Lord of the (F)lies

Most have recently compared our dystopian equivalent country to George Orwell's, "1984", but I'd beg to differ and say its more like "Lord of the Flies".  For the past few months we've been experiencing a surreal state of American society.  A state of tribal conflict between progressives and conservatives that's reminiscent of the depravity and savagery displayed in the allegorical style of literature, "Lord of the Flies".  This story couldn't be any more reflective of the political times we're currently living in and with minimal change to the title we get something a bit more accurate, "Lord of the Lies".  

Fear mongering, it dwells at the epicenter of political power and influence.  The antagonist choir boys who are stuck on an island in the story construct an imaginative beast that manifest a mirage of horrors. Similarly our nation's conservative chorus has imagined the beast as Muslims, LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter, science, "inner cities", immigrants, and globalization; supposedly they threaten their Christianity, societal norms, white privilege, conservative values, jobs, and votes.  Just like the choir boys on the island our nation's conservatives have offered up a sacrifice to counter the appetite of the "so-called" beast, their conscience.  The sacrifice comes in the form of the ugliest most vile pig they could find that "trumps" all others. They mount his head like a trophy for their b̶a̶s̶e̶ beast to see and find themselves blindly proud of abandoning their moral values and dignity in exchange for a promise of safety. Safety for them looks like Muslim bans, walls, law and order, voter ID laws, pipelines, deregulation, nationalism and anything that doesn't affect their own civil liberties.   Like the story over time this pigs head begins to smell of death, decay, and corruption while being swarmed by a mass of lies instead of flies; hence, why #45 is "Lord of the Lies".  

We eventually learn in the novel that there is no beast; not the beast they initially believed to exist.  Instead we learn that the real beast exists in the choir boys.  What we find out is that those who try to expose the real beast are in great peril. The beast eventually murders, demolishes civility, and deals death blows to democracy.  This sound familiar?

Perspective is everything.  Most of the story is told from the perspective of little boys until the very end when an adult shows up to save them.  When the adult speaks we then realize who we thought was the most powerful in society is actually a little boy wearing a goofy hair piece and orange face paint.  How much longer will we have to wait for an adult to show up and save us from "Lord of the Lies"?


Cornell WatsonComment