I came across this article and found it fascinating how and when the United States has imposed martial law on its citizens. I am always mindful that we have a state with the following flag:
Thus, as a societal norm we do not do well under martial law. By reading the article, it appears the last time a US president called for martial law was after the bombing of pearl harbor. For those who proclaim this the darkest hour of our country, it should be remembered we once locked up many Japanese-Americans in concentration camps. For you younger folks, as the name suggests, these are the opposite of social distancing camps. And quite a tragedy.
Other than wartime, it seems America has reserved martial law for gold rushes, issues with Mormons, union strikes, especially with coal workers, massive natural disasters (San Fran earthquake or the Chicago fire), and in Russell County, AL to shut down brothels and gambling.
That's right... Alabama Governor Gordon Persons on July 22, 1954 (till the following January) imposed martial law to shut down a city boasting of gambling, booze, and brothels. Further, politicians were apparently so corrupt they could purchase citizen's votes on the street for $10.
It must have worked, because Business Week named the city in 2007 the nation's #1 best affordable suburb to raise a family.
But if you desire to relive the glory days of Alabama's "sin city" there is a film: The Phenix City Story
Like all movies, it has come up under scrutiny for possibly not being 100% accurate.
That led me to the obvious conclusion regarding an article on martial law in America: What will 2020 look like in film?
This is an important question, as less and less Americans read. Perhaps we will put out "based on true events"
Perhaps we our grandchildren will remember the spring of 2020 as the year some guy bounced watermelons on a trampoline to survive the pandemic, or a stellar real life account of the kid who played through all the Call of Duty titles to ward off boredom. Or maybe, a riveting tale of how every child at home fought for their own education.
Or maybe, it will show how alcohol consumption has increased, prediction of divorces to increase, and politicians sent us checks in the mail? It is hard to say.
Perhaps the next generation's Mel Gibson will paint his face blue with a shaggy haircut to stand out in his yard and yell, "FREEDOM!" Or maybe our children's children will see the movie version made by Universal Studios and just assume we had wizards and dragons. And The Rock. And that of course, is why we survived. But now I ramble...
I'm hopeful, we will remember the first responders , hospital staff, and essential personnel who kept us going. But I could just as easy see my grandchildren watching a Harold and Kumar rendition of the pandemic where White Castle closes and the two go on a multi-state expedition. The trip would, of course, end in Colorado where marijuana is legal... and where martial law is probably the most implemented historically.
Whatever the case, I have always loved the opening to the film The Big Year (Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Steve Martin):
"This is a true story."
"Only the facts have been changed."
So live your best life in quarantine. Who knows, your story may one day be played by Lindsey Lohan or Johnny Depp.