Saturday, 13 July 2013

As Good as Gods: Progress Dreamed as Shitstorm

S o (to borrow the scientists' favourite opener) we'd barely got past avoiding being eaten and building shelters before we got into all the shamanistic, mystical and religious shit. Then, before we were really done with that (although probably because we were done with it) we started with the rational scientific shit. We let that become really quite complicated and detailed, so that quite soon, as with God and all the rest, we were no longer running it but it was running us. And we seemed to like it that way. But simultaneously, after barely a moment engaging with the wonders of nature (within us and without us), we were beguiled by all kinds of industrial and if-you-like-it-you-can-own-it shit, and rolled over by the socio-economic bamboozlement that came with it.

Notice that we were never fully done with any particular kind of shit before our gaze wandered on to the next kind, and so it's not surprising that after barely a few centuries we reinvent it all – even though it's all still there in its original form – so that we can enjoy all the same shit all over again in digital form, along with all the new shit that's happening. Forget that shit, look at this shit. No, don't forget it, but access it this way now. Please complete your profile, enter a mobile phone number, state your date of birth, log on to online banking. Please contribute to the knowledge base whilst clicking on the brightly coloured ads in the sidebar. And shit.

Meanwhile, back in the dreaming mind of the concerned citizen: stop worrying about clean drinking water and social inequality and ripping the guts out of the planet for short-term gratification. Please, everyone, cooperate as a species so that one day we can terraform Mars and everyone can go into space and live to be a thousand years old, enjoying all the shit we did and can do whether or not we've settled the existence of any god or the rightness of bioengineering creatures that are all meat and no motion so that we can keep eating some shit that we got used to and can't give up because we're still big babies even though some of us think we are as good as gods.

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