I’ve scraped away the several inches of dust off this silly little indulgence of mine (see previous post) and yet my mind is still firmly stuck between Toffler and Burke. Which makes complete sense actually. Things have changed a lot, and since in this particular reference to change it’s not really a good thing Toffler and Burke are quite apropos.
Few people are mentally disciplined enough to exist only in their “now”, the vast majority of us lesser beings straddle the present with one eye glued critically or nostalgia dimmed on our past and the other fretfully trying to discern our future.
This morning vaguely remembered snippets from Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock and a quote from Edmund Burke, “Custom reconciles us to everything” bounce chaotically between my three brain cells. These two, time distant “white guys”, one dead, one not, “old” by the old measure of old, not so much by the measure of boomers, come together to meet in my now.
I remember how appalled I was when I learned that Dateline NBC manipulated a GM truck to show the explosion hazard from a side collision. Goodness, that was almost exactly 20 years ago, all the way back in “the more innocent early ’90s”. November 1992 to be exact.
Between the mid 80s and roughly through 2005 I experienced a glorious spring of optimistic idealism. The years when press manipulation was actually a shocking concept to me. Now? Now I’m even more cynical than I was in the first half of the 80s.
Now I’m not at all surprised to read about someone called “Syrian Danny” in the blogsphere and how he staged his reports and pleas from Syria. Not at all surprised that when I first watched Anonymous’ declaration of war on the US I wondered if it was a production of the US government, “Operation V“. Or. learning of the deliberately hidden and/or ignored video(s) of a much younger Obama and his more pronounced radical associates and his/their very far left issues, advocacy and beliefs. (here, here, here)
So what once was shocking is now just so much “more of the same”. I’ve been reconciled to being lied to and accept it as normal instead of aberrant. The ODWG (Old Dead White Guy) was right.
You might be asking where Toffler fits in to all of this.
I embrace change and progress with exuberance but I’m appalled at the change in me. My own personal “future shock”. I no longer care about the truth, or the lies for that matter. I’ll just quietly go about my own business. But, isn’t that why we are so consistently lied to? We don’t hold anyone accountable for lying to us. And isn’t it a just a bucket o’ irony that we look at truth askance assuming it must be a lie and a lie we accept because we are too lazy and disinterested to ferret out the truth.
I am old enough to remember the prediction that there would soon come a day when a picture would be worthless as evidence, that a picture would no longer be “worth a thousand words”. Graphics programs would render every photo suspect. Where were the predictions that there would just as soon come the day when every “fact” would have to be clothed in quotation marks?