Posts Tagged 'godless Digital Age'

A DIFFERENT APPROACH

—Original Message—

Sent: Tue, Dec 12, 2017 4:53 pm

Subject: FROM SCOTT MAYO, RE TWO ONLINE PETITIONS I HAVE STARTED

I appreciate your time and consideration, in reading this email.

For a long time now, I’ve been very concerned about the direction our country, the United States, is taking.

Since 2012, I’ve been especially concerned about the destructive impact that unrestrained Digital-Age technology—particularly cellular technology (cellphones and smartphones) and social media (Facebook, Twitter, et al)—is having on our country.

And since June 22, 2015, I’ve been especially concerned about an ongoing trend of state and local politicians censoring their constituents’ historical flags, and destroying their constituents’ historical monuments—without their constituents’ consent.  This posthumous extermination of the Confederate States of America is destructive to the United States of America—and I have been doing all I can to bring awareness to it, and to elicit the help of my fellow Southern Americans, my fellow Americans, and my fellow human beings worldwide, in stopping this destructive trend.

I have started two petitions on the website, Change.org, on which I would appreciate your adding your signature to mine.

The first is to President Trump, requesting that he remove Nikki Haley from his presidential cabinet—because Nikki Haley is the initial perpetrator of this posthumous extermination of the Confederate States of America, and because Nikki Haley is being rewarded for her exploitation of a mass murder.

The second is to Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward and the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners to return the First Confederate Flag to its rightful place in Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays—the historical flags displays of the five nations under which Pensacola, Florida, has lived and thrived.  These local politicians have censored the First Confederate Flag from our historical flags displays since June 24, 2015—without our consent.  They have not even let us vote on this.

Our country, the United States of America, is in serious danger of self-destruction.  The sociopolitical chaos our country is experiencing in this Digital Age is unprecedented in its history.  And this sociopolitical chaos—driven by unrestrained Digital-Age technology—is spreading all over our world.

Most of us seem to be pretending that everything is fine—as if our country’s problems will simply go away if we ignore them.  But this is never the case—no country’s problems simply go away, as if by magic.

Many of us are quite aware of the danger posed to our country, but feel so powerless to do anything about it that we just give up—we just do nothing, and look forward to our deaths, or to a Biblical event that will require no action on our part.

Of course, neither of these approaches is ever effective.

We can turn our country—and our world—around.  But we can only do this together—and with small, incremental actions.

And signing online petitions is a way of taking small, incremental actions together.

Please click on the links below, and—unless either of these petitions is against everything you believe in—add your signature to these online petitions.  Your signature will be greatly appreciated—perhaps more than you know.

https://www.change.org/p/president-trump-remove-the-dishonorable-nikki-r-haley-from-your-cabinet-immediately-so-you-can-immediately-restore-some-honor-to-your-cabinet

https://www.change.org/p/pensacola-mayor-ashton-hayward-and-the-escambia-county-board-of-county-commissioners-return-the-first-confederate-flag-to-its-rightful-place-in-pensacola-s-five-flags-displays

And if you want to learn more about the issues mentioned in this email, you are welcome to view my blog, Solosocial, at solosocial.wordpress.com, and to comment on posts, if you so desire.

Again, thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Scott Wesley Mayo

TO LIMIT THE DIGITAL-AGE TECHNOLOGY IN OUR LIVES

The abolitionist movement

The women’s suffrage movement

The labor union movement

The conservation movement

The temperance movement

The civil rights movement

The American Indian movement

The feminist movement

The anti-nuclear movement

The environmental movement

#TakeDownTheFlag #TakeEmDownNOLA #BlackLivesMatter #MeToo #NeverAgain

Notice a difference?

The sociopolitical movements before this mindless Digital Age were truly movements.  Everyone had an opinion on them—and the opinions were as diverse as the individuals in the general population.

These social-media outbursts are not movements at all.

They are trendy slogans that are as mindless and meaningless as “Jesus Saves,” and “God Bless America.”

But because they are sold as meaningful movements to largely Generation-Y and Generation-Z smartphone addicts with no understanding of history, civics, or personal responsibility, they are especially subversive and dangerous outbursts—and therefore destructive.

And the only way we can prevent the destruction of our world is to rid ourselves of our cellphones and smartphones, and close our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The only way we can prevent the destruction of our world is to limit the Digital-Age technology in our lives.

RESPECT AND APPRECIATE, GENERATION Y

BLACK LIVES MATTER, Generation Y?

