Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In the Year 2014...

I distinctly remember the moment in my college life when I ventured to the restroom and a guy inside was pulling out these paper towels (napkins?) from the rusty dispenser.

"What is this?" he asked, "I thought we're supposed to have better technology. This is 2008!"

Yes, our wildest dreams about the future have not been realized. No flying cars, no menacing robots, no seductive female aliens. The 2001 Space Odyssey is already in the past; proving that works of art expressing universal themes are better off without a year attached to their titles.

All we have to show for ourselves are our smart phones toward which we glance nervously to check up on superficial contacts with "friends" (from whom these very phones have alienated us), a pope who hinted that being gay is okay and a black president with a white mother.

We are a little better off on the dystopian front with global warming, bearded terrorists and all that jazz; but most of the people directly affected are poor anyway and their third-world dystopia is not something that really concerns us all that much.

Everything would be lost were it not for the neo-Stalinist Chinese government that proposed matching outfits for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.

To be honest, dark purple never looked so good. There is a kind of a sweet banality in herding the bros of power into something resembling a well-tailored Star Trek convention. All of this suggests a kind of Confucian order to the political universe that is unfortunately absent when everyone retreats back to their respective mother ships.

But if I were to send a capsule back to 1960's in the non-existent time machine, why not throw in these conference shots, give the peaceniks some hope for a purple haze in the distant 2014. Look! Stephen Harper is almost making a Vulcan salute... almost.  

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