Stuff We Need — RIGHT NOW!

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Despite the current mess (and everybody squawking about it) we live in the most benevolent society in history.  We have more literacy, less poverty, better health care, better education, better nutrition and easier access to information than at any time since Lucy and her girlfriends decided to take a stroll in Ethiopia, some 3 million years ago.  Unfortunately, we’re not that good at using these benefits to our best advantage – yet.  For example, we wasted tons of money and years of research on Viagra when a little marijuana and some decent porn would have done the trick.  Personally, I think our endless cycle of herbal shampoos, sugar water beverages and bum warmer automobiles has got to stop, and we need to concentrate on things that will really benefit our world.  So, in that vein, here is just some of the stuff we need – RIGHT NOW!

An electronic collar that zaps you if you’ve forgotten something at the grocery store.

A mute button for vegans.  Once a vegan has publically declared their veganness (veganosity?) eight times, they must wear a mute button for the comfort and convenience of the rest of us.

A sexier name for the Covid masks we’re all going to wear.  Might I suggest Cloak of Responsibility?

A universal restraining order against stupid celebrities.  Any celebrity who makes three (3) stupid comments in a calendar month is forbidden from coming within 100 metres of a microphone.

AutoCorrect that knows the difference between “your” and “you’re” and “there,” their” and “they’re” — so I don’t look like a moron when I’m not paying attention.

A written test before anyone is allowed to vote.  Even multiple choice (guess?) would be better than nothing.

Transparent toasters.  So we can at least see what that maniac machine is doing to our bread!

All statues turned into holograms so they can simply be switched off and changed when public perception turns against them.  Unfortunately, pigeons would be denied a place to – uh – sit, but too bad, pigeon lovers — we can’t please everybody!

Skip the Dumbass.  Like Skip the Dishes, but instead of food, this online service will deliver an intelligent person to your doorstep for an enjoyable conversation without a political or social agenda.

Laundry hampers that automatically wash clothes, dryers that fold them and a robot something that puts them away.

A Nobel Prize for Buffoonery.

A junk food that tastes super good but has negative calories so when you binge-eat a bowl of it while you’re binge-watching Netflix, you actually lose weight.

Voice-activated Smart Microwaves (with a cute female name) that remember how you like your frozen stuff nuked.
“Madison, beef and bean burrito.”
“According to your burrito history, you prefer two minutes on High.  Is that correct?”
(You just read that in a computer voice, didn’t you?)

Compulsory therapy for old men who insist on riding those extra noisy-ass motorcycles.

Something (I don’t know what) that gets the last bit of peanut butter out of the bottom of the jar.

And finally:

A secret society where the members memorize history to preserve it until those “culture cancellers” get over themselves — kinda like what the people in Fahrenheit 451 did for books and literature.

 

What I Know Now – I Didn’t Know Then

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I’ve been roaming this planet for a few years now, and I’m constantly amazed at how little I know.  In fact, my comprehension of ideas and events seems to be working backwards — like an intellectual Benjamin Button.  Stuff that I knew with all certainty to be true when I was a younger man has become – not so much.  Here are just a few examples of how dead wrong I was.

When I was a kid, I was certain that the best minds would always, eventually, rise to shed light on, and perhaps even vanquish, the dark forces of ignorance.  Welcome to 2020, boys and girls, when the leader of the Free World is going to be either Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders or – holy crap! – Joe Biden.

As a young person, I believed information and education were the keys to solving the world’s problems.   Not even close!  Here we are, the most educated population in history, with all the information in the universe available to us at the click of a mouse, and what are we doing?  Playing “Fortnite” and binge-watching The Walking Dead.  I rest my case.

I used to think that popular democracy was a good thing.  ‘Fraid not!  I have one word for you – Twitter.

At one time, I believed that intelligence was a sliding scale.  It was my assumption that all people were relatively smart, depending on how you looked at it.  Nope!  The world is full of evidence that stupid is real, it’s everywhere and, in some cases, it’s thick enough to cut with a knife.  Plus, it’s contagious.  Hang out with stupid people long enough and you’ll end up buying outrageous amounts of toilet paper because – uh – a bunch of other people are buying it?  (Too soon?)

And finally:

At one time, I thought the truth was an absolute.  Actually, the truth is a moveable feast, and thank God for that, because there are certain times when I want to be lied to.  For example, I don’t want to know how many nuclear weapons have been lost since 1945.  Just tell me none and I’ll be fine with that.  Nor do I want to know how close we are to economic disaster, why climate change can’t be reversed or what kind of bums and noses are in my hotdog.  The fact is, in some cases, the truth will not set you free — it’ll just totally stress you out.

What Writers Think About

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One of the cool things about calling yourself a writer is you get to do all kinds of things that everybody else calls bone-ass lazy.  Stuff like spending hours drinking coffee, taking long strolls through the Internet and staring off into space.  Wordy Wordsworth called it, “… powerful feelings: … recollected in tranquility” or something like that.  This “work” is essential for writers to hone their craft.  The serious upside is you get to discover all kinds of interesting facts, and you have time to come up with even more interesting conclusions.  Here are just a few things I’ve been pondering for the last couple of months.

There’s a town in Canada called Smithers — which means the people who live there are Smithereens.

On average, the Dutch are the tallest people in the world — even though a lot of them are standing below sea level.

Apparently, a huge bunch of people born between 1977 and 1983 are sick and tired of being lumped in with those terminally malcontent millennials.  They have decided to perform a generational Brexit (Genexit?) and want to be referred to as Xennials.  I can’t say I blame them.

In the future, people will look at their electronic devices and think “What a stupid icon for a telephone.”

Despite everybody and her friend claiming they broke the Internet – you can’t.  The truth is the Internet is no longer vulnerable to human attack: there are just too many servers scattered across the planet.  However, before you go all SkyNet/Terminator, 99.99% of all electronic devices are just dumb machines used for storage.

Humans first walked on the moon 50 years ago in 1969.  That was 2 years before women got to vote nationally in Switzerland and 8 years before France quit using the guillotine for executions.  Weird, huh?

One of the earliest and most persistent symptoms of lead poisoning is irritability, so it’s interesting that statistics show violent crime (aside from armed robbery) has been steadily decreasing since lead was banned from automobile fuel in the late 1980s.  Coincidence?  Maybe. . .

For several years, universities have been adding puppies to their “safe spaces” to combat student stress and exam anxiety.  Whatever!  The weird thing is nobody is willing to talk about what happens to the puppies when they’re no longer puppies.  Creepy!

Over 100 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute.  Wow!  And, according to the last time they kept records (several years ago) it would take you approximately 93,000 years to watch everything YouTube has to offer.  That is a lot of avoidance behaviour!

In the last 10 years, restaurant revenues, movie theatre revenues and department stores revenues have all declined — whereas the revenues of home delivery companies like Uber Eats, GrubHub, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have all dramatically increased.  If this trend continues, eventually millennials will never have a reason to leave their apartments.  And this is a bad thing?

Andy Warhol was wrong.  In the future, everybody will have 15 minutes of privacy.

And finally:

I think it’s absolutely hilarious that a generation raised on South Park and Family Guy spend so much time being eagerly offended by everything.  Irony is not dead.