Friday, January 27, 2017
THE FUTURE: SOCIALISM OR MURDER
When the history of this time is written (more likely filmed, and by a director who has never read a book and co-written by his pal, who has never written one), and if the story is accurate, we will be remembered as the people who, despite the curtain being drawn back, believed in the Great and Powerful Oz, and not the meek man behind the curtain. This is what is going to destroy us.
The only good thing, perhaps, is that we will be too stupid to realize it's happening. We're like the happy smiling dog who looks upon his owner with such delight, unaware that the needle the vet just plunged into him is the end. In our case, it's not a needle, but our very vapid and all too available pop culture of dumbing down. We'll believe anything that entertains. Anything, that is, but the truth.
Because the truth is usually pretty complicated. I don't just mean for stupid people, the ones watching "Dancing with the Stars" and living in double-wides, the ones we like to make fun of; I mean everyone. Try sending an email that's more than two paragraphs long to someone with an office in a big glass office tower. They scream at you. They certainly scream at me. When I send emails about film financing or raising money for artistic projects that have to straddle national borders, I often go into pages of detail for simpleton business types. These business majors write back with lax punctuation and hysteria: "thanx fr sending me a fkcing NOVEL!" When I explain that some things -- like international co-productions of artistic endeavors, or, say tax structures -- are complicated and thus deserve more than forty words, they shut down.
These are the doofuses running our world.
And that's why we're actually discussing building a wall between my backyard (southern California) and Mexico. What's more amazing, people who went past the tenth grade are discussing it. This is because the mental deficient we just elected President of the United States has convinced a huge number of people -- many of them in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other northern states -- that the reason they lost their job or feel economically pinched is because illegal Mexicans are running the Rio Grande with their laundry on their head and stealing those jobs.
Now comes the funny part. Told to you by the man behind the curtain.
Those jobs and opportunities disappearing has absolutely nothing to do with Mexicans. Those jobs disappeared because we no longer need people to do those jobs in any form at all, in any part of the world. And the jobs that we do need people to perform, well, we've farmed those to Bangladesh and Pakistan, which is okay because they were shit jobs that wouldn't even buy an American a pair of jeans at Target -- which, thank God, only cost $20 due to cheap Mexican labor.
No one who ran for President last year -- not in the primaries, and not in the General -- offered up this even harder truth, because it's too complicated and too tough to face. Don't laugh when you first hear it, because I'm talking about the destruction of the entire society you grew up in. Here it is.
We are less than two years away from your Big Mac being made by a machine.
Think about that. Obviously, if it's true for Big Macs it's true for a lot of things that we assume require the human touch. I'm talking everything from food to health care, from auto-mechanics to drug dispensing. Factor that by twenty years and the rate of innovation and you'll realize that one of the things people will be rolling around the floor laughing about twenty years from now will be a big, crumbling piece of cement shit resting, rather lopsidedly I figure, between the United States and Mexico.
Hopefully, they will not also be laughing about all the people we had to put to death in order to keep free enterprise humming. Because that's the only option if we keep the blinders on. If we don't face facts and and recognize that we have a whole new society to construct, if we just stick with simplistic rhetoric about innovation and free enterprise, bringing jobs back and creating opportunity, then we are going to run into this ugly truth eventually: too many people and not enough ways to make money to feed them. (And, if you're an American, too many people and not enough ways to make money from feeding them). So what's the solution?
The only solution is obvious: some sort of rational and incentivizing socialism that spreads both labor and capital across a new field of social science. Maybe a 3 day work week for everyone and an entirely different tax structure. I personally think it sounds pretty grim, but I don't hear anyone offering a viable alternative. On the right, I only hear the warmed-over bromides of Ronald Reagan and all that shit about the shining city on the hill. On the left, I only hear the pie-in-the-sky state as mother-father-sister-brother with no bill at the end of the day.
Well, actually, we do talk about other things.
We talk about building a wall. Which is why future generations are laughing. Or not even there at all.
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