by Paul Cudenec

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The Death Machine is an enormous and ever-expanding apparatus which today covers vast swathes of the surface of the Earth.

Its task is to suck in everything that it finds – mineral, vegetable, animal and human – and reduce it all into a lifeless grey toxic sludge.

Rumour has it that it also produces tiny quantities of a rich, powerful golden fluid, a honey-heroin, which none of us here have ever seen, let alone tasted.

It is said that this is piped directly into the veins of the Death Machine’s owners, soul-sour vampires who creep in cold caverns deep below the sunlit surface of our world.

The aim of the Death Machine is to destroy and pollute more and more forests, hills, valleys, plains, rivers, lakes and seas, to murder more and more birds, fish, animals and human beings.

Its aim is to grow ever bigger and bigger, to boast even more rows of steel teeth and concrete claws, to belch out even greater clouds of suffocating poisonous smoke and waves of deadly radiation, to find ingenious new ways of torturing Mother Earth.

This relentless, hateful and frenzied assault on all that is living is what the Death Machine likes to call Progress.

Periodically, the Death Machine starts to stall. The incoming flow of fresh biomass is not fast enough to maintain its murderous momentum. The sustainability of its system, its goals for self-development, are at risk.

It needs a “crisis” to kick-start it back into full-throttle destruction and, lo-and-behold, something is conjured up. Emergency measures are called for and so the Death Machine is reset and cranked up to a deafening 11.

War. Terror. Panic. Fear. Piles of bodies. Wailing misery. Lost love and shattered lives. The great dark cogs of History are turning and the Death Machine is doing just fine.

Sometimes the Death Machine paints itself in the colours of a national flag, or in revolutionary red. Today it might prefer to appear in bright green or in the rainbow colours of global inclusivity.

Make no mistake, each and every one of us will be included and impacted in the jaws of its all-consuming greed.

Good citizens make sure they only ever see whatever Hollywood stage scenery the Death Machine is currently hiding behind. They know that a commitment to democracy means remaining wilfully blind to the reality behind the comforting facades.

The only problem they are prepared to recognise is one concerning overheating.

They do not accept that this problem was caused and reported by the Death Machine itself, whose very existence they deny, and they enthusiastically adopt all the “solutions” it proposes.

But its #MachinePositive New Normal Deal for Cute Furry Animals and Eternal Environmental Bliss turns out to involve further extensions to its own toxic structures, designed to make it nastier than ever.

Build back the Death Machine! Bigger and better!

Good citizens not only refuse to acknowledge the existence of the Death Machine, but become very angry with anyone who insists that it is real and dangerous.

“These extremists are delusional deniers of the marvels of modernity!”, they splutter into the breath-stifling masks the Death Machine has made them wear. “They want to spoil it for everyone, by denying us our little conveniences and shattering our cherished illusion that all is basically well in the world”.

The others, the clear-sighted rebels, understand the role of the Death Machine and know that there is no way that it can ever be made nicer or fairer, no way that it can ever be made to perform any other task than the one it was designed to carry out.

They see that what they are up against is a machine and that there is no point in trying to debate with a machine or in appealing to its conscience.

They know, with heavy hearts, that if it is allowed to carry on, it will end up killing everything and everyone.

And so they have concluded that, for the sake of life itself, the Death Machine must first be exposed for what it is and then destroyed.