Wednesday, October 5, 2005


As a child, you were told all about the fantastic future. Robots and flying cars - engineers were working on them you know. Artificial intelligence and a cure for cancer - they were being developed. In secret bright white laboratories scientists were working 'round the clock on such things. Furiously labouring their lives away so that you might one day enjoy the fruits of their labour. Moon stations and teleporters - yes, the future was to be grand, indeed. You were told all about its magnificence and given a promise of easy living, told of the day, in the future, where we, each one of us, would live like kings and queens. They were so close, you were told, to developing such things. Even now they're so close. And in the future they will be close, still.

One thing you weren't told about was the loneliness of the future. A life where playing with your friends down by the creek on summer days turns to going to movies on summer nights. A life where these same movie nights turn to hazy parties in the fall. A life where parties give way to weekends spent in the neon light of nightclubs. Cold winter nights in warm taxicabs. Where club life turns to pub life. Friends find careers, friends find mates, friends find God, and here's you sitting at the bar alone, your beer sweating onto the countertop - the bartender, your only friend. You're reminiscing about catching frogs down by the creek, about catching girls in the nightclubs. Reminiscing about the best times of your life. Reminiscing alone. The bartender just nods. He feels it too. He was promised the same exciting future you were.

So where's your flying car? You're told they actually exist, but the car companies are conspiring to keep them from the public. Or you're told that because there is no system in place, no rules for flying cars to follow, the idea of public use has been shelved. And where's your cure for cancer? They actually developed one a long time ago, but it's being kept from the public to keep the donation money rolling in. To keep their pockets nicely lined. And where's all that other stuff you were promised? All the victims of conspiracy. They don't want you to have them. They're just mean like that. In childhood it was easy to believe you would be given the future you were promised. And in youth it was easy to believe in the conspiracies which were keeping these things from you. But in adulthood it's hard to believe in anything. Certainly not promises. And not half-baked conspiracies. You go to sleep each night in a bed of cynicism - and awake in a mess of pessimism. You don't even remember your dreams anymore. In fact, you don't dream at all. If the future isn't filled with lies, it's at least empty.

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