Little Boy is perhaps the most horrifically misguided mainstream movie since The Birth of a Nation, if only because when the Klan decided to make movies about their messiah complex and fuck everyone else, at least they didn’t have atomic weapons. Rebecca’s review last week will get you up to speed with everything wrong with the “little boy” (ha! get it!) whose faith was so powerful that God killed 200,000 people just to do him a solid.
But I think it’s important to turn to the rest of this special child’s life. Have you considered what would be the case if this was based on a true story? I don’t metaphorically mean Batman Moses, I mean that in a multitude of universes, this person did actually exist, and it’s important to document all the other wonderful miracles he performed over the course of his life.
Pepper Flynt Busbee was born in around 1936. Of course we all know how he glared at Hiroshima until it popped. What the film doesn’t show is that Nagasaki happened three days later after Kevin James’ character explained that he had heard the Japanese discriminated against obese mall cops. Thus, Fat Man.
His powers were only used on a small scale for several years after that. An earthquake here, a mysterious explosion there. Dozens of people disappearing from his hometown to go bury themselves alive in the corn field. Little things really.
Then in 1948 the Cleveland Indians defeated Little Boy’s favorite team, the Boston Braves, in the World Series. Cleveland would never win another World Series as he twisted space and time to ensure their infinite losing.
In 1950, age 14, Little Boy asked a local Japanese girl out on a date to the soda shop. It was his first attempt at love, and when she told him that she’d rather the world lit on fire than go on a date with the murderer of her people, he said that it could be arranged. The Korean War started the next day. Little Boy was never very good at geography.
Three years later, at age 17, Pepper, now in the late stages of angry adolescence was mocked by his Uncle Joe after losing at a game of checkers. Pepper tried to murder the old drunk with a mind bullet but instead killed Stalin. He never figured this connection out himself though, and assumed that his childish fantasies of mind control were something one grew out of.
In 1958 after waiting more than three hours to be seated at a Chinese restaurant in vain, a drunken Pepper stalks out of the restaurant and tells God that if he doesn’t get to eat Chinese food then the Chinese people shouldn’t get any food either. 75 million people starve to death over the next three years, until Pepper tries sushi for the first time on a business trip. “I’ve always loved the Chinese people,” he crowed and accidentally broke off the famine. As we said, not great with geography.
In 1962, Marilyn Monroe dies after failing to respond to Pepper’s sixty-seventh and final fan letter. The first sixty-six professed his undying love for her. The last admitted it had died and thus so did she.
A relatively happy period ensues, or at the very least, we cannot attribute any events with certainty to the man who became a bored insurance adjuster with a wife and two and a half kids. Though his last child was literally half of one, which has possibly been apocryphally attributed to his statement in the delivery room “we can’t afford another kid Margy, at most we can afford half of one”. Historical records are unclear on which half the child was.
At age 48 though, after being laid off from his job as the entire company was outsourced to India, it is clear that the 8000 dead from the Bhopal disaster can be laid entirely at Pepper’s conscience, since just across the street was the company that had laid him off. Sinking into despair and alcoholism, Pepper only roused his power once more during the eighties, when he psychically ensured the success of “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, rumored to be a systematic accounting of his atrocities. Whether that is true or not is uncertain, but we can be absolutely sure that Billy Joel’s career only happened because of the malicious hand of a dark god.
He doesn’t get up to much these days, holed up in a discount retirement home in Florida since 1996. Historians are relatively confident that he is responsible for Phantom Menace since his granddaughter is the only one in the entire country that enjoyed the film. There was 9/11 of course, after he learned that his son-in-law who worked in the World Trade Center had been cheating on his favorite daughter. And the financial crisis of 2008 of course, when his own retirement fund collapsed and he decided that the rest of the country would suffer with him. In the last two years, Pepper was diagnosed with an untreatable form of brain cancer and he has slowly churned through those last painful months or weeks. Every hospital within a fifty mile radius of his home collapsed into rubble, one by one, in the weeks after the diagnosis.
A reporter, at least the only one who returned intact, secured an interview with Pepper last year, asking only tentative and friendly questions of the old butcher. It was fluff mostly, cliches and pronouncements of happiness, but there was one moment of sincerity towards the end as the camera zoomed close, as the reporter asked how bad the pain was.
“Oh it will be over soon. Soon there will be no pain left in the world. I have faith in that.”
Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at www.burningviolin.com. You can email him here.