The reason I don’t socialise much and lose myself in audiobooks, reading, exercise, and drugs is because I find it hard to spend more than an hour in the company of others without wondering why we all maintain the collective illusion that everything is OK.
We live in a world beset by problems which challenge us to be brilliant, bending every sinew and firing every synapse to create solutions, and instead Helen’s got a job in marketing luxury hotels, James is flying to Spain for a week to teach golf, Arthur’s just been given a bonus so large he’s going to buy a house, and a bunch of people are wittering about an advert. (Examples changed to protect the innocent*)
But none of us are acknowledging that in our lifetimes
- climate will cause mass population migration
- we’re still selling weapons to recklessly oppressive countries (or any country, for that matter)
- fossil fuel will be impossibly expensive and we don’t yet have an adequate substitute
- our greatest civic accomplishments (eg national health care, education) and our common assets (air, water, forests, wildlife) are being privatised and remorselessly exploited.
- most things are predicated on an impossible growth
- the concept of pensions will not exist
- robots will be smarter than us, and be used for fighting wars
- that most people would not choose to do their jobs
The dissonance between what we know and what we do is so enormous that I find it impossible not to point out, and so end up boring even myself, and then think it’s probably best if I just stay home.
* I realise, when trying to think of examples, that most of the people I know are completely awesome. But still the same truth applies.