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Of Life, Love and Latex

This is the future, and you saw it here first.   This is how it simply has to be.

You see, I think we have to face the probability that in fifty years, when we return in our next lives, (which I for one confidently expect to do, as a powerful, intelligent and successful man), medical knowledge will have far surpassed those sad boundaries of cursing and nursing and hard beds which are our present lot.   

‘Prevention, not cure’.   Historians of our future will fritter away their Doctorates trying to trace the originator of the phrase.  When they discover his or her name, it will be vaunted, sublimated, placed on the same high pedestal as Washington or King.  University Degrees will be awarded in it.  He or she will become the hero of a new age.

In practical terms though, what will it mean?  Well, I offer you this.  From the age of, say, twenty-five we will be encouraged to watch ourselves carefully in our mirrors each morning, anticipating the exact moment when our youthful beauty, firm muscle tone, and bright keenness of eye conjoin.  When we have selected this vital hour at the summit of our powers, we will submit to an intense examination of our mental alertness and if, after the usual test of five minutes we have solved the required twelve intricate mental exercises successfully, we will  make our way to Progenitor Labs, Inc. to have ourselves modeled.

Personally, once I am booked in, I see myself comfortably ensconced with a magazine that will ensure I achieve the best results for certain of my assets. I will sleep while DNA samples are taken, tissue typing is performed and my internal organs are x-rayed in three dimensions.  I will be weighed and I will be photographed (I must remember to ask for copies to be sent to my friends) and I will be painted over with delicious warm latex.

Then, wearing a discreet monitor implanted painlessly beneath my skin I will go home, and apart from maintaining a monthly payment to Progenitor Labs I will think no more about that day.  I may well forget it altogether.

Progenitor Labs., though, will not forget us – any of us; nor will our medical insurance companies.  They will be listening to our tiny, bleeping monitors as they tell of the wrinkles that are etching into our complexions, teeth that are decaying, joints that are wearing down, hearts that are faltering.  When we visit our dentists a new tooth will be there waiting, grown from samples drawn by Progenitor:  if our joints ache, replacements exactly tailored to our physical shape will be grown and ready.  We won’t need to feel the first flutter of arrhythmia; a telephone call will have already summoned us to the operating suite where a new heart and arteries exactly like our own await.

Of course there are certain extra services for which I may choose to pay – like replacement of firm body tissue and a transplant for that fresh, strong-featured youthful face – recreated from the latex mold Progenitor have stored for me.   And then there are remedies of a similar nature for those awe-inspiring sexual powers…

Immortality?  Certainly, of a kind.  There may well be limits, but rest assured the reincarnation waiting lists will get significantly longer, to a point where those who control these things may be forced to operate a selection process, even a clearing house for the allocation of new souls.  You might find it very difficult, for example to get a placement with parents in the south east of England, or Los Angeles – much easier to accept a more minor role in the north of Scotland, or maybe Nebraska (sorry, Nebraska!).

A price is necessary to the accelerated pace of evolution:  there will always be those who have to pay for the good fortune of others.   With my future-eye I foresee a couple of major scandals clouding the horizon of the year 2094:

‘Progenitor Labs file for bankruptcy…creditors told to expect low return on their investment.’


‘Pet food scandal – Milton Ward Cryogenics implicated’.

(descriptions of the author are subject to exaggeration and bear no relation to any persons living or likely to live)

A World Inside my Head – and do I Want it There?

ImageI am not an ant.

I feel it is necessary to make this statement because I am being increasingly made to feel like an ant.  And this alarms me.

I am an individual, not part of a collective intelligence.  My motives, my thoughts, my deeds are my own.  Or are they?

If I look at my actions for the past, say, seven days, I would have to concede that individuality played very little part:  I worked for prescribed hours, performed prescribed, largely repetitive tasks, rested at set times.  I ate set meals before receiving my dose of TV indoctrination; I paid my bills, etc..

It was ever thus.

This measure of collectivism is acceptable just because it was ever thus – my necessary contribution.  I am playing my part in a functioning society.   But lately matters have taken a menacing turn.

