The city-state was run by private interests. The Governor was an executive of the conglomerate that ran essential social programs i.e., police, judiciary, health care, education, communications, water, sewer etc.. After being devalued to bankruptcy by a string of pathetic military adventures and irrational monetary speculation, constitutional government, and the consumer economy were replaced by Gov-com. Former campaign financiers, captains of industry and bureaucrats, who were out of work, or whose worthless products were no longer needed, were given positions in the new Gov-com. It was an alliance designed to bring stability to the wealthy, who were always searching for ways to maintain power. Schools were extremely important for the Gov-com to control. The new experiment in population management was very fragile and unpopular. Therefore, it was the highest Gov-com priority to educate “their” children that the new authority was not run by the same people who had engineered and profited by the economic collapse. Schools taught that the people in power were only temporarily in control to rebuild a “free” consumer society. Former record executives and software giants were eager to teach that unwilling consumers had caused all economic hardships not predatory lending, or worthless products, or War Without End (W.W.E.).  From grade schools, to technical schools, to dance academies, to farmer’s markets, the businesses that ran these services owned monopolies created by Gov-com. A revolving door between elected representatives and business had been legally enshrined to ensure that competition could not survive. The government was in charge of every socioeconomic transaction. The government liked control. Dance academies, music schools, nursing, language even religious schools, came under the onus of anti-competition laws. The butcher, the baker, the candle stick maker were equally expected to comply, as were the dancer, the musician and the photographer.
     The Reunion had been at the center of the preservation of sacred music and dance. Dancers and musicians often taught as a means of survival. Not that they themselves needed to survive, but it is one of few pleasures of a modern artist to hand down the traditional forms of their art, so it survives to inspire the next generation. This is where Dwnwrdspyrl’s activities ran afoul of the authorities. The dancers and musicians taught in a non-regulated environment. In addition to this, they taught an unofficial curriculum. There was not much that the Gov-com hated more than freestyle learning. They took great pains to ensure that all students were fed the same useless knowledge, and desired the same useless products, and supported the War Without End (W.W.E.). They were only interested in educating model consumers or purveyors of death. Public schools educated the former, military schools nurtured the latter. They all came together at the universities. Any deviation from this arrangement threatened stability, and was deemed unfair competition. Competition was not allowed to exist. It was considered treason.
     The authorities were at a loss as to how to shut down Dwnwrdspyrl, however, because the classes were provided for free and cloaked in oral tradition and theater. There was no monetary transaction; no bill of sale or tuition, no schedule of payments, no cancelled cheques. There were no books, and there was no paper trail to be followed, and no copyrights to be protected. It was impossible to prove that the Education monopoly was being threatened when the service was provided for free. Michelle defended Dwnwrdspyrl successfully in several embarrassing public “trials”.  Essentially the school, such as it was, was protected by the same loophole that allowed Sunday school to exist. It didn’t charge admission. You had to have an invitation.
     The club had achieved a status of hated tolerance after the “trials”. The Gov-com schools began teaching that art and music were pathetic wastes of time, the hollow pursuit of the loser. Teachers instructed that individuality could only be expressed through consumer choices, any other expression was anti-competitive and weakened society and industry. Victory in W.W.E. could only joyfully be attained through consumer spending. A few mad drummers were not considered a threat as long as their message of hope was drowned out by advertising slogans and popular music. A balance was maintained in this way for several years. Dwnwrdspyrl  was largely ignored as a threat during this brief age of tolerance. The militias and freaks were happy fighting each other on common ground, and only became interested in the club when it showed signs of success, and there were few of those. Megan was the force that changed all the equations. As a focal point in the band, Megan  brought the ghost  of individuality to life in a horrible way. She was strong, independent and intelligent. Her greatest insult to Gov-com was she was also running for office. While public schools taught beauty was something to be purchased at the mall, Megan was proof that beauty came from within and was expressed through art. She wore no makeup☣, no real jewelry, no tiny black party dresses, no corporate logos and no...                          
                                                                         power pumps.
                                                                                                                           ☣ except stage make-up
Foot note: Model (Ooh La La) is Statuary
         Ice Princesa - Far East Durham, NC. Oct. 2008