When it was announced that Obama’s Net Neutrality restrictions had been repealed, I quietly shut down my computer, kissed my dog on the head, and with tears in my eyes, waited for the end.
I had heard that Net Neutrality was the one thing holding it all together. I’m not exactly sure what it did, but what I did know was that people I trusted thought it was bad, as well as strangers on Twitter. The day of the vote, the internet was aflame with warnings, and calls for mass resistance.
I and my fellow internet warriors tried everything. We tried tweeting out warnings, calling people who didn’t care or wanted Net Neutrality gone “stupid” and “ignorant,” and on Reddit we even photoshopped FCC Chairman Ajit Pai into a gay pornographic scenario where all the phalluses had the names of internet service provider companies written on them. But nothing worked, not even the gay porn thing.
On Thursday, December 14th 2017, a day that will live in infamy, the FCC lead Net Neutrality up to the chopping block, and in one vote, swept its sweet head from its body. Our body.
And now we are lost. Those damn service providers BLEW IT UP! YOU MANIACS! GOD DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!
I’m not sure how much time passed by. Was it five minutes? Ten? I’m not sure. Time kind of slows when you’re waiting for the apocalypse to rain its Republican driven fury upon you. But it was then that I remembered that I worked from home. My apartment complex would be relatively empty during work hours. The devastation happening in the city would no doubt take longer to reach me.
For now, I was safe. I rose up off the floor, a determination rising with me. The determination to live. I had seen Home Alone enough times to prepare home defenses. My ornaments now lay shattered below the window sills, and my clothing iron is now hung in preparation to fall on someone’s head should they pull on a string for no reason.
I only have six bottles of purified water left. The tap miraculously still works, but I can’t drink that. That’s gross. I’ll have to Bear Grylls it soon.
I’ve just finished my last slice of leftover pizza. I would order more, but no doubt restaurants and grocery stores have already been raided, their store owners dead or dying. Earlier today, I saw the photos of the Wawa in DC packed to the brim with panicked survivors to be.
Holy shit, this is the line inside DC’s first Wawa pic.twitter.com/eGDlsOUj58
— Jessica Sidman (@jsidman) December 14, 2017
I’d order food off of Amazon, but I was told that once Net Neutrality passes, I won’t be able to access websites like it from here on. I’m not going to suffer the heartbreak of devastated hope by trying.
But I refuse to panic. I figured if necessary I would grow my own food. I saw Matt Damon do it in The Martian using nothing but human feces and moisture. I will do the same. I can use the neglected russet potatoes in my pantry and the ear of corn from my Applebees leftovers to begin my indoor poop garden. And like Elizabeth Warren, I will persist.
I don’t know how long it’s been. I usually go by the clock on my laptop or phone, but the only way I can tell time now is by the position of the sun, and the even more useless blinking “12:00” on my microwave.
Despite my resolve, I’m feeling something unsettling sink in. An itch I can’t scratch. I haven’t called anyone a name on Twitter now for too long. Haven’t been able to update my Facebook. I have no idea what Greg is eating on Instagram. I haven’t even been able to see the breasts of a strange woman in hours. Or has it been days? I don’t know anymore. I’ve forgotten what happiness feels like.
I’d grab my phone to check, but without Net Neutrality there’s no guarantee that the phone won’t explode in my hand the moment I try to use it. It’s a world of carefully calculated risks now, and I won’t take that one.
Despite my will to live, I don’t know how long I will last. It’s a race now to see what will get me first. Will it be the hunger? The thirst? The roving bands of raiders who pillage and rape? Or will it be me? Will I be the one to take my life, unable to live in this post-internet, post civilization world? A world where things now have to happen outside my door, in the wild where I must interact with untrustworthy people face to face. Where there are no algorithms to stop word violence.
I am being stunning and brave, but I am afraid. With Time Warner cutting off my access to YouTube to show me how to do things, and AT&T won’t let me on Pinterest to learn how to make a cute dish of chicken marsala that is both healthy and delicious. I’m not sure I will make it!
But will any of us? Can any of us make it without YouTube?
God help us all.