1. Slighted by a stranger’s greater insight, the ideal citizen attacks those who question the nature of a power they do not themselves understand. These retaliations serve our function in two ways: servility, leading to hostility. Enduringly oppressed, the ideal citizen lashes out in ignorance at rational, anti-national opposition. We hear no call to amend this type of behaviour.
2. The ideal citizen informs on lawbreakers in order to show obeisance to power and to settle scores. The act of Revenge, to Sir Frances Bacon a kind of wild justice, is a necessary recourse for every member of the classes below ours. It is our duty to make revenge widely accessible through diverse media, to encourage minor acts of treachery that incite extrajudicial mayhem and subsequent mass incarceration. We hear no call to amend this type of behaviour.
3. Though wars, civil or extra-territorial, are temporarily disruptive to the economy, when we decide to re-establish peace, bankers are brought upstairs with promising figures for infrastructural growth. Reparations pass through politicians, architects, engineers and resource managers who renew the status quo until such time as planned chaos comes again. Men and women will build in the face of insurgency and permitted radicalisation. The ideal citizen will die for their country during war and peace in preparation for war. We hear no call to amend this type of behaviour.
4. A word about our habitat. Skyscrapers laid sideways, foundation to penthouse, circle Earth at the height of altostratus clouds; it’s very comfortable here. Access to colleagues is hologrammatic, our beds made from electrostatic-impulses with pillows that beat into our ears the rhythms of the heart beamed in from hardworking families below to whom we are just another polluted day when the sky is blocked and hope lifts its chin to the fist. The ideal citizen’s heart must beat with vigour at all times. We hear no call to amend this type of behaviour.
5. It has taken no small amount of effort to complete our ring of protected steel with help from friends whom we own, centuries of pioneering ladder climbing, the psychologically-damaged-through-the-ages pushing out to the stars from where the view down – particularly today – is never the same as the insect colonies of the planet rise accumulating and distributing at will, in every known sense free. We hear no call to amend this type of behaviour.
6. The ideal citizen could be more challenging, we agree, than doggedly aspiring to mediated greatness, visible throughout life at all points up to and including the end of the ladder, where, shrinking, ashen, restrained by medicine, they peer through a hole in the clouds to request with their dying breath the whereabouts of their soul. We hear no call to amend this type of behaviour.
Daniel Roy Connelly was the winner of the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival Prize, a finalist in the 2015 Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Prize, and winner of the 2015 Cuirt New Writing Prize for Poetry. A former British diplomat and Ivy League salutatorian, he holds a PhD from the University of Saint Andrews on the colour of Othello’s skin. Published widely, he appears in the current editions of The Moth, Acumen, and Critical Survey. He is an actor, theatre director, and professor of creative writing, English, and theatre at John Cabot University and The American University of Rome. Read more of his work at www.danielroyconnelly.com