Let me begin with a simple example.  Have you noticed how the scripts for TV advertisements are degenerating?   Words no longer seek to enthuse: they are merely a tool to fill the silence while your mind is visually attuned to the brand.  All you are required to carry with you is a final image.

If you’ve borne with me thus far; thank you for your patience.  Your place in the nest is assured.

Now let me tell you what really worries me.  VR.  Virtual Reality.

Ten years ago it seemed so improbable:   headsets for video games at best, a bit of a joke.  Then last week came news of a scheme to introduce VR on long-haul flights, as entertainment – to make the time pass more quickly we are told, and presumably divert us from the discomfort of our cramped conditions.   A good idea?  Well yes, with certain reservations.

But then from the same source followed the suggestion that aircraft so equipped would no longer need or have windows.   Whoa!

Suddenly we’re blind.  Deprived of the choice, the sight of that sensual sea of white cloud, we’re drawn into a world of someone else’s making – a visual drug unconnected to reality.

We sit in a featureless tube with no sense of dimension while a strange-looking helmet transports us to wherever we want to go – or wherever someone with a vested interest (and these investments are expensive so they will be thorough) wants us to go.

The thin end of a huge, gigantic, unstoppable wedge?   No?  Ten years ago prosthetic limbs were unsophisticated sticks with some degree of articulation, no substitute for the real thing.   Now we have bionic limbs.  Now we have Robocop!   (Well maybe not quite, but going that way and fast).

How long will take the geniuses who learned how to connect to the primary nerves that make these bionics work to do the same to a VR helmet?  How long before VR becomes more than a merely visual experience?

Easy, then, to pipe into our brains those key images we are meant to appreciate.  Clinging to a planet that is becoming increasingly hostile, our windowless houses will divert us from the raging of the storm. All of our world will be contained within a helmet.

Are we really capable of creating such a nirvana?  Can we exist in a space where nothing is real?  Ten years ago (that decade thing again) I would not have believed this.  Now I do.

And the specter we should most fear is that while we the people chew on our superficially desirable cud a small elite will be able to manipulate us without resistance.   We will all become one – a collective intelligence serving a ‘Queen’.   Democracy is already largely a key ‘ownership’, one step away from an elitist oligarchy.   This could so easily make it so.

It is worthy of admiration, this new communism – it is a beautiful thing; but do we want it?  Is there still a choice or is the future out of our hands?

Welcome to the nest!



From a Mother on Behalf of Her Children

I have few complaints.

My home is warm and comfortable, I want for very little.  My children are well fed, intelligent, and making their own way in life.  I like to think I raised them well.   I have taught them to contribute.

We are shy and retiring as a family, and not very sociable I’m afraid.  Because I’m not very good at those things that pass as wit, the barbed conversations, the veiled innuendo, and I’m liable to bite back when attacked in such fashion, I tend to stay away.  You probably don’t even know I exist, though we live less than a stone’s throw from one another.  I am your neighbour.

I don’t want you to think I am lonely – far from it.  Life has to be challenged, and I am always busy.  In fact, I am far more concerned about you.

You seem to have prepared a particularly untenable hell for yourself:  your constant bickering over your selfish wants and needs makes it well-nigh impossible for you to live with each other.  You seem to be on an unceasing quest for more of everything, and blame everyone but yourselves when you fail to obtain it.

Your fire and brimstone pollutes the air, your rape of the land for food scarifies the soil, your children are allowed to run riot without any meaningful discipline.  Of recent years I’ve watched you turn more and more to alcohol and drugs for solace, and I’ve seen the lines of despair etched deep into your flesh.  You move with downcast eyes now, scarcely daring to look at one another for fear the deep anger you feel should erupt.

Each year your car gets a little better, your road a little worse.  You spoil for richer and richer cuisine while the meaner creatures of the world suffer for your excess.  Bound by rings of useless blubber, you waddle through your existence, persuading yourself you are happy.   Perhaps you should consider that.   Perhaps you should wonder if a world without you might be a better place.

I have.

The world has.

But there, the world need not be concerned.  As soon as she has shrugged you off, my family are ready – we are clever and we are righteous, no matter how low we stand in your regard.  And we are next.  We  shall inherit!