Welcome to the good life, where we like the girls who ain’t on TV ‘cuz they got more ass than the models.
– Kanye West
The Wall Screen shows a close-up of a proud soldier in his camo jacket. His white head is freshly shaven and almost blindingly bright. He’s grasping something metallic-looking. The camera pulls back, and we see that it’s a chain. It loops and zig-zags its way through the handcuffs of more than a dozen brown-skinned Mexicans who shuffle along pathetically in their ankle cuffs. They are all humming the tune to “Panda Panda Panda Panda” by Deerhoof. I admire their taste in music even if they are all drug kingpins. Bold blue letters at the bottom of the screen inform the viewer that “Top Cartel Leadership Captured Saturday,” and in a tiny box at the top corner of the screen, President George Washington IV’s disembodied head tells us how very proud we should be of our law enforcement.
Isabel shakes her head. “This is very awful,” she says. “They are just trying to provide for their families.”
We’re sitting around the grey, vinyl conference table in the teacher’s lounge. This is the morning break where we all come here and relax for fifteen minutes while the robotic assistants watch the kids. If this were the 1960s back when I started teaching, everyone in this lounge would be chatting and waving their cigarettes at each other. The smoky air would be full of the sweet scents of tobacco and tar. It’s the 2030s though, and the air is full of the smell of antiseptic and mint chewing gum.