It’s one of those games we still played even after all this time; where did we think Eastman was born?
There was a day when every city west of Berlin claimed him as their own but in the end it was probably London or across the water in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
You wouldn’t have picked him out at the start as being the type of creature he became. The story is often told of him being referred to as The Quiet Man, the gentle man.
He wasn’t a devout anything, never really went to church and rarely spoke of religion. To be honest, he wasn’t extreme about anything. Not at first.
He was born with that indefinable gift of people liking him. He magnetized them, flattered them, became their friend and then used them.
He spoke on television, on the web, wrote best-selling ebooks and even composed several successful music downloads. He was the champion; he was the peoples’ champion, he was their champion.
His ‘Deacons’, as he called his close followers, financed his rise. He was astute and he waited until the time was right. After the crash of the Eurozone and the 60% unemployment, he offered cheap food in Eastman Stores, all making a loss and all promoting his ideals. Cheap camps were setup in Spain and England and these were known as Eastman Vacs, where families could vacation for almost next to nothing.
This was when he was loved and this was when he made his move.
It was as quick as it was well thought out.
He didn’t attack the churches at first, not at first. On his daily web broadcast he maybe hinted at his objection to the church, its power and its money. Only later did he talk of the actual buildings being insane asylums – only later did he suggest that holding a faith was a mental illness.
Then the first one went, a Baptist Church in South London was razed to the ground. The Eastmen (as the disciples now insisted that you call them) blamed it on a race issue – wasn’t the church full of outsiders? But it didn’t stop there. Within two years, any form of worship in England was outlawed. This didn’t apply to the former UK countries of Ireland North and Scotland, they had gone their own way.
When Eastman finally claimed power, it was amongst the poor that lived in tented cities in the parks of England. They ate Eastman Food, watched Eastman Broadcasts, Eastman Movies and drank Eastman Gin (Orwell would have smirked at that last one).
Every June the 1st was Eastman Day and the Eastmen would hold parades in every corner of the country. It wasn’t an option to attend.
But what you might ask, became of the opposition? Or the devout Catholics/Muslims/Protestants/Jews and others? Those that insisted on worshiping were slung into the other type of Eastman camp and worked to death.
Those who spread any form of socialism or brotherly love were beheaded in the Eastman Squares at the centre of every city.
Eastman Money was offered to anyone who betrayed their friends and families, naming those who worshiped in secret. Normally those homes were set on fire with the occupants inside.
Somewhere in all the cynicism of the 21st century we stopped caring and as we stopped caring we fed the beast.
As I sit here, I think back to the greed that started all of this; the bankers, the debt, the crash of the Eurozone, the unemployment, the riots and the rise and rise of Eastman.
You may mention Hitler in the same breath and you’d be right.
And all of this?
Well these are my final thoughts as I know they’ll be coming for me soon.
You may ask what my crime was?
I was a writer.
I’ll be taken to the re-education showers shortly.
No one ever returns.
bobby stevenson 2016