If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my (eventual) grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who don't, yet) -- the Stickies -- to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.
Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Star: Dana -- A gentlereader
Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& gentlereaders),
I don't know what the world will be like by the time you read this, re-read this, or if you will ever read this. This being one of my letters to the eventual yous. That's who I'm writing this for.
See, even if one of you existing Stickies were to suddenly become a devoted reader you would miss much of what I'm at least trying to communicate.
Therefore, I write to/for the eventual yous and my current gentlereaders.
Please don't think I'm disparaging the current yous. You're all still pretty young yet; you range in age from barely teenagers to one barely young adult. And even if you read every single letter every ten years or so you'll be reading different letters each time. Also, you won't really have a clue as to what's really going on here till you're full-fledged grups, which won't happen till you're 25, 30 years old.
This isn't because I'm particularly smart, it's the nature of life on Earth.
In spite of the fact our current relationships aren't always conducted in sunshine and unicorns mode, I like all of you just as you currently are. If you belonged to my fellow geezer across the way I'd still like you as you currently are. I'm very lucky.
The other thing is that if you live your lives as consciously and honestly as I suspect you all will, you will keep evolving into slightly to radically different (hopefully better) versions of yourselves as the decades roll by.
While the elapsed time between noticing that, "Hey, it's only been _______ years since _______ and I'm a different person now" will shorten, they will never end.
Not if you're doing it right.
Beware of becoming a caricature of a younger version of yourself.
And now, on with our show. This week's life lesson: Don't Choose to Be a Victim.
Although there's no shortage of deluded H. sapiens loose in the world who still maintain, in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that global whining is a hoax/fraud/scam of some sort, face facts, don't be a denier.
This advice assumes, of course, that by the time you read this it's not too late.
That the deniers have triumphed, and that you're living in a world that can hardly imagine what it would be like to wake up in the morning not beset by overwhelming anxiety/envy/self-pity/resentment/etceterament and the desire for revenge and reparation from whomever you blame for everything that's wrong with your life; everything that's wrong with the world.
That things are so bad that your psych meds need constant adjustment. That the only sure-fire way to calm yourself down, after a hit on your inhaler to help you catch your breath, is checking your balance to make sure you've received your allowance from the Council of the Cognitive Elite (CCE).
We've got this, just relax. Remember, take your meds.
This comforting reminder is brought to you by your neighborhood CCE.
That once you calm down, check your work assignment to decide if you need to take a mental health day, pour yourself a cup of organic, locally sourced, caffeine-free, vitamin and nutrient supplemented comfort beverage and turn on the main screen,
You're not confronted with the sight of a half a million lean and hungry members of Maximum Leader Xi's Peoples Liberation Army streaming across
our compassionately wide-open northern and southern borders -- and break out in hives from head to toe.
[Respect, no one can digress like you do your garrulousness!]
I'm not digressing, Dana, I'm merely painting a colorful, imaginative literary landscape accurately portraying the dystopian future if we don't do something about global whining, now.
Yes, the research labs of Crank LLC have created elaborate, insanely complicated computer models generated by Algorithmites that were, um, borrowed from the CCE. But all ya need do is look around, see what's right in front of you. The damage is already manifesting here, there, and everyfreakinwhere.
[Could you be a little more vague?]
I could be mind-numbingly specific. That is to say, I could cite endless examples with appropriate links and screenshots from the Twitterverse alone that would make my case.
I could point out that the culture is marinating in Purple Journalism 24x7x365.
I could point...
[Alright-alright-alright. Point taken. Enlighten me then, Cranky one, is it too late or can Earth be saved from the scourge of global whining?]
Only if everyone does their part to implement Historical Contextualization.
[What, on Earth, is...]
It's really quite simple, but with a big, hairy name it will get much more attention.
My big breakthrough came when I recently discovered that there are "...experts in the burgeoning field of existential risk." (ER?)
That is to say, I read some articles on Medium.com, doom and gloom themed essays, written by the author of "End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World," Bryan Walsh.
No, he's not a religious fundamentalist, he's a former editor of the formerly formidable (but now somewhat down on its luck) TIME magazine. He's one of the experts in the "burgeoning field of existential risk"; yes Virginia, it's a thing. Go a-googlin' and you'll find books, experts, think tanks, non-profits, studies, and etceteries.
Burgeoning indeed. People are being paid to study, worry about, and propose solutions to potential pending apocalypses. It's an industry. The Algore is an accidental mogul. Intellectual masturbation is big business.
[What's this got to do with...]
Historical Contextualization? One day my parents were minding their own and the economy of the United States of America collapsed. While they were dealing with that a global war broke out, the second one in their lifetimes in fact -- a good old fashioned us or them everything is on the line brew haha.
Then everything settled down, well, sorta/kinda. Next, there was a global cold war that featured no shortage of local hot wars that included the death and destruction that traditional war is famous for.
Life on Earth is, was, and ever shall be an unending existential risk, be it personal or societal. Google the word plague.
The only question is how shall we live while waiting for the massive, high-velocity asteroid to hit? On the bright side, this will free us from our robot overlords as we huddle together on small patches of permanently polluted high ground.
The only rational, realistic, life-affirming, we all have to share the playground answer is do what you can to make your life, everyone's life, less shitty and more enjoyable -- today.
Set your knee-jerk tribal loyalties and ideology aside and base your actions on what actually is and what's actually possible.
Give thanks that the world is so prosperous that people can make a good living by being professional whiners.
[Tell 'em about the video.]
Oh yeah, and start every day by watching this video.
Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day
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