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Mar 2017
It seems to have spontaneously combusted, but it didn’t. The disease struck long ago, brewed in the petri dish of Depression, WWII, and convergent technologies. Well before that, really, but that was the point of critical mass. By the 1950's, it was an epidemic. The independent Republic of individuals, small towns, coherent communities, distinct cities, local diners, shops and stores tied together with two lane blacktop was crumbling. Things only got worse faster. It was a disease of toxic, lulling dreams. American Dreams. And standardization was its crushing foot that flattened everything and left a homogenized wasteland in its trail. The old gods vanished and the new became despots. Go anywhere in America, Boston or Biloxi. You can’t tell where you are. Most shop at the same stores (real or virtual), eat at the same chain restaurants, wear the same clothes, gulp from the same Internet, swallow similar information, and think (within acceptable variations) the same thoughts. Even sin has become tediously consubstantial. Knowledge has been supplanted by content. Words are squeezed of meaning. Everyone is an expert and no one knows anything. Except Siri and Alexa. The Dreamtime of consumerism, consumption and conformity dominates. All that remains to come is the dominion of AI. Then we will all be watched over by machines of loving grace, free to graze in bovine bliss in the cybernetic meadows of bland utopia.
Mike Essig
Written by
Mike Essig  Mechanicsburg, PA
(Mechanicsburg, PA)   
   Kelly Rose, yasaman johari and ---
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