so who can say we have any. We've always been at the mercy of corporations and the media telling us how to live and what to consume.
Lidia: You're so right, hon, besides, I'm not sure that there is such a thing as "the right to be Emo".
Stephen: The "right to be negative and whiny all the time" more like.
Both Lidia and Stephen notice a commotion in the street outside their apartment, so Stephen walks over to the window to take a look outside.
Lidia: What is it, sweetie?
Stephen: Oh, just more of those black-shirts jack-booting down the street.
Lidia: They worry me, sweetheart, they are supposed to make us feel safe, but something about them gives me the creeps.
Stephen: I know, babe, but there's the national emergency, and besides, we've always lived in a police state if you look at how things really are. Remember how the cops used to be at some of the rallies we attended?
Lidia: I suppose you're right. Oppression has always been the norm and freedom is just a word.
Stephen: Yep. You cannot miss what you never had.
It seems to me that too many of us see things in black-and-white terms. We are aware of and critical of the many flaws in our polity and so we should be. But sometimes this perspective is so overpowering that it obscures any shades of grey. We overlook the worthwhile aspects of what we do have and forget how atrocious things could be. If we assume something is worthless we may never notice if it is eroded till it truly becomes the thing we have long imagined it to be.