Science Fiction

I don't read Science Fiction or watch its films much any more.

I now see that Orwell was right.  There is no shining technological future -- only a Fascist dystopia where equality is when three corporations control production instead of just one.  The State, The Corporation, Washington and Wall Street -- it's all the same to Big Brother -- keep believing; keep consuming; don't pay much attention otherwise.

But my problem is that when I was a kid The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Arthur C. Clarke and John Kennedy said I'd be soaring in space ships powered by gravity drives by now.

Unfortunately, Exxon-Mobil, GM, Toyota, et al. envision harnessing the internal combustion engine for another century or so: a cannon (cylinder), a projectile (piston), and a lubricated crankshaft to repeat the explosion without tearing the machine apart -- not especially sophisticated technology.  And we still can't recycle the waste economically.

So a sustainable human future remains Science Fiction -- i.e. virtual, flickering like the latest fad -- "green" advertising for the same old planet destroying stuff -- across my plasma screen.  This latest surge to convince me to buy a car that represents not much improvement over the truck I drive today -- that my Grandfather purchased in 1960 -- reminds me of the final, beautiful vignettes played in euthanasia facilities in the 1973 film Soylent Green.  Believe me, I wish there was "nothing but blue skies" coming out of those smokestacks.  Unfortunately I am burdened by the knowledge that imagination and reality are not synonymous; that there is dichotomy between nothingness and being.

But it seems as long as there remains some surviving bit of Nature to distill and to burn, that prevailing economic forces will perpetuate the status quo.  One reason seems to be that accepted supply-side economic theory, espoused by Keynes and later Friedman, is based on what I call Easter Island syndrome: as long as there is one tree standing that can be cut down, wealth remains to be created.  Obviously this view is insane.  But insanity rules the day.

So why imagine a future?  Future, like imagination, is unborn -- and it's arguable that we already outnumber both.  Dream abortion is my answer.


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