Topics in Early 21st Century Global Studies
In 2011, there were towns in Russia
where stores were out of matches, candles,
kerosene People were preparing for darkness.
Prisoners in Colony No. 10 were standing
in formation when somebody thought
the earth yawned and even the guards
began to jabber like baboons,
so they brought in the village priest to say
yes, the world was going to end,
but not that way,
not because of some planetary
alignment a heathen tribe predicted
a thousand years ago,
but because of anarchy and queers,
The world would end soon, the Father said,
but not this soon, not now, not in December, he had it
on good authority from the Minister
of Emergency Situations.
In Moscow, Maria the journalist said the hysteria
was the government’s fault. After all,
didn’t it charge Pussy Riot with blasphemy, violating
fourth century writings of Orthodox clerics?
Two years later, July. The Monastery of Caves in Ukraine.
Candles burned near the holy cross on which
was crucified the Apostle Andrew
The Patriarchs were meeting to celebrate
the one thousand and twenty-fifth anniversary
of Prince Vladimir of Kiev’s decision to convert.
Special guest Putin said, “We are all
spiritual heirs of his conversion.
Communism is just a distillation
of principles shared by nearly all
the world’s religions!
Ukraine should look away
from the European Union that loves gays.”
In turn the Patriarch intoned
“Same sex marriage is not a sign
of the apocalypse! It is the Apocalypse!
Surely a path to destruction
worse than the terrors of Stalin.
But God will unite under one Faith
Holy Rus: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus.”
Outside the Holy-of-Holies,
women from Femen took off their tops.
Security beat them. They beat photographers too.
In America, Snowden was charged with violating
the Espionage Act of 1917, the law
Eugene Debs was arrested for breaking
when he urged men to resist going to war and got
sentenced to ten years in prison, did time,
got an early release, died.
World War One
became World War Two, and then the Forever War
Snowden left for Russia.
There was a Great Concord
between Catholics and Evangelicals
the rich and disenfranchised
the comfortably secure and the uninsured
They all agreed their problems came from government.
that Climate Change was a secular media lie
that lactating nipples should be concealed
and women shouldn’t talk about their pussies
A cave tour guide in a national park in the Missouri Ozarks
lit no candles but told her group
that this part of the Earth was ancient
that it might even be
thousands of years old.
That’s all we have time for today, class.
Don’t ask me what it means.
History is just what happened.