“Well, I’m heavenly blessed and worldly wise. I’m a peeping-tom techie with x-ray eyes. Things are going great, and they’re only getting better! I’m doing alright, getting good grades. The future’s so bright… I gotta wear shades… I gotta wear shades!” Lyrics excerpted from the band Timbuk 3’s only significant mainstream hit, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”.

The shades and their symbolism are long gone… mine anyway. Scuffed, scratched, and cracked from years of hopeful use and uselessness. Folded and forgotten in the dark recesses of the dash now.

This is not to deny the potential brightness of the future. Just saying that in passing years it is more of a dimming, wearily pulsating glow that weakens on the regular. One that requires no need for optical protection.

Now to clarify. We are not speaking directly of mine own future (whose dimmer switch moves deceptively up and down and oft sideways) or lack of brightness thereof. But rather that of the collective dullness of the human race in its entirety. Perhaps it would be more in correctness of the political to say human “races”. Because despite the claimed desire for equality, we seek classification through specification and diversification. That in itselfication being a small part of the problamification… I need a vahamacation… anywho.

Now, speaking for all of us. All personas and peoples everywhere. Yes, I can do that. Speak for the we that is us and you cannot stop me muhahaha but… I think you’ll agree when the inquiry is made, “Where are our jetpacks?”

Where are the meals in a pill? — just add water and voila, a four course dinner is served. What about a cure for the common cold? Where are all the flying cars that run on water? Where are the jetpacks? Yeah, yeah, these things do exist, in some fashion, but are they readily available to the general public? I think not!

Wouldn’t you like to grocery shop and cook in seconds? Tired of catching what’s going round? Family trips would be more fun airborne and if you got thirsty, just take a sip from the gas tank! Who wants to walk to check the mail? When you could just… wait we already have jetpacks for that — they are called golfcarts. Because people cannot walk the 40-foot round trip to their mailbox. Mine’s a ¼ mile up the road… so a jetpack is justifiable.

Nope, we do not need any of that. Let us just keep improving videogame graphics and adding features to our phones that we don’t need and will never use. You ever notice when someone gets a new phone, they’ll rattle off all the features and amazing things it can do. Then only use it to call, text and play games. Has public progress perpetually peaked with pointless phone apps?

This stuttering of advancement, technological and otherwise, is a big part of why this writer no longer celebrates the New Year. Because there is nothing “NEW” about it. Same s*** 365 days later. So, let’s stay up late, get drunk, do something regrettable and celebrate the mediocrity our society has succumbed to. No thank you. Maybe it would be worth celebrating the “Next” Year, but “New”?

New indicates better, different, unlike before. Not just in our materialized accomplishments, but in we the people. And nothings better, different or new on that score. Racism is racing out of control. Pollution is still polluting — we can’t recycle fast enough, and many don’t even bother. Child abuse, neglect, ignoring and bullying continue. The political scene is an insane joke. And relations among nations? Well, let’s just say the future may look bright on that account by way of exchanged nukes — the fallout’s so bright…I gotta wear shades. We need an adult here, but with a quick assessment of the up and comings… nope there aren’t enough.

So, what are we saying? We as in the us I am speaking for. Is it hopeless? Maybe. But hell, when has that ever stopped us before?

So, what do we do? We can’t stop a nuclear war! No, maybe not. And maybe we can’t make the world at large a renewed, better and brighter place. But we can improve ourselves and maybe that’d be the best place to start. Happy Next Year!

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected].

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.