The Executioner’s Song
Norman Mailer . . . . . .
When it happened, Gary never raised a finger. Didn’t quiver at all. His left hand never moved, and then, after he was shot, his head went forward, but the strap held his head up, and then his right hand slowly rose in the air and slowly went down, as if to say, “That did it, gentlemen.” Schiller thought the movement was as delicate as the fingers of a pianist raising his hand before he puts it down on the keys.
Guns everywhere, the whole country is a free-fire zone, complicit killers in the Senate and complicit killers in the House, all power and glory to the brave guardians of the Second Amendment, born of racism and baptized in blood. But remain calm, everything is under control, our alabaster capital city is still gleaming, it’s undimmed by human tears, just elect more Democrats and all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
The new Democrats will walk the last mile to the wall, just like the old ones did, they’ll wear the hood, just like the old ones did, and when the corporate firing squad does what it always does, they’ll never raise a finger, they won’t quiver at all. And their right hand will slowly rise in the air, and slowly go down again, to reassure the trigger-pullers, “That did it, gentlemen.”
Our two-party system works flawlessly, doesn’t it? Which part of it do you like best? Elections are my favorite part, they’re so crucial and dramatic, you just never know how they’re going to turn out. Sometimes the executioners win, and sometimes the dead-men-walking win.
It’s hard being an activist when most Americans are like the women in The Executioner’s Song . . .
They are surprised by very little. They do not on the whole believe that events can be influenced. A kind of desolate wind seems to blow through the lives of all these women who have dealings with Gary Gilmore, from the April night when he lands in town with his black plastic penitentiary shoes until the day in January when he is just ash blowing over Provo. The wind seems to blow away memory, balance. The sensation of falling is constant.
A desolate wind is blowing across America, and you don’t need a weatherman to know which way it’s blowing. If I had a Medal of Freedom I’d give it back. If we had a government I’d have someone to call about this shit. If I could write a real diary I’d write one. I wish the politicians and the judges and the generals and the journalists would all just shut the hell up, they don’t know what they’re talking about anyway.
Just shut up. Even if just for one day. The Earth itself would be grateful for it and so would I. We should get a petition going, seven billion people would sign it.
We don’t need two parties, we don’t need three branches of government, we don’t need four more years of Obama or anyone else, we don’t need five trillion dollars worth of weapons or six thousand more years of slaughter, we need One Love, One Heart, One World . . .