Imagine a global health crisis. Everyone is ordered to "stay-at-home" and only to venture out for "essential" purposes. Travel is regulated by government surveillance, with only permitted workers allowed to go into the city. Inflation is at historic levels, and basic necessities, such as food and gasoline, become invaluable commodities.
As the COVID pandemic begins to recede into our cultural memory, it is harrowing to remember the sheer breadth of power we surrendered to our government in order to "keep us safe." We would be foolish to think that the pandemic wasn't a repetition of an age-old tale in the west, and we would be even more naive to believe that we aren't at risk of repeating it in the future: the government's manipulation of a crisis to secure its complete control over its people.
We would be foolish to think that the pandemic wasn't a repetition of an age-old tale
Filmmaker Matt Battaglia published a first in what is likely to become an emerging genre of post-pandemic apocalyptic literature, bringing to life the harrowing consequences of what could happen if we continue to surrender our liberty to the government for the sake of "safety and security."
Battaglia's graphic novel, House on Fire, brings this world to life in an even more vivid dimension through pictures, telling the story of a single day of a man living in this apocalyptic world that doesn't seem too distant from our own.
Imagine there is another global pandemic of a respiratory virus that is similar to COVID. The government implements COVID-like lockdowns and restrictions from their 2020 blueprint, but this time, the regulations are here to stay. After all, this pandemic isn't the only threat allegedly facing the American people. The future of our planet is at stake. On top of the pandemic regulations, our government restricts the types of food available for consumption, implements individual carbon quotas, mandates electric vehicles, eliminates gas-powered heating, cars, stoves, etc.
Of course, the pandemic and climate change policies require major government funding, so the President uses his emergency powers and executive orders to push through a multi-trillion-dollar proposal that secures the funding necessary to finance the "clean and safe transition." Yes, inflation will be an issue, but that is a small price to pay to secure our health and the future of our planet. Don't forget to include foreign aid for our warring allies in the multi-trillion-dollar packages as well.
Inflation is a small price to pay to secure the future of our planet.
Now fast forward 20 years of living under these all-too-familiar draconian policies. This is Battaglia's apocalyptic world where we meet our nameless main character, causing the reader to question whether our world could devolve into Battaglia's in such a short amount of time.
Battaglia's story begins with our character kissing his wife goodbye and leaving their country home on a one-day mission to the city in search of a cure for his wife's most recent bout of the illness that is, presumably, a result of the pandemic.
All of the themes that contribute to the apocalyptic nature of Battaglia's world are familiar to us, disturbingly so. Our character drives through country roads, passing by gas signs that list $20 per gallon prices. His radio reports on another invasion of Poland, while country fields transform into steeple-like towers of run-down factories, like old monuments to former industries of a time long past.
Our character reaches the city limit, a border-like security checkpoint where he is required to scan his identity card to enter the city, the likes of which we see in China today. Masks required. He then drives through empty streets of a once bustling city, save for several suspect people who seem to blend into the crevices of alleyways and corners, shrouded by their masks.
Finally, our character meets with his "contact," who gives him some type of canister, supposedly a remedy for his wife's ailment. He barters with several cuts of meat, a rarity more valuable than inflated cash in this "Green New World." From this point onward, things take a turn for our character—for the worst.
Many of these scenes bring to life themes that Glenn has been warning about for years, from the government's use of a pandemic to seize control over its people, the depleted dollar and record-high inflation resulting from government spending and foreign conflicts, the Great Reset's goals to eliminate meat, gas-powered products, and other "high emissions products." All of these will be done in the name of seemingly righteous goals: "health," "safety," "security," and the "future of our planet" come to mind. However, we won't realize our freedoms will be a faint memory of the past until it is too late.
All of these measures will be done in the name of seemingly "righteous" goals.
House on Fire's poignant ending leaves the reader with a terrifying yet vitally important question: are the issues plaguing our society latent within society itself, or do they stem from the troubles within our own souls? Does society mold the human soul, or is society, as Plato puts it, the human soul "writ large?"
Battaglia's short yet powerful graphic novel brings to life many of the themes that Glenn has been warning his listeners. It is sitting on his desk, and we hope it will sit on yours too. It gives the reader a glimpse into our society after years of decay and oppression, calling on the reader to halt its progression before it's too late.
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