Read a review of Divergent and it got me thinking about new-age civilizations, good and bad.
It could be argued then that we’ve been living in a dystopian society for quite some time now. But compared to what? Even during the years when Orwell, Huxley and Harrison were penning their works, things were quietly, yet judiciously, going to pot.
Back then, progress in the way of technological advances was making it easier for men to not only kill his fellowman but also to heal him. Eventually war, that messy, costly endeavor took a decidedly mild yet sinister turn and became something a bit more sneakily antiseptic, yet no less costly.
Today, despite the fact that none of us is leading the dazzling fictitious existence of a genetically altered superhuman the likes depicted in any futuristic tale, things are no less wrong out there.
We’re still pigeon-holed into this category or that one. However today, economics, education, labor and income do the jobs that would’ve been accomplished by some sinister ultramodern cabal.
Homelessness and the corresponding apathy regarding it run rampant in America and in other countries.
War, bloody and active, has replaced its cold counterpart and threatens to engulf every nation on the globe.
Cities are rapidly becoming police states where the right to take a human life is determined by whoever is the last man standing.
We already have living zombies attacking unsuspecting citizens, new age drugs turning folk into the undead and prehistoric diseases reanimating themselves to possibly wreak their Neolithic havoc in this new millennium.
When you add it all up and lay it out, it seems like the stuff of novel fantasy, but it’s not; it’s real. And that probably makes it a little harder to swallow, especially since none of us is endowed with anything extracurricular or extraordinary. But that’s the good thing. Now we have to do something to change it instead of just reading about it. We, simple humans that we are, are going to have to make the difference.
Les McCann and Eddie Harris at Montreux, a You Tube presentation from VinylVinnie60. See more of his videos here.
Other music: Compared to What?, Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, Closer to It (1973).