33rd symposium on planet j-doe
At thirteen years of age, I was finally old enough to know what prompted the end of the planet of my ancestors, Earth. The year was 2058, we had completed 33 years on J-Doe. Every year, on 12th December, a Symposium was held to remember the mistakes made on Earth and to ensure they weren’t repeated, again. Kids who had listened for more than a decade to their parents saying things like, “The grass was greener there,” or “Lives were meaner back then,” would finally learn about this planet, destroyed physically but indestructible mentally. I was looking forward to it. This is what I learnt.
The names of people and places have been tweaked a little bit so the survivors, attached to them involuntarily, aren’t embarrassed further. Everyone had a part to play. They messed with the environment and aggravated an already barely salvageable situation which accelerated the impending doom. The main people responsible for the catastrophe however, were Donald Rump (middle name Duck’s), Mad Eye Modi, Baby Bo (of the Johnson family), King Kong-un and Rodrigo the Ridiculous. It was subtle in the beginning, the first two came into power. Rump was elected Leader of Supremes in what was hopefully a practical joke gone horribly wrong. Mad Eye acquired the Actual Position Wielding Power of a vast population using the media effectively, not once but twice. They met often, under the pretext of improving bilateral relations, hundreds of pictures with two sets of flashing teeth were clicked and circulated to that effect. However, the subjects of the meetings would revolve around things like gradually moving from a democracy to a dictatorship, the most efficient methods of inducing mass hysteria and ways to monger hate in a highly delusional realm.
Rump decided to use Twitter to see what being a dictator would feel like. He tweeted whatever he wanted to, whenever he wanted to, aiming to offend as many people as he could. Rissch Teigen and other risk takers like her would speak out against him, strongly oppose him on the same platform that had led to the Arab Spring with only one difference. In the Arab Spring case Twitter helped get rid of dictators, but Rump had skin as thick as a hundred buffaloes put together, opposition fed his ego, Twitter in his case strengthened a dictator. Pros and cons of social media.
Mad Eye used imperceptible, or so he thought, unlawfulness. Just to get a taste of dictatorship. Declaring his rule over the most problematic and hence fragile state, without proper legal procedures. Putting his party in power in states where confused coalitions needed time to coordinate. Putting his party icon on passports as a “security measure” saying it’s because the lotus is the country’s national flower, not just his symbol. How convenient. All these little moves and others, some hastily corrected, others left to run their course, were adding up to something major. The people weren’t all fooled by his tricks.
The meetings continued. Strategies were discussed. The two decided to seek help from masters, leaders who knew what they were doing. They turned to King Kong-un of Northern K and Rodrigo the Ridiculous of the Pine Islands. These two were open about being dictators, brash and easy to piss off. The former had a store of nuclear weapons and the latter could use his words to start nuclear wars. Rump was dumb, Mad Eye was stubborn. Rodrigo and King possessed the talent of being both. Rump and Mad Eye looked down upon them for that while believing they themselves were perfect. When they secretly went seeking advice, their tones lacked respect, were outright sneering. Rodrigo unleashed his rant against Rump. To say it was sordid wouldn’t cover even a thousandth of it. Rump was enraged, he couldn’t bear to be insulted by someone so beneath him. Mad Eye said it was time to turn to their brainchild, Baby Bo, for support. After all the planning that went into Breckzit just to bring Baby Bo into power, it was time for the middle aged baby bimbo to return their favour. They’d need backing soon enough. He was right. The inflamed Rodrigo turned to the equally outraged King Kong-un for help. Their honour needed defending. That was the beginning of World War 3. The nuclear war that finally ended the Earth, fought between the three most powerful countries and the two most dangerous dictators. Neither side knew when to stop. Maybe they didn’t know how to stop. No one won but everybody lost their lives. Some to death and the rest to J-Doe.
Civilians tried to avoid it. They voted Rump out of office but that did less than nothing to impede his whims and fancies. Four years in power had forged dangerous connections that would play themselves out rather than getting severed. He pulled his trump card out his sleeve, a sneak attack by Put-it-in of the Ruse Region, the most widespread area of the planet, covering two continents. This revelation forced people to shut themselves off from the tyrannies of unreasonable men. They were done. They entered their homes as one and bolted them shut as many. Countries put themselves under lockdown while the foulest war of all time raged on, fought between six people to prove to themselves which side had the Superior Ego that stems from toxic masculinity. This toxicity seeped forests and soaked oceans until nothing was left. They carried on long after ships had sailed in search of a new planet. The Earth was their wasted playground. They fought with all the immaturity of toddlers and threw nukes like tantrums, willy-nilly. They battled for the last swing, they pushed each other down slides and convinced themselves they were on an eternal seesaw with no one side retaining the upper hand for long.
I get it now. The name J-Doe. Dead bodies were called John/Jane Doe on Earth till someone identified them. Maybe when this planet becomes familiar we will change its name. Maybe humans won’t last that long. Who knows? Until then, we call it J-Doe to remember all the innocent lives that were lost just because six men wanted more than their privileged selves had already.