During the Great Depression, Marian Anderson was prohibited from singing at Constitution Hall, in Washington, D.C., by the Daughters of the American Revolution—because she was colored.  First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR—then arranged for Marian Anderson to sing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, instead.

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER, Generation Y?

In 1940, Hattie McDaniel was a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee for her role as “Mammy” in the 1939 production of “Gone with the Wind”.

Colored people were prohibited from entering the Los Angeles hotel where the awards ceremony was held, but the hotel made an exception for Hattie McDaniel.  It allowed her to attend the ceremony—though she had to sit at a table across the room from the tables where the whites sat.  Hattie McDaniel graciously accepted the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award however, stating that she hoped to be a credit to her race.

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER, Generation Y?

The majority of abolitionists in the 19th century were whites who simply didn’t want blacks around—enslaved or free.

In all Northern states, blacks were segregated from whites—and some, like Indiana, kept blacks out entirely.

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER, Generation Y?

My Grandma Mayo, who was raised in Ohio, encountered some uppity Southern women once—the kind of Southern women who gave all Southern women a bad name.  

They asked her a question about a train’s schedule, and she replied, “That colored lady said…”

“We don’t call a colored woman a ‘lady,'” they interrupted.

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER, Generation Y?

My Grandma Mayo also told me of a restaurant in New York that didn’t take kindly to recent desegregation laws.

The waitress served the black man and his wife—but in the rudest, noisiest manner.

She slammed their plates onto the table, and abruptly walked away.

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER, Generation Y?

My German friend, Mr. Vogel, wanted to register to vote in Alabama, after moving there from Wisconsin.

He was told he’d have to pay a poll tax to register to vote.

“Why?” he asked.

“To keep the niggers down,” was the reply.

Mr. Vogel refused to pay a poll tax for a reason like that—he waited until poll taxes were prohibited, before he registered to vote in Alabama.

 

You can put those BLACK LIVES MATTER signs down, Generation Y.  And you can show some appreciation for the fact that you’ve never truly suffered a day in your privileged lives.  And you can show some respect for your ancestors—and your elders—who have.

 

ME TOO, Generation Y?

My Grandma Mayo’s Aunt Pearl told of her mother—an orphan in Ohio.

At one point, Aunt Pearl’s mother, Lizzie, was staying with a woman who had three sons.  This woman’s three sons bullied Lizzie, a great deal—verbally and emotionally.

But whenever Lizzie reported this abuse to their mother, their mother accused Lizzie of lying—and sided with her sons, without ever even questioning them.

Eventually, Lizzie was adopted by a more understanding and loving foster mother.

 

ME TOO, Generation Y?

My Grandma Mayo was actually born in Nashville.

But her father died, not long after she was born.  

Her sixteen-year-old mother, Nonnie, had to take her newborn daughter all the way back home to Akron, Ohio—because she didn’t have the means to raise her by herself.

 

ME TOO, Generation Y?

Nonnie and Pearl had a sister named Polly.

I have a photograph of my Great-Great Aunt Polly that was taken shortly before she died—she was a beautiful young woman.

Polly died in childbirth—at age eighteen.

Needless to say, her husband was heartbroken.

 

ME TOO, Generation Y?

My Grandma Mayo was “pro-choice”, and I didn’t agree with her on that point.

But her opinion was completely understandable.

Louise—a beautiful cousin of her husband’s—got pregnant, out of wedlock.

In those days, an unwed woman who got pregnant was often treated like trash—while the man who impregnated her was often treated with impunity.

As was so often the case, in those days, the father of Louise’s unborn child disappeared—and Louise was faced with the stigma every abandoned, unwed mother faced.

Louise panicked, and attempted to abort the child.

She and her unborn child died in the attempt.

 

ME TOO, Generation Y?

During the War between the Confederate States and the United States—and especially during the “Reconstruction”, a brutal occupation in which the people of the vanquished Confederate States were denied their constitutional rights for twelve years—Southern women, black and white, were brutally raped by Union troops and Union League terrorists, on a constant basis.

 

ME TOO, Generation Y?

On March 25, 1911, 145 young women—mostly teenaged immigrants who didn’t speak English—burned to death at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City.

Women died in Northern factories often—this was just one of the worst of such tragedies.

In fact, the majority of factory workers in Northern U.S. cities were orphans and unwed women, in those days.

