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This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering
Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader
"What can you say about a society that says that God is dead and Elvis is alive?" -Irv Kupcinet
Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),
So all we have to do is keep on keeping on till everyone's happy and well adjusted, right?
[It's finally happened. I knew it would. You've traveled all the way around the bend and won't be coming back. Life's just a perpetually pleasant acid flashback for ya now, huh? Hope you're having a good trip.]
Judge Dana, if it pleases the court I'd like to introduce the following facts into evidence, your honor. In 2018 the American weight-loss industry was worth $72,000,000,000. That's 72 billion, with a b.
The global weight loss industry is worth $212,000,000,000 and is projected to be worth $348,000,000,000 by 2025.
[What on Earth are you...]
Well, your honor, I've chosen to quote the stats above as being representative of the current state of things, materially speaking. I would spare the Stickies, and my gentlereaders, a barrage of similar statistics to make my easily verifiable point.
Life on Earth has never been this good and never have so many come so far so fast.
Matt Ridley has a new article out—We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously—that clearly and cleanly makes my case. The subtitle—Little of this made the news, because good news is no news—helps explain why no shortage of H. sapiens think that the species is circling the bowl and unless we come to our senses and embrace _______ism, we're doomed.
The blank above can be, and is, filled by any number of isms. It would seem that an awful lot of people who are at each other's throats have more in common than they realize.
They worship at the altar of the god Ism.
The developed nations of the planet are suffering from an ever-growing obesity epidemic and are up to their expanding hips in toys and entertainment.
The developing nations are developing at an accelerating rate not thought possible not long ago.
And yet... for many, something is missing.
Now, at this point in the proceedings, my dear Stickies and gentlereaders, I'll betcha a bottle-a-soda pop that many of you are expecting me to state that what's missing is God, with a capital G.
While I'm a firm believer that anyone who refuses to acknowledge that there's a transcendent something or other behind it all—or in my case, is all there actually is—is mistaken, that's not where I'm going.
What I wish to point out is that there's a prosperity problem.
Those of our fellow H. sapiens who follow most of the more traditional spiritual paths—the ones that state that if you follow all the rules as best you can you'll eventually obtain paradise, enlightenment, nirvana, etceterana—don't have this problem.
That's that. You're done. Paradise. Forever and ever, amen.
Is God dead? No, he, or something, is waiting with open arms to welcome you. If this is true, or if you think this is true, you believe that no matter what happens while you're slogging away here in the trenches it will ultimately be worth it.
But if you think God is dead, by which I mean you reject any notion of a higher power of some sort, however broadly or subtly defined, what's left?
The aforementioned -isms. There are all sorts of -isms. Nihilism, anarchism, communism, Nazis...
[Hey-hey-hey! Idealism! Humanism! Socialism! or even communism (if finally implemented properly, of course). And what about socialism light, democratic socialism.
Democratic socialism didn't kill 100,000,000 people in the preceding century. Of course, the Chinese, Cuban, and Venezuelan versions of socialism are still a bit problematic but...]
Take a breath, Dana.
All I wish to point out is that regardless of what you think the future holds, the fact remains that right this second, materially speaking, things are better than they have ever been and are continuing to get better.
If you're a glass half full, go along to get along, my life's decent enough type you make the best of things but never quite shake off the feeling something's missing.
If you're of the life sucks then you die school, you're still miserable, and this hasn't helped your outlook.
If you're of the life sucks then you die school, but, are actively pursuing, promoting, and promulgating _______ism because it will create a secular paradise right here, right now...
Our current situation would seem to indicate that you will still be miserable if/when your dreams come true.
And then there's the matter of that empty feeling you always get after reaching a major goal—Now What syndrome.
We have a prosperity problem (that sound you hear is God/the gods laughing).
Yeah, Dana, we. The world is lousy with people prepared to do anything from canceling to killing other people to save them from themselves so we can all be as miserable as they are.
Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day
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