The Fall: How One Dress Ended The World (An Excerpt)

“White and gold, blue and black… did it really matter? We may see the world differently, but if you cut us, don’t we all still bleed red?”

Professor Ibrahim Sarkeesian, Former History Professor:

“I remember it well. February 26th, 2015. The day the barriers fell. It started out as a bit of a farce, really. Many don’t remember that. It all began on Tumblr – that was a sort of… social media platform frequented by many youth – when a user named Caitlin McNeill posted a photo of a dress. It all began with a simple question: guys please help me – is this dress white and gold, or blue and black?‘ After that, it exploded. Everyone had an opinion. I mean, it was kind of mind-blowing… I myself saw black and blue, and yet 75% of people reported seeing the dress as white and gold. Even science couldn’t come up with a bulletproof explanation. Yet we all thought it would blow over. We’d all go to sleep and the dress would be forgotten come morning. We were so wrong.”

Dr. Raymond Clarkson, Psychologist:

“The effect was… uncanny. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen. Blue and black or white and gold? Even after the actual dress was hunted down and proven to be black and blue, the debate raged on. The scientific explanation wasn’t enough. The visual proof wasn’t enough. 3 out of 4 people reportedly saw that dress as white and gold. I myself saw the dress as white and gold. The 75% wouldn’t back down. After weeks of debate, we realized that this was about more than just a photograph of a dress, it was about perception. People began to go crazy. They didn’t trust themselves. They didn’t trust their own eyes. I mean, it’s no wonder things became violent.”

Chuck Hogan, Former United States Secretary of Defense:

“To this day, I still don’t know how things escalated so fast. It started out so innocent. We didn’t bother paying attention to the divide until it was too late. Within a month, violence had broken out in the streets of America. Of course America fell first, goddamned second amendment. What were we supposed to do, just open fire on our own citizens? We didn’t have enough soldiers. There weren’t enough officers. Not after the exodus. Let it never be said that words aren’t powerful. Once the blueblackers started referring to the other 75% as “The Wrong”, well… there was never anything we could do to maintain control. Canada fell a month later. By the end of 2015, the world, as we knew it, was over.

Caitlin McNeill, Former Governess of the Wasteland:

“Sometimes I forget what the damn thing even looked like. I think it was destroyed in the purge. Some of “The Blind” found it when the White House was ransacked. I assume they burnt it. I never actually asked. Once America fell, it didn’t seem significant anymore. Things slowed down after that. The President was dead. The “Right” fell into anarchy. The fighting was over, but things could never go back to normal. Those who had been ostracized, beaten up, lied to… they could never accept the “Right”. Not after everything they did. We’d lost too much; suffered for too long. Most of the “Right” went into hiding. I’m sure the less stubborn ones were able to re-integrate back into what was left of society. Many lied, told us that they saw white and gold when in fact they never did. At some point it just stopped mattering. The dress was gone and the internet was gone, along with the belief that, deep down, we were all really the same. Now we know better. Now we know that some differences are just insurmountable. Looking back on it all… I don’t regret posting the photo. I just wish… I wish that we had found a better way of dealing with our differences. A way to avoid all this death.”

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