And the factory owners and managers—most of them Jewish men—couldn’t care less.

 

You can put those ME TOO signs down, Generation Y.  And you can show some appreciation for the fact that you’ve never truly suffered a day in your privileged lives.  And you can show some respect for your ancestors—and your elders—who have.

THEY ARE DESTROYING THEMSELVES WITH THEIR SMARTPHONES

There is a limit to human good, but there is no limit to human evil.

And I have never witnessed so much evil in my fellow human beings as in this Digital Age.

Most of this evil is manifested in their indifference.

Their smartphones are indifferent—and as they become more addicted to their smartphones, they become more indifferent.

I made the decision, years ago, not to get a cellphone or smartphone.

And I made the decision, years ago, not to get a Facebook or Twitter account.

I made the decision, years ago, to limit the Digital-Age technology in my life.

But my fellow human beings never made that decision—not most of them anyway.

And whenever I appeal to my fellow human beings to limit the Digital-Age technology in their lives, their indifference turns to denial, at best, and wrath, at worst.

Politicians, like Nikki Haley and Mitch Landrieu, have always been evil.

Yet politicians are running amok in this Digital-Age because my fellow human beings are indifferent to their evil—and to their evil deeds.

Only in this Digital Age do my fellow human beings allow politicians to censor their historical flags and monuments without their consent.

Because only in this Digital Age are my fellow human beings so indifferent to the evil of politicians—and to the evil deeds of politicians.

Their smartphones make them oblivious to everything and everyone around them.

And as their governments and corporations keep pushing their little, electronic drugs on them—by pushing more and more apps on them—they become more oblivious, and thereby indifferent.

As long as I can have a landline phone, I know that my fellow human beings can have landline phones too—at least in my country.

And as long as I can have a blog, I know that my fellow human beings can have blogs too.

I limit the Digital-Age technology in my life to a desktop personal computer and a blog.

And this is how I am so aware of the evil indifference in my fellow human beings who do not.

This is how I am so aware of how evil my fellow human beings are becoming, as they become more and more addicted to those smartphones.

This is how I am so aware of how evil my fellow human beings are becoming, as they become more and more addicted to Facebook and Twitter.

Their evil is manifested in their ignorance, apathy, and complacency.

Yet most of their evil is manifested in their indifference.

There is a limit to human good, but there is no limit to human evil.

And I have never witnessed so much evil in my fellow human beings as in this Digital Age.

Most of this evil is manifested in their indifference.

Their smartphones are mindless, godless, and inhuman.

And as they become more addicted to their smartphones, they become more mindless, godless, and inhuman—just like their smartphones.

I softly laugh, as I consider ending this rambling post with, “Fools! I’ll destroy them all!”

Yet I stop laughing when I realize that they are destroying themselves, by refusing to limit the Digital-Age technology in their lives.

And more than anything else, they are destroying themselves with their smartphones.

REDISCOVER THE PURPOSE OF COFFEEHOUSES

COFFEEHOUSES ARE PLACES FOR SOCIAL INTERACTION.  AND SINCE WI-FI HAS BEEN INTRODUCED IN STARBUCKS COFFEEHOUSES, THERE HAS BEEN VERY LITTLE SOCIAL INTERACTION.  MOST STARBUCKS CUSTOMERS TODAY DO NOT USE STARBUCKS FOR SOCIAL INTERACTION AT ALL, BUT ONLY FOR THE FREE WI-FI.  THESE CUSTOMERS, MOST OF THEM YOUNG PEOPLE, HAVE NO UNDERSTANDING THAT COFFEEHOUSES ARE FOR RECITING POETRY, PLAYING MUSIC ON REAL INSTRUMENTS, PLAYING BOARD GAMES AND CARD GAMES, READING AND SHARING BOOKS, GIVING AND LISTENING TO LECTURES, SHARING IDEAS, ENJOYING CONVERSATION, AND ALL OTHER MANNER OF SOCIAL INTERACTION.  EVEN OUR AMERICAN REVOLUTION BEGAN IN COFFEEHOUSES, IN CITIES LIKE PHILADELPHIA, BOSTON, NEW YORK, RICHMOND, CHARLESTON, AND SAVANNAH—WHERE THE REVOLUTIONARY IDEAS WERE SHARED AMONG COMPATRIOTS.  DO AWAY WITH THE WI-FI IN ALL STARBUCKS COFFEEHOUSES—SO THAT CUSTOMERS CAN BE ENCOURAGED TO INTERACT WITH EACH OTHER AGAIN, AND CAN THEREBY REDISCOVER THE PURPOSE OF COFFEEHOUSES.

