Ariel Dorfman, Clarence and Ginni Thomas Finally Get Their Due

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For just a moment imagine Clarence Thomas — yes, Clarence T! — as the president of the United States. It’s a mad thought, right? Or is it? One thing is clear: the present Trumpian Supreme Court — and no, The Donald didn’t appoint Clarence Thomas, but he might as well have along with the three (in)justices he did put there — is taking ever more power from Congress. In decision after decision, it’s making itself into something like the true ruling body in America, even as recently it also managed to turn future presidents into, according to dissenting justice Sonia Sotomayor, a “king above the law.” In the process, it may also be sending the rest of us into a future environmental hell. As Justice Elena Kagan wrote in a striking recent dissent from a decision of the six right-wing justices to overturn what was known as the Chevron doctrine, long a cornerstone of federal regulation, and essentially put such regulation in their own hands, they are transforming that court into — this was her term — “the country’s administrative czar.” Yes, “czar.” And that word wasn’t, I suspect, chosen idly.

Clarence Thomas, in other words, is one of six (in)justices intent on transforming the Supreme Court into… well, the ultimate law of the land and, in a fashion, potentially the ruler of the land as well.

And if that isn’t the path to hell, tell me what is. Oh, and speaking of whatever comes after this life of ours, let TomDispatch regular Ariel Dorfman, author of the remarkable novel The Suicide Museum, take you into, if not hell, then an all-too-grim afterlife for one of those potential czars, Clarence Thomas, and his wife Ginni (famed for her urge to reject the results of election 2020, claiming “Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History”). Dorfman has some experience with the afterlife, having already sent Donald Trump to hell with the aid of famed Italian poet Dante Alighieri. This time, however, he’s asked for a hand from Shakespeare and, in particular, Lady Macbeth. But let me not keep you here any longer, not when you can travel with Clarence and Ginni into a world that normally would be beyond imagining. Tom

Judgment Day for America’s Worst Supreme Court Justice

Lady Macbeth Has Words for Clarence Thomas and His Wife Ginni from the Other Side of Death

At least I had the courage to do the deed myself. That counts for something here on the other side of death, where I wait for you, Clarence Thomas, and your sharp-toothed wife Ginni, and someday the others whose decrees and rulings from afar have aided and abetted the mayhem and the massacres. Cowards all of you, and boring and petty to boot, at such a safe distance from the volleys, the salvos, the gunfire. Oh, the names I have had to learn — Sandy Hook and Columbine and Uvalde and so many hundreds more and even more after that, while you were careful to stay at a safe distance from the children as they fell.

Not me, not me.

In his play about treachery and murder in medieval Scotland, Shakespeare made sure that I would never be able to shirk facing my own ambition and malevolence. He never thought to spare me, just as I did not spare the lives of others — or, in the end, my own life for that matter.

When I egged on my husband to kill the king, the kinsman we were hosting at our castle, I was the one who had to clean up afterwards, smearing the guards who slept by their liege so they would be blamed, I was the one who covered up the crime and made my man Macbeth supreme in our land.

Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?

And yes, the blood flowed onto me, too — out damned spot! Out, I say! — each gripping finger knowing that the red of that blood was staining more than the surface and the flesh, that it was staining what the soul would never forget. At least I owned the deed, the deaths, the dead. Who would have thought the old king had so much blood in him?

At least I was never petty or boring. And, of course, what’s done is done. I risked the haunting and the madness and the blotches that would never come out. Something dire in me must have known that I was risking damnation, too.

That counts in this place where I have been tasked with dealing, night after thick night — there is no day here, only night that never finds the light — without a glimmer to brighten our way, save for red. It is always dripping red for those like me, as it will be for you, Clarence Thomas, and you, too, Ginni, year after grisly year. Years here are no more than infinite stretches of redness in the dark of infinite night, trickling second by second from each of the smoking wounds we inflicted. I have been tasked here, I who was once a queen, with waiting for you and your wife to join me on this journey.

Ginni Thomas, Lobbyist for Donald Trump and Extreme Election Denier, Gets What’s Coming to Her

Oh, I know something about wives and accomplices, partners in bed and partners in crime. I know something, Ginni, about goading the man on, to bed, to bed, to bed. I know about denying reality — an election in your world, something different in mine — and calling for an insurrection. I know how a woman (like a man) can stop the access and passage to remorse, and the greed, greed, greed that never stops.

Clarence and Ginni, listen to what awaits you.

It starts with the stench.

That is how you will be greeted by each of those children cut down so early, so early.

There will, in due course, be women and men aplenty as well, shot down in a harsh crimson carnage in their homes and in shops, on spattered streets and on spattered lawns. There will be time enough for you to meet them, one by one by one.

