Thursday, 21 June 2007
When it comes to our happiness, I'm afraid we've been sold a pig in a poke. You see, not so long ago our future looked rosy. Magic boffins were going to solve all the problems we had. They promised us jet packs, robochefs and a cure for cancer. We wouldn't have to lift a finger. Our happiness would be delivered right to our door, conveniently packaged in nice shiny cartons.
The problem is, our future wasn't as good as we imagined it. Progress, inevitable as it was, refused to follow its pre-determined path. Instead of jet packs, we got blogs. Instead of robochefs, we discovered that McShite had taken over the world.
There still wasn't a cure for cancer.
So we revolted against our scientists. Irked that they hadn't delivered our promised utopia, we set about them. We sued our medics, because they made mistakes. We hated our food technologists for making grub so damned easy and tasty. Let's not even start on global warming.
You see, many of us had hedged our bets and put our faith in science. We'd discarded our gods and had invested in the stuff of substance; Hard facts, interest rates and consumer goods. It fucked us off big style, when we realised that this reality was as bleak and unfulfilling as the last one.
So in the absence of God's pastoral care, in the bleakness of science, many of us turned to art. Perhaps in beauty we would find the salvation we sought. The problem was, so many of us did this, that we found our art to be homogenised and reduced to the lowest common denominator. McShited.
The only thing left for us was the past. We pined for those simple, halcyon days when life was good and to the point. We convinced ourselves that there was some magic and wisdom that we'd lost in our clamour for happiness.
So we looked to the east and to the south. We stared longingly at the societies we'd subjugated for so long. Having shit in our own nest, we wanted what they appeared to have. Pure and simple happiness.
Yet these very same people were looking right back at us, wanting our rich and complex version of happiness. They didn't feel wise, enlightened or meaningful. Life was pretty crap too to be honest. It has a habit of being so. If there was a difference, then it would be that there wasn't the time to think about it.
If I were a god right now, I'd be asking "Well, what the hell do you want then?"
It seems that for some of us, being alive is simply not enough.