Culture War
lighten up.”
    “ I’ll pass on your advice,”
said the spider commander.
    “ My point is, the Emperor
can’t have it both ways,” explained Jorge, immediately regretting
his comment but pressing on. “The Emperor can’t rule a modern,
prosperous, well-educated Galactic Empire and expect to be able to
control everything in our personal lives. The galaxy is too big.
It’s like trying to control content on the database. It can’t be
done and would be foolish to try.”
    “ I am just concentrating on
my duties and responsibilities here in New Gobi,” said the spider
commander. “The Americans are invading us as sure as if Legion
tanks with Swooshstikas painted on the sides were crossing the MDL
and rumbling down our boulevards.”
    “ We are a long way from
Arthropoda and the Crown,” said Jorge. “On New Colorado, we need to
find our own solutions to Americanization.”
    “ I hope you’re not
suggesting independence,” said the spider commander. “Treason and
disobedience to the Emperor are not options.”
    “ I am not a radical or a
traitor,” replied Jorge. “American ideas about government being by
the people and for the people is just a pipe dream as far as I am
concerned. I just want to be allowed to do business.”
    “ You have made some valid
points,” said the spider commander. “Do not think I am not
listening to you.”
    “ Before we divided New
Colorado with the human pestilence and opened up trade with them,
life here was incredibly boring,” said Jorge. “Actually, life
sucked. We ate green nutrient formula and goo from tubes. There
were no restaurants worth eating at. There was no football,
baseball, or basketball anywhere. There were no casino hotel
resorts. We had no film industry, movies, or TV. All I ever did was
work all day, fight with my wives all night, and drink hard desert
beer. Now I have so many choices. There is no going back. I could
not live without my Columbian mountain-grown coffee to help me
jump-start my busy day. Could you?”
    “ I agree,” said the spider
commander. “Starbucks rules, and I need my latte in the morning,
too. I hope those rumors about nationalizing the coffee industry
are false. Coffee grown on Arthropoda tastes like
    “ That is my point exactly,”
said Jorge. “We need to take the best of what the Americans can
    “ I can accept that there
must be some change to our culture resulting from interacting with
the Americans,” said the spider commander. “But, we must still be
diligent to not become as decadent. Otherwise, the human pestilence
will just take over and rule.”
    “ All I want is to exploit
the many business opportunities caused by a dearth of entertainment
in New Gobi,” explained Jorge. “I am just a small business owner
trying to start an Arthropodan business for Arthropodan customers,
right here at home inside the Arthropodan Empire. Roller-skating is
good, wholesome, family fun. How is that American or
    “ What about this Roller
Derby league you proposed?” asked the spider commander. “It sounds
unsafe and violent.”
    “ Roller Derby is just a
sporting contest involving skating teams racing around a track,”
replied Jorge. “It’s fun and a real kick to watch, especially the
female skaters. And I can give you inside information on which team
to bet on.”
    “ Okay,” said the spider
commander. “I will issue you a business license for your skating
arena. Good luck.”
    * * * * *
    “ I recognize this creature
from American cinema,” commented the spider military intelligence
officer. “American skateboard champion Ronald Reagan rode these
beasts often in his movies. It’s a horse.”
    “ Is it dangerous?” asked
the spider commander. “It seems docile enough. It appears to be a
    “ It’s extremely dangerous,”
said the military intelligence officer. “See those vicious hooves?
That horse could kill any of us with just one kick. But it can

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