April 05, 2018

Perspectives


For perhaps the millionth time since 2003, I am strongly tempted to delete this blog. I won't, of course, but the temptation is very strong.

I was born into a world obsessed with dystopian futures because everyone from the smallest child to the oldest senior citizen knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that their life could be vaporized at any moment, without warning, and there was nothing they could do about it. Living during the Cold War was living on borrowed time. We all knew it. We each responded to it differently. Denial was commonplace, and it is merely luck that their perspective won out. Pessimism was also common and revealed itself through drug use, heavy drinking, and an addiction to life on the edge. If you know you will die in the morning there is no reason to hold back from doing whatever you want to do.

A few of us looked death in the face, then threw an arm around her shoulders and invited her in for family dinner. We embraced the idea and went with it. We told people we loved them. We ate that second piece of pie. We took days off from work whenever we felt like it. We stopped and smelled the flowers along the path. Living in the company of death become completely natural.

But this mess we are in the midst of now. I have never seen anything like this. Hatred is everywhere. Greed is normal while generosity is considered insane. There are only two classes of economic achievement: superstar and abysmal failure. Not only are robots running restaurants and hotels, they will soon be driving taxis, trucks, and trains! We stand on the verge of discovering the power of immortality, but heroin overdoses are killing more people than traffic accidents and gang wars combined. Some American cities (Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, etc.) are more dangerous than war zones. Privacy is non-existent. Social media companies like Facebook and Google not only monitor our online lives 24/7, they sell the data to major advertising firms. Google, Amazon, and Facebook all want to put a speaker in our house manned by an A.I. to turn on and off our lights, find television shows we like, and give the advertisers direct access to our bedrooms.

I have published three books and created 19 tee shirt designs. Breaking into the global market is easier than it has ever been in the history of humanity. Selling to the global market, on the other hand, now that is a completely different scenario. In five years I have sold about 30 books and 2 tee shirts. Yes, my stuff is out there for anyone with an Amazon account and a bank card. That doesn't mean anyone is interested in buying it. Apparently I don't know the characteristics that "normal" consumers enjoy. I suppose it shouldn't surprise me. I have never been "normal". To be quite blunt, I don't even know what the word means.

So this rant is quite possibly the last blog post I will ever make. I know I'm not ending on a high note here, but after fifteen years I'm too old and tired to even care.

God help us all. For the first time in my life, I am not optimistic about the future.