The following poem was inspired somewhat by the film, The Tingler which was the subject of my last post. I borrowed the idea of “fear” and tried to consider the almost pervasive, paralyzing and distorting effect that fear can have on individuals and on our modern society now and into the future.
The poem kind of just fell into my head after I finished writing about The Tingler, and I quickly wrote it down as it occurred to me so it reads a bit like stream of consciousness.
Anyway, for what it’s worth…..
Future Fears For Now
Your eyes suddenly snap open in terror
from an image burned into your mind:
an after glow of last night’s nightmare
of you sitting and sweating at a white table
under a searing ultaviolet sky,
playing polka on the lawns of the White House
with three silhouettes, one of whom shuffles
giant cards from a marked deck.
Texas hold ‘em, winner takes all,
but no, not you - you knew you had to fold
for the game was rigged in favour
of the player with the highest hand.
And now you fearfully ooze out of bed
to face a day-long fearful future
itemized by your AI assistant
who despite “her” faux-feminine ways
really doesn’t give a shit about you
‘coz the chatty cunt can’t.
On command “she” switches on the lights
and tells you about today’s weather
‘coz you’re far too scared to look outside
while the AI toothbrush brushes
your teeth at your precise preferred angle
‘coz you’re far too frightened to do it yourself.
Thank God for your smart devices
as you unwittingly continue to devolve:
driver-less and aimless without a destination;
autonomous while robbed of real autonomy;
connected but disconnected from life;
freed up to obey your device’s insistent
clamoring for your time and attention -
Emails, tweets, texts and notifications -
while the world slides by tinted windows
and you fail to notice a patch of blue sky
before the tallest smart building in the world
windshield wipes it away as it rains
to be replaced by a shadow cast over a past
psychic link to the earth and the universe
long since severed and replaced by junk piles
of mass-produced obsolescence and infant fears
of one hot day being hailed as a heatwave
while failing to feel the steadily rising fever
of the being stirring beneath your feet
and the march of the times that are a-changin,
of the earth’s climate that’s a-ragin’
of an order that’s re-arrangin.’
Watch as your ice-palace pleasure domes
while whole horizons of looming towers slowly
Status quo is death and decay, but life is change,
only if you can see, learn, adapt and evolve.
Or will you wait for the slow shifting sands of time
to roll in where you can dig a hole to bury your head?
Like the rest, you walk with bowed head and covered ears,
existence canceled out of your mind,
except for Bluetooth voices inside your head:
a modern techno zombie with a screen as guide,
afraid of the world around you and what it might say.
The hole in your head quickly fills with fears
of being unfollowed, unfriended and finally blocked
as you flee from vicious slack-jawed dyslexic trolls.
Hey, Facebook phony, snap a pic of your lovely lunch
and add it to the Instagramed lies of your life!
More uploaded delusions to feed your ego,
Owned by others you fear to fail to impress.
What’s this? Feelings of paranoid fear
Of being watched and tracked and stored.
Eyes in the sky and spies in your phone
never knowing what it is to be left alone.
But you told them where you’re going
and showed them where you’d been,
let them know what you were doing
and who and what you had just seen!
When speaking to others, you watch what you say
for they can sniff out offense and strain at the leash
while barking their outrage at the feelings you hurt.
For God’s sake, don’t open the door for her!
Too late – you now stand accused:
1. of male chauvinism
2. of outright sexism
3. of playing patriarchy
What the farky??
It’s all in the PC Handbook available online.
Read it over a re-usable cup of “coffee”
surrounded by non-alcoholic Vegan Millenials
and Gen ZZZZZZZ –(sorry I nodded off, now I’m woke!)-
who can soberly rattle off LGTBQIA in a breath
while thumbing a QWERTY touch keyboard to death.
OK Boomer, how does it feel to now know
That Christmas is banned and God is dead;
that the world is really flat and science is divided?
Or should we build more jails or toughen up sentences -
or to ban or not to ban -
talk-back radio cure-alls for all our woes?
Who really cares what reason and research shows,
when opinion can be protected from such foes
Behind the safety of walls and barriers,
where you take comfort with your own tribe
and from where you can hurl abuse and vilify
using trebuchets and catapults of free speech?
And the Power Elite tweet, divide and yell,
while the rest of the world goes to hell
in a cauldron of civil war and civil strife,
but not before you check out Netflix,
and turn in for the night,
“OK, Google - turn off the light.”
©Chris Christopoulos 2019