The Future Is Unstoppable – Death Throes Are Ugly & Scary

light-tunnel“I see the light at the end of the tunnel now…

Someone please tell me it’s not a train.”

~from “I See The Light” by Cracker

For the past six months or so, I’ve spent most of my writing time online using my Twitter account: @FishAndBicycles.

Now, some writers would argue that calling this “writing” is being generous, and there are times when I question it as well. And yet, ultimately I really do believe that there is a value to regularly writing these short, formerly 140 and now 280-character, compositions; forced, as you are, to trim the fat and think creatively about how to say a lot with a little.

BUT, there is one significant drawback of spending so much time on Twitter: the daily barrage of bad news can wear down even the most enthusiastic optimist.

Today started out as one of those days, it was really getting to me, the despair threatening to drag me down. I thought about reposting a post that I wrote back in October 2017 about reaching a saturation point and the impulse to hide one’s head in the sand.

But then, a thought — one I’ve had before and have hoped to explore in writing at some point — changed my direction. A thought that, on my best days, I can actually believe:

The Future Is Unstoppable

…and, the future, despite any appearances to the contrary, will be much, much better.

There’s plenty to complain about when it comes to Hollywood, but one indisputable fact is that movies and TV shows are steadily and increasingly presenting images of a diverse world populated by people of color, powerful women, and non-binary gender identities.

In other words, Hollywood is more reflective of the world we actually live in than it has ever been before, and it’s having a very positive, normalizing effect. Young people who are not brainwashed by bigoted families and communities see diversity and equality as the normal, positive state of things, they are more likely to stand up for and with people of color, to see women as fully equal to men, and increasingly LGBTQ young people are feeling safer and safer coming out and claiming the right to be their genuine selves.

This is the future.

Demographic trends prove it is unstoppable.

Death Throes Are Ugly

At the same time, those who believe in white patriarchal supremacy are trying to fight off the unstoppable, and they are resorting to increasingly brash and violent measures, pushing the boundaries of legal behavior or embracing outright lawlessness and authoritarianism.

But make no mistake. These are death throes. They are ugly, but they are futile.

On My Best Days

Anyway, as I said, that’s what I believe on my best days, and there are other days when these ideas are no solace at all.

“I see the light at the end of the tunnel now…

Someone please tell me it’s not a train.”

 

State of the Union

Twitter Despair

Friday Tweet Repeats: Pre-1-Week Vacation Edition

A selection of my tweets from the past few weeks, in case you missed them at @FishAndBicycles.

 

U2 Tweets x 2

Sorry, Cucumbers, But Unless You’re A Dill Pickle Or A Grape…

The Alternative Turkey Hotline

turkey-dinnerBack before the Google, when people needed a phone number that they didn’t have, they picked up their landline and dialed 4-1-1.

The formal name for this service was “Directory Assistance”, but everyone called it simply “Information”. Need to call the movie theater to find out what movies are playing, but don’t have the number? Just call Information!

Well, one day, when I was in college, sometime in November 1984, I was hanging out day-drinking with my buddies, we had purchased a frozen turkey the day before, but we were grappling with the fact that not one among us had any idea how to prepare and roast the thing.

In my drunkenness, I joked that we should call Information and ask. After all, it’s called “Information”, not, more narrowly, “Phone Information”. (These things are always funnier when you are intoxicated.)

Anyway, my joke was immediately met with an uproar of approval and insistence, and, before I could protest, the phone was passed to me, 4-1-1 dialed, and I was on the phone with some gal from who knows where.

Much to my surprise, rather than being met with massive annoyance and summarily hung up on, the operator was delighted and humored me, providing me with her family’s recipe from memory, along with cautions about thawing and a warning not to cook the stuffing inside the turkey.

Anyway, I was reminded of this memory when I saw this tweet today:

I didn’t know about the Butterball hotline back in college, but I’m actually glad that I didn’t. I’ll always fondly remember that directory assistance operator’s act of arguably undeserved kindness.

Just as I’ll always fondly remember this scene from The West Wing:

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!