But first the children, the corpses of the children. They will be there for you to smell when I open the portals of this afterlife for you — for you and, someday, the five others like you in their black (or do I now mean scarlet?) robes. The boys and girls have been waiting patiently, their limbs riddled with the bullets you allowed, the ones you celebrated, each child and all of them together forecasting your future henceforth. Hollowed-out eyes and amputated stumps, collapsed lungs and gouged lips. I know, I know, you will try to look away — as you did on Earth, Clarence, as you did, too, Ginni. You were such weaklings, unwilling to face what you had done, letting others bear the burden, the keen knife of your sanctimonious words, refusing to accept the wounds you made. This time, you will not be able to look away from what you have wrought. Do not think the immunity you granted to a high-ranking criminal, making him king, will extend to you.

Though what you should really fear is not the gore, but something smaller and more dangerously devouring, not that easily dismissed.

A bullet, just one bullet, that is enough to slice the thread of life.

Think, then, of the 98 bullets you allowed to be fired automatically in seven seconds, think of the bump stocks you made legal, think of the sound and the fury of those never-ending shots resonating in the toil and trouble of your mind.

Who Sows Bullets Reaps a Whirlwind of Death

You will be squeezed into each lethal projectile and then into a second, a third, a fourth, and on, and on, and on. You will be in the barrel and dart through the air. You will be the metal that severs the artery, punctures the heart, rips, and carves, and explodes, and cracks, dashes the brain like that of a newborn babe, over and over and over again. And then, from within that body as it twitches in its last moments, you will witness and experience the sudden death of a child never given the grace of being garlanded with goodbyes, and then… and then, yet another child, one more boy, one more girl, like babes strangled in the cradle. And then and then and then, you will be inside the grieving parents and sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, cousins and nephews, and inside those who were never born because the child who had done not the slightest harm, who would someday have been a father or a mother died too soon, way too soon. Yes, this is the endless sorrow you will inhabit from now on.

What you can no longer disavow, not in this place, not anymore is the life that girl or boy did not live, the one who wanted to plant trees, who wanted to dance, who dreamt of a world better than ours.

I know how you will feel because that is the sort of vision that drove me mad, that was what my hands forced me to see while I was still alive, the price I began to pay before I died. That is what broke my already broken heart, and that counts for something here.

I thought I could escape. I thought that, by turning the knife on myself, I could escape.

You will learn soon enough that no such escape is afforded us, not you, not me, to jump the life to come.

Not a trace of the milk of human kindness will be granted to those like you in this place where even lightning, thunder, and rain are clothed in red, where faces are torn to pieces that will drip on both of you in the bubbling cauldron of forever. No luxury trips this time around, Clarence, no weeks on a superyacht paid for by a corrupt billionaire, no immunity at all.

I can already hear you complaining, and you, too, Ginni. Of course, you will claim that you pulled no triggers, that the blood, spilled by others, had nothing to do with you, that guns don’t kill people, people do. Oh, such petty, boring platitudes.

Do not whine, Clarence. What’s done is done. What’s done cannot be undone. You are, in fact, lucky to have drawn me as your supervisor here in the halls of the hereafter.

Martin Luther King and Thurgood Marshall Join the Fray

You could have been assigned to Martin Luther King or Thurgood Marshall. There were others, so many others who had been damaged in such myriad ways by what you decreed, all of them so excited at the prospect of getting their hands (and more than their hands) on you, but it was those two, Thurgood and Martin, who petitioned the Supreme Law that rules this realm, asking to take charge of you when you crossed that river of justice — you who called yourself a Justice. They had plans for you. They had spent a rack of hours discussing each excruciating detail of what you deserved as a traitor to your kind. Even I shuddered when I listened to what they were concocting, those two men who had always shown such mercy while they were alive, who were forged in the winds of forgiveness. I dare not even mention what they wanted you to endure, you and your greedy Ginni, the doom they imagined for you.

So better you should stick with me, just as I am stuck with you, as we will be stuck with each other for all eternity. And do not think — not for a moment — that I am in any way fond of the thought of spending the eons ahead with you and your clawing spouse and the serpent under her tongue. And yet I refuse to be relieved of this task. This is my own punishment for my delinquencies, my horrors, my spots from hell — to devote every second from now on to you and Ginni, two cowards who did not themselves wield those guns from hell but let others do it for you, who did not taste the blood that would be shed, who feigned innocence with false hearts and false faces while wreaking havoc on so many people, including the voters of your land.

What Lies Ahead Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

So come to me.

Come to me and sleep no more.

They are waiting for you in this blanket of darkness, the lives unlived, the worlds never experienced. Come to us, Clarence and Ginni, here on this side of death. Step into this fog and filthy air where no water will clear us of our deeds, where all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten your hands or raze the written troubles of your souls.

This is what you will inhabit. This is your fate, and the fate of so many others like you on the other side of death, tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, to the last syllable of recorded time.

Something wicked this way comes.

Featured image: 2022 March For Our Lives 17 by Stephen Melkisethian is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Flickr

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