At this point we might as well start getting used to the idea that most likely there will be no brighter future within our lifespan. The hope that somehow a magic wand will fall from the skies (whether in the shape of a politician, a medium, an excel sheet or a supreme policy), making it all fine and dandy, is beginning to sound like a mathematical impossibility. Intuition concurs.
So let’s think a bit more macroscopically: maybe these are the early days of a major civilisational shift. We will not see better times because the scope of change is longer than our own longevity.
But we might have the great opportunity to point towards better times many decades, centuries ahead.
This may be what can be done: rescuing clarity and durability where noise and angst rule ruthlessly, ever-growing, endlessly legitimised by media-instigated illusions of abundance and prosperity, seductive endemics of compulsion and hallucination. Technological determinism (gotta have that new tablet, baby), coupled with the disneyfication of everyday life, History, human condition – all cute, all lovey-dovey, all you need is. Just smile, pout, pose, look safely disengaged, soft lounge looped on earphones, the cute voice whispers “tadadaadadaaaahhhhhhhhh……”.
Do a time capsule. Rescue wisdom. Know yourself. Understand. Sort out your sorry excuses for “problems”. Be empathic. Be compassionate. Be disciplined. Be Real. Have amazing fun, of the kind no-one quite knows how to put into words. Put it in words. Be oblique. Be humble. Try. Fail. Try. Fail. Draft. Experiment. Try.
Be forewarned, digital culture has a gigantic flaw: codified artefacts need some sort of system, usually a device, that will render them readable. These devices get old, they vanish – and with them, the chances of accessing content. In other words, we may not be taking the necessary precautions so that our current cultural production will be readable even a few years from now. What a surprise: analogue faces no such conundrum – it just is.
Maybe the Bible was describing the future after all, and we are being invited to build Noah’s Ark. One that will sail through these times of transition, carrying a heritage, so that the descendants of our descendants, whichever shape they may take, will be able to do what we have been undoing: honouring our Forebearers.
Or maybe mythology is timeless, endlessly re-visitable despite doctrine.
Be the time capsule.