Tottering Towards Timeslip

I get the sneaking and undeniable feeling that 21st century culture is becoming increaslngly styled by the dead hand of Philip K Dick. Not that Dick as a ‘sci fi prophet’ (ugh). Science Fiction writers are notoriously bad at prediction. Think of a single pre 1960 story with mobile phones, PCs or the Internet. They were big on ubiquitous flying cars, ESP and conveyor-belt pavements. What makes the 21st Century Dick-ensian (sorry)  is the tone and atmosphere.  The style of his quirky details glitters everywhere.
My son Taliesin is a ‘Brony’. He is a member of an internet based sub-culture central to which is a set of toy ponies made for little girls and adverized through the medium of a tv cartoon series. These cartoons have become the philosophical underpinnings of a credo centred around friendship and loyalty and other positive life messages. Eerily Dick.
There is the continuous dumbing down of media, education and political discourse. The increasing use of anti depressive drugs with their slightly psychotic alienated disengagement with externalities is common theme in Dick’s worlds.  Consumer driven cultures like the ‘New Age’ with its gimcrack ‘alternative medicines’ and pseudo spirituality is very ‘Perky Pat’. Shopping Malls with their surreal over abundance and faux choice seem straight out of a Dick psychotic episode. Just like many of Dicks characters we are all emersed in a collective hallucination.
Corporations, freed from social restraint by their global positioning, on the one hand develop drugs to curb curiosity and concern and on the other market goods to glut the third chimpanzees insatiable appetite for novelty, alcohol, sugar, salt and fat. Largely undoing progress made in universal education and general public health, fortunes are being made in consumer media products that gain greater and greater monolithic controls of our life choices, while at the same time trivialising them. The medical profession and the pharmaceutical companies are heavily investing in geriatrics, a guaranteed market, where deteriorating minds and barely functioning obese bodies are kept suffering for as long as possible. At the same time sports and other outdoor activities are being presented as spectator activities associated with advertising for alcohol and fast food.

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