Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Time Travellers Strictly Cash

Spider Robinson is a brilliant writer who lives in Canada.  Sci-fi/fantasy.  If you've never read his works, try starting with the Callahan series - a pub on Long Island run by an Irishman who is actually an alien time-traveller.  Um - that doesn't even come close to explaining WHY, just pick a few of the stories and enjoy.  Bushmills not required.  High tolerance/appreciation levels for puns is a pre-requisite.

But I digress (as always).  I recently bought his book The Crazy Years - a compilation of columns written about these times.  And one of those columns was about the changes he's seen.  Which reminded me about the story of the time-traveller (a cleric locked away in a South American gaol for far too long and his reaction to the world so different from what he'd last known).  Which struck me as a very interesting topic.

Just quickly - good changes I never thought we'd see:
- end of the Cold War
- breaking down the Berlin Wall
- end of apartheid in South Africa
- emergence of green politics into the mainstream
- apologies to the Stolen Generations, to the First People in Australia and other countries
- nuclear war/destruction no longer hanging over our heads
- emergency of green energies and increasing affordability
- same sex marriage
- Tarkine forest no longer being logged in Tasmania

There are new and different worries instead.
- global weirding/climate change
- species extinction
- corporate greed that escapes geographic boundaries
- pollution
- overpopulation
- excessive consumption/capitalism
- old growth forests still being logged all over the world
- dumbing down of media/population/politics to the lowest common denominator
- crazy pace of life in the First World (particularly for those in employment)
- Monsanto et al.

and from another of his stories - what sort of life are we living, where people want the emptiness of drugs, on a regular basis?  That their lives are unbearable without it.

Is this the world we created, we made it on our own
Is this the world we devasted, right to the bone
If there's a God in the sky looking down
What can he think of what we've done
To the world that He created.