Thursday, March 20, 2014

Futurism Part II: The Electric Boogalooening

 I wish I could make sweeping predictions about a golden age to come.  Sadly, I don't see it happening without more than a few growing pains.  The 22nd century will look back at us and be astonished by our greed, our pollution, our deliberate blindness to the problems we thoughtlessly create. 

The world is changing in unexpected ways and the country today, is not the country we were led to believe we'd have when adults first told us about the future.  But to look at the world today with it's almost unimaginable changes from the dark days of the cold war, and conclude that it's terrible and getting worse, is willful ignorance.

Which is not to say that we don't face serious problems, of course we do, mostly related to climate change and resources depletion, but that's never what these reactionaries are upset about.  Civil rights, gay marriage, government regulation, imaginary gun control, the black dude in the white house and Obamacare, and a laundry list more of resentments that add up to they don't get to win just by showing up anymore.  I'm not even sure there is a way to wake them up and have them see the world without the blinders of prejudice and resentment.

Sometimes it takes a shock to the system, to wake us up and change our lives.  Some people see the shock and double down.  My aunt lost her leg to diabetes, and rather than take that crystal clear warning sign to heart and begin to exercise and diet and monitor her blood sugar, she didn't change a thing because "doctors don't know anything". She died two years later when gangrene took her other leg.  So some of us aren't going to make it to the other side of our current energy and food and water crisis.  Some people will sit in coastal houses even when the storm surge rolls in.  Some will use their last drop of water to irrigate their desert lawns.  Many more will survive because their loved ones and neighbors have dragged them kicking and screaming into a future where recycling and renewable energy are a way of life instead of quaint environmentalist hobbies.

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