LEFT-WING HYPOCRISY AND SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS

Devout Jews, Christians, and Muslims do not condemn homosexuals and lesbians.

Devout Jews, Christians, and Muslims condemn homosexual and lesbian sex.

Because devout Jews, Christians, and Muslims condemn oral and anal sex.

And the only sex homosexuals can have is oral and anal sex.

And the only sex lesbians can have is oral sex.

You think two men having anal sex is loving and beautiful—but you don’t think a man and woman having anal sex is loving and beautiful, do you?

You think two men having oral sex is loving and beautiful—but you don’t think a man and woman having oral sex is loving and beautiful, do you?

You think two women having oral sex is loving and beautiful—but you don’t think a man and woman having oral sex is loving and beautiful, do you?

You think devout Jews, Christians, and Muslims are hypocritical—and often they are.

But you are so much more hypocritical than devout Jews, Christians, and Muslims could ever be—and you are not mindful of your hypocrisy.

You think devout Jews, Christians, and Muslims are self-righteous—and often they are.

But you are so much more self-righteous than devout Jews, Christians, and Muslims could ever be—and you are not mindful of your self-righteousness.

In this godless Digital Age, there is so much more hypocrisy and self-righteousness on the political left than there is on the political right.

Left-wing hypocrisy is still hypocrisy.

Left-wing self-righteousness is still self-righteousness.

DIGITAL-AGE DECADENCE

Queen’s “We Are The Champions” was the graduation theme song for the class of 1984 at Murphy High School, in Mobile, Alabama.  It was probably the graduation theme song for numerous classes before that, since it was released in 1977.  I was among six commencement speakers chosen by the senior and junior classes for the ceremony—at which the Murphy High School chorus sang the song, accompanied by the Murphy High School band.

“We Are The Champions” is not even one of my favorite Queen songs, let alone my favorite songs, in general.  The lyrics are simpler than those of my favorite Queen songs—and the music is not nearly as complex.  Yet note the passionate singing of Freddie Mercury—and the unforgettable instrumentation of the band, particularly the electric-guitar artistry.  And note the raw, wild, real, personal, sincere, human interaction between the band and the audience.

Yes, this is the kind of music that was played at graduation ceremonies and sporting events before the Digital Age.

 

 

 

 

No, this is not a commercial—this is the kind of music that is played at graduation ceremonies and sporting events in this Digital Age.  There is no band—all of the music is digitally programmed, and electronically produced.  And the lyrics are not just simple—they’re totally simplistic, and indescribably trite.  The singing isn’t passionate at all—it’s completely contrived.  And there is no interaction with an audience, because the only audience is an unseen collective of smartphone addicts—none of whom are even interacting with each other.

This is Digital-Age decadence.

WOULD YOU HEED THESE?

Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cellphone Usage Is Dangerous to Your Health, and Destructive to Your Life.

Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Smartphone Usage Is Dangerous to Your Health, and Destructive to Your Life.

Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Facebook Usage Is Dangerous to Your Health, and Destructive to Your Life.

Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Twitter Usage Is Dangerous to Your Health, and Destructive to Your Life.

FIFTH WILL AND TESTAMENT

This house is a cage with an open door—and I am in this cage alone.

This Digital Age is a cage with no door at all—and we are in this cage together.

This Digital Age is the end of the world.

And the end of the world never ends.

Of course no one has any respect for me—I am desperately poor.

No one has ever had any respect for the poor—especially the desperately poor.

The majority of Black Americans keep thinking they are disrespected because they are Black.

The majority of Black Americans are disrespected because they are poor.

Yet a huge minority of White Americans—possibly the majority, at this point—are also disrespected because they are poor.

Though the poor are victims of endless discrimination—poverty itself does not discriminate at all.

This Digital Age is the worst time in American history for any Americans to be poor—because unrestrained Digital-Age technology has destroyed the family and the community in the United States.

Even during the Great Depression, the impoverished majority of Americans received support from their families and communities.

But there are no more families or communities in the United States—unrestrained Digital-Age technology has destroyed them.

So the poor in the United States today—especially the desperately poor—are actually suffering more than the poor in the United States during the Great Depression.

This is just one reason this Digital Age is the end of America—and the end of the world.

