Lazy Guide to Net Culture: Little Red Men
If you want to appear like you’re at the cutting edge of net culture but can’t be bothered to spend hours online, then never fear. Scotsman.com’s pathetic team of geeks, freaks and gimps will do the hard work for you. While you sip wine, read a book or engage in normal social interaction, they will burn out their retinas staring at badly designed web pages and dodge creeps in chatrooms to prepare for you: Scotsman.com’s lazy guide to net culture.
Sometimes I like to raise my eyes from the lonely wastes of the scotsman.com bunker and gaze at the heavens above.
Of course all I see is the cracked grey concrete ceiling flecked with odd yellow fluid seeping from the IT Re-education Room above (don't ask). But in my mind's eye I see the stars, those tiny sparks of fire twinkling in unending blackness – a metaphor perhaps for our brief lives. This may sound like maudlin ramblings that would shame the shallowest of adolescents but that’s only because it's maudlin, adolescent rambling.
It gets worse, much worse.
After a few cups of our truly dreadful canteen coffee (based I am reliably informed on a neurotoxin harvested from Amazonian frogs used by certain tribes for every purpose imaginable save that of making hot drinks), I find myself musing about intelligent life somewhere above me. (I mean in the sky, not in scotsman.com towers.)
Before I go any further I should point out that this is not going to be some delusional rant about how our interstellar brothers and sisters are "among us" already. Nor am I going to go over badly photoshopped images of weather balloons to "prove" that the secret world government sold us out to our alien masters decades ago. (Though if necessary I have 2,000 "I for one welcome our new alien overlords" t-shirts ready for a quick sale if it does indeed turn out that the secret world government sold us out to our alien masters decades ago.) Finally I promise not to use the phrase "anal probe" at any point during this piece.
I am however going to point out a survey of 1,000 Americans carried out by the University of Connecticut's Centre For Survey Research and Analysis in association with the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and the National Geographic Channel.
Rather than send you off to the sites of these organisations, instead I refer you to the press release printed in full on cosmicparadigm.com - partly because it tickled me to do so but primarily because I could find neither hide nor hair of the survey on the sites of those organisations. (It's here apparently.)
It tells us that 60 per cent of Americans believe there is life on other worlds.
Among the results was one truly depressing statistic. It was not that 80 per cent of this group think it is likely that the intelligent life forms on other planets are more advanced than us. From the country that gave George W Bush a second term, this is not surprising.
What plunged me into a deep black hole of despair (do you see what I did there?), was that 7 out of 10 of these Americans think the intelligent life forms on other planets would be similar to humans.
There I was, staring at the dripping goo above me, dreaming of a socialist paradise on Arcturus, where nobody starves, where there is no greed, where every individual is devoted to exploring space - both inner and outer - together in peace. All things in common, all people one and all that. A society based on love and a fearless desire to enjoy God's multifaceted, infinite creation.
Now, thanks to 1,000 randomly surveyed citizens of the Rome de nos jours, my daydream has been shattered. Instead now all I see is a polluted, belligerent planet populated by overweight, badly-dressed yahoos wobbling down gravity-free malls lined with soulless corporate outlets selling deep fried patties of genetically modified salty gristle and identikit jeans made by slave labour in the textile mines of Hoth.
Ho-hum. Well, I suppose I can console myself with what might have been if we had been more technologically adventurous, thanks to Transportation Futuristics, an exhibit of weird and wonderful vehicular ideas that never quite made it:
This exhibit examines some of the efforts to address transportation needs in ways that didn’t quite get off the ground literally or figuratively. Are the designers simply ahead of their time? Are the failures attributable to an infrastructure that never anticipated such a development? Was there ultimately no way to make the new idea work financially?
Whatever the answer to those questions, I simply know my life would be much better if I came to work on a "flying saucer bus", primarily because I could hijack it to take me to Arcturus to open a fastfood concession.
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