Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Remember When the Future was Cool?

Do you remember when the future was cool? Do you remember when you were a kid? Do you remember growing up with visions of electric cars, flying cars, space travel, cool ways to live and cool ways to grow food? Do you remember lasers and how cool they were going to be? I remember visions of Buck Rogers, saving the planet with laser guns. I remember, when I was a kid, how amazing the future would be. I remember looking ahead thinking that whatever my current circumstance was, "the future" was going to be different, better.
I remember when the future was going to be cool.
We need that kind of belief again. Not many people are very optimistic about our immediate and long term future. In a way, I think that's the main ingredient in the fuel for a better tomorrow. You need a picture of tomorrow to create tomorrow. You need an inspiring vision of tomorrow, to create an inspiring tomorrow.
As a society, we are totally blowing it in this regard. We've stopped creating a vision of a great tomorrow.We quickly give in and take the victim position. We too easily believe what political scheisters and corporate thieves tell us. We spend too much time wringing our hands in fear of financial ruin, in fear of "them" (pick your boogyman of choice here), in fear of global warming, germs on our shopping carts, flying, driving, people that don't look and act like us, Chinese drywall, crime, bad toys, exotic diseases, hurricanes, tsunamis, Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partiers, bird flu, dog flu, cat flu, swine flu, in fear of you name it. JUST BE SCARED!
It's big business keeping you nervous. You see, keeping you afraid, keeps you looking for solutions. This is big business for politicians, corporations and our media. You might even see a promo for your local news by a deep voiced announcer, "the killer in your laundry basket...news at 11". Today's snake oil salesman (this includes politicians) depends mostly on your fears to move his products.
You do not need much of the garbage you buy (this includes politicians) on a daily basis to keep you "safe".
Politically, it's dangerous to talk about the future in a positive and realistic light offering realistic solutions. It takes courage to do so, that and not needing to get re-elected. New ideas are often immediately shredded to bits by opponents, in most cases as an initial reaction (or even as a strategy), without any thoughtful evaluation what so ever. The public discourse seems to focus on problems and legitimization of victim thinking. Our leaders, mostly for selfish gain, are more than happy to tell you about the difficulty you know all too well already, rather than paint an inspiring picture of what tomorrow can look like and have the nerve to actually act. They depend on future problems so they can tell you about all the reasons you need THEM in office to help fix them. The political climate is so toxic that the suggestion of new ideas is discouraged. It's discouraged because to present ideas to solve problems means sticking your neck out, it means risking that you might have flaws in your ideas that will be exposed, to your political peril. In our toxic political climate, these flaws in ideas are exaggerated by political opponents to have much greater meanings than simple miscalculation. Instead they will be amplified to signify much deeper more insidious flaws in the very candidate himself. Or worse, they likely could be said to indicate intentional darker motivations the candidate may have. Of course you realize that it's done only to scare you into seeing them as the boogyman...that's it. Which is ridiculous, because we all know the boogyman lives in the closet of 6 year olds or under the bed.
It's a tough time for optimists like myself. I usually believe that every problem has a solution. I believe that people are generally well-intentioned. I believe that if, as a society, we focused more on possibilities and solutions and rejected the fear mongering by our 2011 snake oil salesmen and the toxic political discourse by our politicians we could create a better tomorrow. It's really not that tough. We can make the future cool again. So what if the lasers Buck Rogers used aren't saving the planet. So what if instead of saving the planet, they're now being used to remove hair from women's upper lips and dude's backs (You know... on some level those applications are kind of like saving the planet).

Here are some practical steps that I humbly suggest:
1. Ignore anybody who uses fear to motivate you or manipulate your behavior.
2. Spend time reading about future technologies, about new trends and solutions in education
3. Consume less
4. Turn off your TV once in a while
5. Remember, fear is not your friend
6. Spend time thinking about when you were a kid and how amazing things could be.
7. Laugh.
8. Take a nice long walk regularly
9. Check your closet daily for boogymen, and if you don't see any, relax.
10. Watch The Dylan Ratigan show and read "Greedy Bastards" 

1 Comments:

Anonymous Gary said...

I remember when I was young I always says " I would be a doctor when I grow up.". When I reach at this age I became an Accountant instead a doctor. :D

February 11, 2012 at 8:05 AM  

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