I’ve read alot of futuristic books and watched a lot of “science fiction” movies based in some disturbing future where everything and everyone is controlled by computers, everyone is “chipped” with tracking devices, and the robots are in charge. Some pretty creeped out stuff, isn’t it? So, why does no one seem to realize that all that futuristic, scary stuff is NOW?
I get up in the morning and read the headlines on my favorite news site and I am instantly transported into a bad deja-vu. I’ve seen this somewhere before. I feel as if somehow I never woke up and I am dreaming about a crazy movie I saw last week. Except that I AM awake and it’s TODAY, and this stuff is HAPPENING in real time.
I curse the still frozen water pipes, fantasizing what a nice hot shower would feel like and spend the morning drowning in paperwork like some frenzied secretary. I daydream about how it would have been done a hundred years ago. Back then the only thing I would be cursing is my water bucket and it only took ONE signature and a handshake to get something done.
OK, so, I drive down to town and try to get some things accomplished. But I find that no one can think without their computer telling them what to say. I am watched by the all-seeing eye from the time I arrive at the gas station until I leave Wally World, by a variety of surveillance cameras placed in strategic places all over town. I’ll probably go to hell eventually for not coming to complete stops at some of the stop signs…
I stand in line watching the people ahead of me, mired in the computerised red tape nightmare of credit cards, food stamp cards, gift cards and the like when the scanner refuses to operate correctly. It takes 10 minutes and two cashiers to figure out a dollar purchase.
And you can’t help but notice and reflect on the occasional, far-too-clean-cut-to-be-real, suited and tied business man. Does it ever occur to any of them that they stick out like sore thumbs in the crowds of “just plain folks”? Why does “business” require you to be so DIFFERENT? Is it some kind of statement? “I’m so far above you that I’m not even in your world” sort of thing? Do shaved heads, neckties and shiny loafers make people smarter? Because all I can see is that a “suit”, all squeeky clean, stiff and proper, makes folks like MOST of us feel a bit edgy. Wouldn’t it be easier to do business with people if you made them feel comfortable? Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable if the fellow you were dealing with seemed HUMAN?
So, I went from one business to another, groceries to postoffice and in between. And everything is just like in that creepy movie I saw somewhere, what was it called?
Who ARE all these people, the ones who truely seem like if they were to smile their faces would surely crack? Some of them are as personalityless as robots. Some of them seem to barely be able to understand the english language, unsuccessfully trying to awaken from their zomby like state of “secretaryhood” long enough to actually THINK about something asked. And some seem as if their entire existance revolves around making change and the ever emotionless “Have a nice day”.
I find it somehow insulting that the the greeter (royal keeper of the door and carts) at Wally World must actually be PAID to stand there and pretend she is SO glad to see me every time I walk thru the doors, as if I were a long lost friend. But if I passed her on the street, she wouldn’t even nod. It doesn’t matter tho, because nobody pays any attention anyhow. I’m stopped on the street by an acquaintance who pretends to be friendly and askes after my family, but as soon as I begin to answer, someone more interesting comes up and my answer goes into the wind, unheard. It’s the same everywhere. I find it a welcome relief to stumble upon someone who actually LISTENS to what is said and then responds accordingly. I actually know many people who I’ve never been able to have ANY kind of conversation with because they never hear ANYTHING anyone says, constantly talking over top of each other like chattering squirrels. What makes folks like that?
Well, I guess what I’m trying to get at is that for some reason folks just seem to be turning into robots. Is it something in the drinking water? The air? Is everyone somehow drugged or hypnotized by undetectable sound waves? Why is nearly everyone asleep? Do they ALL think they are dreaming and that one day they will wake up and somehow things will still be running smoothly? Or do they see no need to wake up at all? Well, I have some news for them. Things are happening RIGHT NOW, in THIS world, some of them not so nice. But folks just walk on by shaking their heads and saying to themselves, “those kind of things only happen to bad people, it’s their problem, not mine”. They’re too busy running home to watch the Young and Restless on TV to get involved.
We’re going straight down the path of our worst sifi nightmares and most are doing it with eyes firmly closed. The “night of the living dead” come true. Does working a steady job do that to people? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Think about slavery a minute. Statistics say that your “average” couple with the average number of kids and living the average all-American lifestyle will have to work until MAY of every year in order to simply pay their taxes. Their lives become nothing more than one continuous trip to and from work, living to work, spending 90% of their time doing and running for someone else. And no time for the kids, who must be raised by babysitters, teachers, and the TV. Most people are only one or two paychecks away from being homeless. Bills, car payments, mortgages, credit card payments, insurance, and if you’re lucky you get to eat.
Taxes. By the time a product gets into your hands, brought to you by Walmart, it has been taxed over and over again until the actual value is long ago lost. A head of lettuce; the lettuce farmer is taxed on his land, his seeds, his lettuce planting equipment. He pays income tax on anything he makes. The company that buys the head of lettuce pays sales tax on it too, plus tax on gas, oil, the truck it’s hauled in, the plates, license and all. Taxes coming and going for the employee who drives the truck. The lettuce makes it to the store, more tax in and out, until finally you get it home and eat it. And in the end you might pay a sewer bill and of course the taxes on your home… You see where I’m going with this. Taxes into infinity on everything imaginable. And they call this “freedom”.
Well, there have always been some particularly evil folks who don’t treat others very well, but aside from that, at least most of the good, hard working slaves back in the old days were assured of having food and a roof over their heads.
And then there is that weird stuff called “progress”. But think about it. If you could somehow MEASURE the red tape-paperwork legal hassle-rat race-pain in the ass-mandatory bullshit-you-have-to-do-just-to-stay-alive, and put it on paper where we could all actually SEE it charted, it would look like everyone was buried alive in a mountain of spaghetti and pretzels. What genius sits and thinks up all these ridiculous laws and regulations for our personal lives? What brainiac ordered all those “necessary” tons and mountains of paperwork on which your signature must appear at least three times per page, and your entire life history is mapped out for all to read? And WHO in their right mind ever invented things like “consolidation”?
I guess I must have missed something in school, because I always thought “progress” meant to move forward. But if this can be considered progress then I am afraid to see where exactly we are moving forward to. The movies and books will have to become even MORE outrageous, just to outpace reality. Perhaps they will make no sense at all, but it won’t matter because no one will be paying attention anyhow. They’ll all be asleep with their eyes open. Welcome to the future.