Sunday, May 25, 2014

* Super-organisms

Every generation goes through a utopian phase: My generation wanted to “give love a chance” while shouting “one, two, three, four :we don’t want your fucking war” until Kent State  ended the protest movement and AIDS ended the “sexual revolution”.


The current generation has made a faustian bargain with facebook and twitter in its own utopian paroxysm :  We surrender our privacy in exchange for the rush of a digital democracy, with Arab Springs toppling from our materialist pantheon the  Weiners , Spitzers and Sterlings;  Bondses, Clemenses and Armstrongs, toppling accomplished with the tip of a finger, a mouse click and a  tsunami of “shares," a  kind of digital super-organism like Nature's swarms. 


The same digital dynasty which made such topplings possible with the right hand also feeds billions of dollars every tenth of a second with the left hand to  an automated casino on Wall Street until the sheer mindless greed of the roulette wheel  rots the soul.


One tycoon is quoted in a recent issue of  Rolling Stone as saying “It is so easy to make money, “ leaving the rest of us who don’t find that to be so easy to wonder if we are idiots or he is braggart.


I suspect when the digital dust settles, and utopia and the fountain of youth have once again failed to materialize,  this generation will have become wrinkled and tired and cynical just as my generation of dead-heads has . 


It is almost laughable to turn the pages of  a Rolling Stone  magazine  these days with all the pot bellied, white haired hippies having reuniting their bands or mounting yet another mega-concert. 

Springstein---the Boss ---has become a kind of aging Frank Sinatra, trying to stuff his meaty self into  jeans and leather jackets the way Sinatra pasted himself into his toupe and false teeth, with an ascot of jowels cushioning  old golden throat's billion dollar vocal chords.


They will all be lost -------the fattening faces, the facebooks, the unformed utopias ---- all will wash away into the forgotten future,
unless of course social media's super-organisms, swarm down in digital revolutions, just in time to save mankind from canibalizing  of the biosphere.

Do I detect a smidgeon of utopianism in this 70 year old writer?

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