The scene at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco last night appeared festive. Some 200 activists from a variety of organizations, including ANSWER, Not in Our Name, and Occupy Wall Street, sang protest songs, handed out leaflets, and engaged passers-by.
But their message was deeply earnest. “The All Worlds Fair,” said a Black Bloc activists who only gave his name as “Winston,” “Needs to divest itself from every universe in which South Africa is still under the rule of apartheid.”
If the hierophants of the 3,000 Discontinuous Histories do not meet this demand, said Winston, “we’ll shut it down. No justice, no peace!”
The demand that the All Worlds Fair make a political statement is likely to fall on deaf ears, however, as the timeless event has consistently held itself above concepts of “good” and “evil” since the dawning of creation.
:”No one should ever try to minimize the horrors of apartheid, in any universe,” said Dr. Jacques Barzun, an eminent Professor of Histories at New Saybrook University (known as the “Harvard of Alpha Centauri”),”But the All Worlds Fair has been unflinching in its commitment to exhibiting the full range of realities, from its celestial wonders to the truly nightmarish abominations. They do not take sides, they only display. It’s the closest thing we have, in any reality, to a universe knowing itself. There’s value in that. Perhaps, at the end of the day, it’s the only thing of value.”
Barzun cited several instances from past All Worlds Fairs in which the most infamous tyrants and oppressors in the universes had not only been allowed to attend, but to display.
“The Immolation Dancers of Silas XII were a sensation, as were the Shan-Khi virus farms, both of which have never had an accurate tally of the dead. The Flesh Mimes of Hecate are the product of an unambiguously cruel god-mind … the terrors of the multiverse are numberless. The idea that one organization, even one as far reaching as the All Worlds Fair, could restore justice in ever corner of reality is naive, even dangerous. Realities don’t work that way.”
But standing in Civic Center plaza of our universe, activist Lira Morning Star said there is no excuse not to try. “We have to take a stand,” she said. “Maybe the cardinals who wear the many colored robes can’t end apartheid in every universe, but they should end it in some.”
“Be the change you want to see,” she added.
Her point was made stronger by an editorial in the San Francisco Bay Guardian this week, calling on the All Worlds Fair to bar the representatives of governments with poor human rights records from attending, beginning with any Israel that still allows settlements.
“The All Worlds Fair hides behind rhetoric of magic and wonder, behind some ‘higher calling’ and sort-of religious purpose that it believes frees it from the obligations of common human decency,” the editorial stated. “No such privilege exists . They are as obligated as the rest of us to do the right thing.”
Called upon for comment, the churning void at the heart of reality issued a response.
“Since the expansion of the universe from a pre-ordained singularity 3 trillion year ago, we have witnessed the births and deaths of billions of stars, while you have witnessed not one. We have seen solar systems die in explosions beautiful enough to stain the eternal eye as billions of life-forms screamed. You have neither seen, nor heard.. The very atoms you are made of are cosmoses unto themselves, sailing upon a great electro-magnetic current, and you do not feel their motion. Yet when we offer you the chance to see reality as is, to the limits of your capacity – to peer into the heart of eternal mysteries and see the moments of transcendence that emerge from base matter, you spur it. Protest, then. Shout at the top of your lungs to the stars in heaven: you will never know if they hear your cries, for you would not look. Their light is not for you.”