2020: The Future Is Now

Well, it’s finally 2020, a date that just seems like science fiction because it’s all symmetrical, shiny and futuristic looking. And we do live in a science fiction world now, even if we don’t have jetpacks and anti-gravity boots. Maybe it’s just people of a certain age (over 40 perhaps?) who see the surreal aspect of our present-day technocracy, because we grew up in a world that only imagined the gadgets, the social and environmental cataclysms, and the intensely artificial/virtual rituals of daily post-industrial life that are now the norm. But I think even younger generations feel it, because the pace of technological change is so fast, and getting faster. Fads, fashion, even facts get replaced weekly. Just watching television (or whatever device has a viewing monitor you put your eyeballs in front of) is a mega-store of overwhelming content. Brain-mart, if you will.

But even though it is challenging, I am happy to be alive now, to be part of this cultural rollercoaster. The challenge for me is to be more than a passive cultural sponge, numbing my soul with slickly made escapist narratives. I try to engage, to see a show, video, meme, or whatever, as an offering by real people, and to respond to that offering with my own contributions to the cultural discourse. Hopefully, it is more than decadent self-indulgent noise. Hopefully, we are helping each other do something productive, part of the solution instead of the problem. Hopefully. We can but try.