Continued Observations of Our Dual Society pt. 1


The Church pews have been vacant for a few months now. I haven’t given up on adventuring to political rallies, late night drug and alcohol infused jaunts to explore the realms of sanity or engaging with the people of my world on the bus line. I have, however, been more focused on observing the continued evolution of humans in the twenty first century. Advancements in technology are beginning to have new impact on how we live our lives, online and offline. It wasn’t too many years ago that dial-up internet connection with slow baud rate was the means to get online for the few fortunate enough to own a computer, install a program from a disk onto their computer and jump on AOL. Streaming video and YouTube clips were, at best, dreams of what might happen one day. Advanced, sophisticated computer programs were still in infancy stage, web capable cell phones were unheard of; all this left our future a thing to wonder at, and be filled with anticipation for. An advanced society, better than any portrayed in a 50’s SciFi flick, seemed right around the corner…and then, technology marched on and mutated into something we weren’t really expecting. Now, we’re prisoners of pseudo-robot captors, chained to the addiction monkey of high tech. Our phones have us by the balls and leave so many feeling they can’t carry on in a world where that device is not at hand. Facebook enslaves our souls.

When I uncuff myself from the phone and venture into the world of live humans, I find a much more rewarding world, one that doesn’t leave me flat and dull. A few days back, I spent time with a woman, riding the bus line. She was a thin framed Black woman, hard lined face and street smart. She needed money and asked if I would buy her bus pass for two bucks. A day’s bus pass cost four dollars so, it’s not like she was going to make a fortune-and she wasn’t even asking top price, so I bought it. She appeared to be in her fifties, good spirits, but tired. Tired, like so many of us after a long day. She told me that she had to spend her days hunting down disposable diapers for adults. She had a condition that had her going through twenty seven diapers a day; a leaking urinary tract that she had no money to have operated on. Her life has nothing to do with the daily news buzz on what Donald Trump did or said. She knows nothing about a kid in Arizona who got the shit beat out of him by a group of cops, caught on video and posted online, like raw meat to lions. She hasn’t heard about the most recent school shooting, or watched the protestors who describe the survivors of such events as choreographed shills for the ‘Lefty snowflakes’. Her life’s a daily search for diapers to avoid being seen in public with wet pants. She has had to adapt to a world where she can’t afford health coverage, only gets enough money to survive on handout food from church pantries or low cost, dollar store items, like Pop Tarts and shit food laced with high fructose corn syrup. This is just one instance, in the world of the living beings, unaffected by technology.

Over the weekend, a drinking buddy and I were at my local haunt, chatting with other kindred souls, swilling down liquor. My buddy gets a call from their grandmother who needs help. Grandma is old and can’t control her bowels. She’s unable to wipe or clean herself. It has become the responsibility of my friend to handle that task, when called on. This is an example of our technology put to good use. Only a few years ago, this wouldn’t be happening. We didn’t have the ease with which to be connected to those in need. Handheld phones were more luxury than most could afford, but now, damn near everyone has a cell phone. Phone booths are all but phased out of this country and most of us no longer memorize friend’s numbers or locations. We let our tech take care of those small things. We helped our friend out, because that friend was too drunk to be driving; drove them to Grandma’s to clean her up and before long, we were all back to our drinks. Being baked on cannabis and a few drinks was not a concern for navigation to Grandma’s; we had Google to assist us. Again, there was an example of good use for technology. People no longer have to carry maps in their car, or rely on the memory of their drunk friends (or drunk self). I use that technology when I get lost in a strange part of any town, need the phone number to a local business, wonder when the next show at any given theater starts. These are all prime examples of how tech can work to enrich your lives and make it easier.

but then, there is the bad side of it…

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