Old Monster's Abattoir
Another letter to the Old Monster for your perusal, and it is a dilly! Nothing like throwing a near imponderable to put you into bad case of writer’s block is there? Questions like this one make me sweat frankly so I think I’ll just scratch the surface a bit and hope she can get her research on. Poor kid has one hell of a learning curve ahead of her.
Dear Old Monster,
I have been locked in my parents basement for the last eight years. What should I know about the real world?
In The Dark And Out Of The Loop
PS: Please help me Old Monster, you’re my only hope!
I’m sorry to have to break this to you, Leia, but if I’m your only hope then I think you’re boned. I’ll have to assume you are somewhere around eighteen for simplicity’s sake as there is no single answer to a question like this. After all, most adults don’t get locked in the basement by their parents, do they? A lot of them should be, but that’s beside the point.
I hardly know where to start. Politically it’s been a hell of an eight years. We’re wrapped up in a war in Iraq that we started over, now get this, a person who didn’t orchestrate an attack the World Trade Center killing thousands, didn’t attack us, didn’t attack our allies, and didn’t have illegal weapons of mass destruction stashed around his country in violation of UN sanctions, and wasn’t hiding Al Quiada operatives in his country. Not when we attacked anyway. Don’t even get me started on who and/or what Al Quaida is… you’ll figure it out soon enough if your Google Fu is strong.
Soooooo– we fragged his country… yeah. Oh, before I forget we also attacked another country and overturned it’s government… sort of. The women still wear Burkas but I hear three men in Kabul have started using toilet paper. Worth every penny of the billions we’ve spent on the invasions, yes?
On the home front we’ve become obsessed with trivial celebrity and shallow attention whoring marketed as reality television. You’ll note that Reality Television is an oximoron. It’s no more real than a cartoon and frankly it barely qualifies as television. This, and its pornographic counterpart the “Girls Gone Wild” videos, allow shows to be made at very low overhead. It’s easy to make a show that doesn’t require plot or storyline (or script writers) and it will likely make a ton of money even if it flops. Television like this almost makes me miss Gilligan’s Island. Almost.
It never took much to achieve celebrity status of course. If you don’t believe me take a look at Paris Hilton. She bought her way into the spotlight regardless of her complete lack of talent, common sense, and a measurable IQ. These things aren’t necessary these days if you start out rich or know who to screw. And before you older folks get on that high horse of yours save it… does the name Zsa Zsa Gabor mean anything to you?
Culturally we aren’t much better off. Wonderful devices such as The cellphone and the PDA and the bastard offspring of both have spared us from the hardships of communicating on the go, personal organization, and literacy; to say nothing of reading comprehension. But you’ll sure look bitchin’ with that Blue tooth headset on behind the wheel of your SUV so no worries, image is everything!
The internet has performed the same purpose of course, but with better graphics and easier input. It seems that the improvements in ease of use of a given bit of technology are inversely proportionate to the decline in most people’s ability to make use of said device. A quick, comprehensive way to frappe’ a human brain in record time. Go Hulu Go!
A few more advancements like these and we won’t need schools. Some fencing around the back forty will keep the sheep contained during class and graduation can be simplified greatly. A quick trip to the kitchen and a sharp blow with a cross-peen hammer and VOILA!.
The Religious Right as a whole and individually is acting the same as it always has: foaming at the mouth, flailing like a drunken hooker in a pig waller at everything that isn’t to their liking. You know, all that post McCarthy bullshit. No change here except a lot of them are managing to get elected to public office. Scary.
If this gives you the impression I’m stalling then you’re half right. More has changed in the last decade or so than can be recounted in a single letter, or for that matter a single book. You have a lot of catching up to do and for this I can only offer my sympathy.
Blood & Stitches,
The Old Monster