Horse. Look It Up.

Via Pixabay

Hey kid.

It may seem quaint and exotic to you now, but it was just my life to me. And what goes around, comes around, you know. If you don’t know what that means, ask some historian of slang.

We didn’t stop in the middle of a birthday celebration and think about why it might look like to posterity. We bought our groceries, complained about our jobs and our mates and our kids and the government. You probably complain about other stuff, but trust me, underneath the words, it’s all the same thing.

Still, I’d give you all of what’s left if I could sit again in a traffic jam and play air guitar to the radio while I waited. Look it up. Traffic. Air guitar. Radio.

It was in 2062 that things really went to Hell. Most people these days say ‘literally’ when they just mean to emphasize something. Crap, it’s all hyperbole now. And who cares? The truth became a commodity like everything else and was bought and sold and arbitraged. After a while, only the rich could afford it, if they even wanted it. The rest of us, if we wanted to live, had to feed ourselves and our families lies and more lies. They weren’t nourishing, but they could make you feel full for a while. If you were real lucky, you could lose your mind and then the truth could be whatever you wanted it to be. You might live on a street corner under a piece of plastic, or in an asylum, but being insane was still a step up.

I would be depressed, but medication is the one thing that’s free. Use it to calm yourself or kill yourself. Your choice.

I heard the Minute ManEaters were getting it over on the Tea Party Hearties. No doubt that will switch around next week. In the meantime, juice is cheap, so all of us are stocking up. When things go vice-versa again, we’ll all be so loose we won’t care and we’ll easily coast until the next faction takes over. They say there will be elections, but who would go to them? The districts are so ragged now, there isn’t anybody who knows if they can vote or where. If there are elections, it would be good, though. Then the cops would be so busy rocking the ballots that they won’t have time to come down and beat up the surface dwellers near the Chutes. And these days, none of them will actually go into the Chutes. Not for love or money or a ticket to the Mayor’s house for cocktails. Cocktails. Look it up.

I’m glad you’re keeping up with your studies. I keep thinking that someday knowing stuff will be a good thing again. But I live here, so what do I know?

Whatever you do, DON’T COME BACK. You’re safer where you are – these idiots will never invade because they think everyone where you are is diseased. They run scared of everything and disease scares them the most, now that they’ve killed everything else, I mean. If you don’t have real doctors, you don’t have much of a chance controlling something like a disease or stopping it.  And most of the doctors got disgusted and left long ago, except for the ones that own their own medical schools. Got the cash or the stash? You too could punch medies to the rich and famous!

Oh well, I’d better try and get this out to you. Hard to say whether or not it will reach you. Any means of communication that you don’t pay a subscription for is a bad gamble. Like betting on a three legged-horse.

Dad

PS: Horse. Look it up.

The Marching Morons

Book Cover - the Marching Morons

If you’ve never read this 1951 Science Fiction story, I recommend you do. The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth. I’ve long held this up as an example of the direction in which U.S. society has been headed and I just read a note from Ben Bova to science blogger Pharyngula (P.Z. Meyers)  in which he calls it the ‘most prescient and chilling’ of science fiction stores. Meyers takes issue with this and finds the story stupid because the ‘solution’ to the problem is a non-solution.

Well, of course a scientist would see it that way, but I’m pretty sure Kornbluth wasn’t thinking like a scientist when he wrote it. He was just bugged by something and chose a semi-comedic form of storytelling in which to complain about it. I’ve often been tempted to write a story in which all the stupid people are wiped out by an anti-stupid virus, so I could understand his frustration.

Meyers came to pretty much the same conclusion as me with respect to workable solutions to the problem of self-satisfied idiots, but no one seemed to be following up on those ideas decades ago, when I read the story. And from what I can see now, the situation has only gotten worse.

So what will the future be? I am not any more sure than I was back when I first saw The Marching Morons, only these days, I’m a lot less inclined to find it funny.