A short history of tomorrow by Trevor Plumbly
The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore
They’re all at it! Even my blog mates are doing the gloom and doom stuff, so I reckon it must be my turn to announce that the world is going to hell in a handcart. Like the man said back then, ‘The times they are a-changing’. I don’t mind change as long as it’s properly handled, but latterly I’m beginning to doubt the competence of the folk dishing it out. I’ve never had much truck with the ‘those were the days’ culture some oldies cling to, there didn’t seem much point in mourning yesterday, but lately I’ve got a bit more cynical. Life under the threat of the delete button’s got a lot more complicated for me and bits I used to value seem to be fading away, as Stephen King once put it ‘Cataracts have replaced the rose-coloured spectacles.’
Like a rhinestone cowboy
Pardon the shotgun approach, but social Armageddon ain’t kidding; the glitter gang are starting to run the show, values must be flaunted and everyone wants to shine. People get recognised for all sorts of minor doings, take Queen’s Honours, originally awarded for chivalry and derring-do, these days, if you can flick a ball round or pile up a few bob you’re practically guaranteed a gong of some sort.
Moving on, common courtesy’s another casualty: does anyone use the term ‘well-mannered’ anymore? The previously inexcusable carries a novelty value and, thanks to Mr Trump’s inventiveness, the ‘alternative facts’ are an acceptable paint job for blatant lies. Dissatisfaction’s about as contagious as Covid; look at Britain, as the Queen nears the end of a blameless reign, the anti-royals are already limbering up and what for? A republic! Crikey, given the quality of the current political crop, bananas could well become the national emblem.
Riding on a donkey
It seems to me that the more we tweak society in an effort to improve it, the tougher we’re making it for a lot of folk to live with. If the law wasn’t ‘an ass’ it’s certainly well on the way to becoming one: the current trend down here is to ‘educate’ offenders out of criminal behaviour, replacing the ‘what’ with the ‘why’.
Drop the words ‘pre-sentence report’ and you stand a fair chance of getting trampled by an army of mitigators, brandishing everything from psychiatric profiles to family histories, to the extent that Police and District Judges could be forced to act as de facto social workers. There goes impartiality! The re-educate policy makes sense, as does the ‘three strikes’ rule, but both need prescribed success/failure regulation to be effective, which of course flies in the face of ‘aspirational justice’. The law lost its way when it crept too close to politics (or vice versa).
Echoes of my mind
Like most I dream, but nightmares intrude and when they do the peace train ain’t the ‘Gospel Express’ any more, more likely the ‘Flying F**k-Up’, struggling to carry the pilgrims of democracy to paradise. I don’t really want to drive you to the liquor cabinet, but the quality of the crew suggests that it ain’t gonna complete the journey. Uncle Sam’s at the controls, but he’s getting on a bit and despite having dozens of underlings paid to remind him, he can’t remember what he said yesterday, or even if he meant it.
Chief Engineer is Bulldog Boris, whose powers of recall are equally shaky: he knows he likes parties but can’t remember going to one; sadder still, he’s not quite sure how many kids he’s got, perhaps only Santa knows? Don’t laugh yet folks, this is the Freedom Special bound for Beijing via Moscow. Please don’t use the WC in the Ukraine or Crimea; they’ve got enough crap of their own to cope with.
Here comes the night!
Take it from me, the future’s taking over history and things don’t look good. The earth’s just about exhausted from the pounding we’ve given it over the years, untold numbers of our brightest and best have squandered their intelligence developing weapons to show our neighbours we could blast them off the planet if they pushed their luck. Meanwhile we’ve got wildfires, floods, drought, starvation and all manner of self-created germs to cope with.
I’ve seen the dark, dear readers, and constantly taking the piss is not the answer to life’s ills; dignified acceptance is the way to go. When the four horsemen do gallop down Ponsonby Road, I shall greet them from my porch and politely enquire, ‘Hi guys! What kept you?’