History, they say, is cyclical…doomed to repeat itself over and over as time goes on.
I have long been a fan of Rod Serling’s work. He was a brilliant writer, and often wove a strong moral element into the intriguing stories he penned, particularly for his series, Twilight Zone. He worked very hard to sell that show to the network, in an effort to free himself from censorship, particularly from the sponsors of the shows for which he wrote.
For example, his “Requiem For A Heavyweight” won both Emmy and Peabody awards, and is highly regarded to this day. Not as well known is that he had to remove the line, “Got a match?” from the script, because one of the sponsors was Ronson lighters. Even then, back in the ‘50’s, sponsors…or advertisers, as we call them today…ruled over creativity by the power of the checkbook.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Today….we’re willing to exchange our privacy for the ability to waste hours online using social media. Soon, with the release of Windows 10, the very operating system that controls our computer will be mining data from everything we do, whether online or not, which will be both sold to advertisers and will be used for Microsoft to offer us “relevant” subscription offerings, based on our computing usage. It makes me wonder just when the word “free” was redefined as “in exchange for privacy”.
Add to that government monitoring, the intense degree of which Snowdon brought to light in his “whistle blowing” efforts, and let’s not forget big business, which has adopted a policy of micromanagement that now monitors every aspect of the employee’s work day with an intensity previously known only in works of science fiction.
Imagine if Rod Serling were alive today, and what he’d make of the world we live in…
Evening, an old man sits in a comfortable living room. Two young children,
a girl and a boy, run into the room, asking “Grandpa, will you tell us a story?”
Grandpa smiles, and says, “Of course! Now you two sit on down, and get
comfortable, and I’ll tell you about a time long ago….”
“Once upon a time, before the year MegaCorp 1, the poor citizens (they weren’t
called “users” back then) were left to wander aimlessly through the world,
without the benevolent guidance of MegaCorp to lead them.
They were left to their own devices, forced to actually think on their own,
and worst of all, to make their own decisions!
Children, can you imagine how frightening it must have been for them? Just imagine
if you had to decide what food to eat, what clothes to wear, and what you were
going to do when you grow up, all on your own?
Of course, many of those lost souls made unwise decisions, and did not choose
the things that MegaCorp selects for you and I today. Luckily, many of those poor
creatures were rescued from themselves during the great flood W10, which
observed their every move, their every thought, and led them to the promised
land that we know today as MegaCorp.
In those turbulent times, the lost souls formed something called “governments”
to provide leadership and authority. Fortunately, those governing bodies were
completely controlled by MegaCorp’s ancestors, so they soon became absorbed
and, as MegaCorp rose to being, disbanded and joined the ranks of the users,
bathed in the warmth of the MegaCorp cocoon, free of the need to think, to
choose, or to decide, as MegaCorp knows what is best for us all, and leads our
Yes children, we users are the lucky ones indeed. We’ll never know the fear and stress
our ancestors faced each and every day, dealing with all those decisions and choices.
MegaCorp is with us always, and will guide us down the path that it knows is
best for us!”
Just then, the flat panel on the wall comes on, filled with the smiling face of an
attractive young woman.
“Wasn’t that a lovely story, children? You should thank your Grandpa for telling
you that story.”
As one, the children smile and say, “Thank you, Grandpa!”
“Well done, children…remember, all users are happy users! Now, it is time to enjoy
a refreshing glass of Kool-Aid, and then it’s off to the dream chamber for sleep. We
have some lovely dreams ready for you to enjoy tonight!”
Grandpa and the children smile at the lovely woman on the screen, and as one, say,
“Thank you, MegaCorp! Good rest to you!”
Fade to black….