Okay, I’m coming out.
It’s true confessions time. I suffer from the ravages of a condition that affects everyone. Most of us struggle to cope with its impact, and most of us fail. This condition will kill more Americans, indeed, more people, than anything else in the world, except, maybe life. We call this condition, time.
Humans deny time’s effects because of the work of time-deniers. Time-deniers will tell you that there’s nothing we can do about time, and spend huge sums of money to promote and reinforce their beliefs. They want us to believe that we have all the time in the world. Statements like, “Sure, I have the time, I can do that,” and, “I’ll make the time,” permeates our popular culture. When someone pushes back, “I don’t have the time,” others immediately become edgy, asking, “Are you sure?”
Because of the time-deniers, time and its effects are not seriously addressed. Indeed, many popular culture avenues mock the problems with time. “Time is on our side,” Mick Jagger sang, while clearly knowing – I mean, have you seen him recently? – that time is not on our side. Jim Croce understood the problems with time, and wished for time in a bottle. Styx, clearly being ironic, sang, “Too much time on my hands.” Chris Martin of Coldplay understood time, noting in the hit song he penned, “Clocks,” “Confusion never stops, closing walls and ticking clocks, gonna come back and take you home.”
We pretend to do something about time by constantly measuring and marking its passage. This lulls us into a false sense of security that we’re safe from time. Yet, we’re not. Time waits for no one, but because of the time-deniers’ work, few people in the world are attempting to do anything about time. Yes, there are individuals and groups struggling to kill time. Most have limited results. Instead, most end up keeping time, or marking time.
The time has come to push back. The first step is to recognize that time is a problem. The second step is to recognize that we can do something about time. To do that, we must quantify the problem. Time inequality is just one visible but large aspect of the issue, and it’s a good place to start. Some people have too much time on their hands, while entire races, nations and segments of people keep running out of time. Why should we let that continue to pass? Surely, we, as an intelligent species, can come together and redistribute time more equitably among all.
You can help. I’ll be posting a petition to the world’s governments, political leaders and technology titans to form a consortium to fight time. Please, sign the petition and spread the word. Socialize our cause. Help stop time before time stops you.
Floofcheck (Definition): the process of confirming the whereabouts of your household pets.
In Use: “Once he rose in the morning, the first item of business was circling the property on a floofcheck. Quinn was sleeping in the living room, while Boo and Papi occupied strategic backyard locations. Tucker was in isolation in the house. All were well.”
I dreamed I was at a conference and on a panel with John Scalzi and one other writer. The discussion was about the future. The panel ended as the dream began.
Next, with my wife beside me, I was playing a giant video game. There were three huge screens, the size of something in a stadium, but they were the old “green screens.” People wanted to see me play this game because I was reputed to be very good at it. I wanted to play because I could win prizes. But, it quickly became apparent that the controller was malfunctioning. As I realized that, I laughed at the situation, surrendering to the inevitable, and the disappointed spectators drifted away.
It was time to go home, and we were at an enormous airport. I suspect it may have been LAX. I was talking with the third writer on the panel when Scalzi came by. We engaged in a conversation about what to eat. Scalzi wanted ham with raisin sauce. Then he had to catch his flight and said his good-byes. Next, my wife had to catch her flight, so we said good-byes, and she headed for her flight. The other writer and I began walking to our terminal. He made some excuse about going off and doing something. I responded that I’d wait for him.
He told me that he’d rather I didn’t. “No offense,” he said, “but the visions you and Scalzi are just too dark for me. I want to believe in something more hopeful and positive.” Then he waved and walked away, leaving me stunned, and reflecting on what he said.
“Watch out for the other guy. They might be a zombie.”
This song was written in nineteen sixty-six, and released in nineteen sixty-seven. The lyrics, though, speak to our times now as much as they did to the era which produced them.
There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It’s s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
h/t to MetroLyrics
What’s interesting about that song is that Stephen Stills wrote it about a curfew on Sunset Strip. While they speak to the mood in America in the nineteen sixties and the twenty-first century, they speak to the life and times in the U.S.S.R, Nazi Germany, and other places ruled by fear, paranoia and oppression. People seek rights and freedoms; others squash them to preserve their status and wealth. It’s a cycle as old as humanity, except, instead of a man with a gun, there was a man with a rock, spear, bow and arrow, or other weapon.
Let’s listen to Buffalo Springfield and “For What It’s Worth.”
Floofinator (Definition): A feline that is dangerous to strings, flies, moths, spiders, water bottle rings, buttons, lids, bobby pins, blueberries, grapes, foil balls, lint, and other small game.
In Use: “Rocky was a powerful floofinator, pouncing on every spider, moth or flying insect that came his way, batting it until resistance and flight ceased, and then batting it a few more times, to ensure the job was done.”