If 326 million people get rid of their cellphones and smartphones, and close their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, they can restore the family and the community in the United States—and thereby prevent the end of America, and the end of the world.

This house is a cage with an open door—because this Digital Age is a cage with no door at all.

I began realizing this in the fall of 2015—even before the money stopped coming.

I was dangerously obese, and my blood pressure was high all the time.

So I started walking again.

I had walked before—years before.

Years before, I had walked for hours at a time—traveling great distances—in the afternoons and evenings.  Back then, I would often start in the dark—and finish in the morning sunlight.

This time, I started in the morning—and finished in the morning.

But two changes had occurred since I had last walked—two Digital-Age changes. And Digital-Age changes are always for the worse—never for the better.

[I started this post long before my father died—and I have decided to continue this narrative in another post, at another time]

THE DIE-HARD: A PARALLEL-PROPHETIC STORY

The following story is from 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories, an out-of-print book edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander.  Even when I first read it, decades ago, I could identify so well with the protagonist–but even moreso now, as the society in which I live continues to become more inhuman, by the day (though by a different means than the author envisioned).

THE DIE-HARD

by Alfred Bester

“In the old days,” the Old One said, “there was the United States and Russia and England and Russia and Spain and England and the United States.  Countries.  Sovereign States.  Nations.  Peoples of the world.”

“Today there are peoples of the world, Old One.”

“Who are you?” the Old One asked suddenly.

“I’m Tom.”

“Tom?”

“No, Old One.  Tom.”

“I said Tom.”

“You did not pronounce it properly, Old One.  You spoke the name of another Tom.”

“You are all Tom,” the Old One said sullenly.  “Everyone is Tom, Dick or Harry.”

He sat, shaking in the sunshine, and hating the pleasant young man.  They were on the broad veranda outside his hospital room.  The street before them was packed with attractive men and women, all waiting expectantly.  Somewhere in the white city there was a heavy cheering, a thrilling turmoil that slowly approached.

“Look at them.”  The Old One shook his cane at the street.  “All Tom, Dick and Harry.  All Daisy, Anne and Mary.”

“No, Old One,” Tom smiled.  “We use other names as well.”

“I’ve had a hundred Toms sitting with me,” the Old One snarled.

“We often use the same name, Old One, but we pronounce it differently.  I’m not Tom or Tom or Tom.  I’m Tom.  Do you hear it?”

“What’s that noise?” the Old One asked.

“It’s the Galactic Envoy,” Tom explained again.  “The Envoy from Sirius, the star in Orion.  He’s touring the city.  This is the first time a being from other worlds has ever visited the earth.  There’s great excitement.”

“In the old days,” the Old One said, “we had real envoys.  Men from Paris and Rome and Berlin and London and Paris and–they came with pomp and circumstance.  They made war.  They made peace.  Uniforms and guns and ceremonies.  Brave times!  Exciting times!”

“We have brave, exciting times today, Old One.”

“You do not,” the Old One snarled.  He thumped his cane feebly.  “There is no passion, no love, no fear, no death.  There is no hot blood coursing through veins.  You’re all logic.  All calm thought.  All Tom, Dick and Harry.”

“No, Old One.  We love.  We have passions.  We fear many things.  What you miss is the evil we have destroyed in ourselves.”

“You have destroyed everything!  You have destroyed man!” the Old One cried.  He pointed a shaking finger at Tom.  “You!  How much blood have you in your veins?”

“None at all, Old One.  I have Tamar’s Solution in my veins.  Blood cannot withstand radiation and I do research in the Fission Piles.”

“No blood,” the Old One cackled.  “And no bones either.”

“Not all have been replaced, Old One.”

“And no nerve tissue, heh?”

“Not all has been replaced, Old One.”

“No blood, no bones, no guts, no heart.  And no private parts.  What do you do with a woman?  How much of you is mechanical?”

“Not more than 60 per cent, Old One,” Tom laughed.  “I have children.”

“And the other Toms and Dicks and Harrys?”

“Anywhere from 30 to 70 per cent, Old One.  They have children, too.  What the men of your time did to teeth, we do with all the body.  There is no harm.”

“You are not men!  You’re machines!” the Old One cried.  “Robots!  Monsters!  You have destroyed man.”

Tom smiled.  “In truth, Old One, there is so much mingling of man in machine and machine in man that the distinction is hard to make.  We no longer make it.  We are content to live happily and work happily.  We are adjusted.”

“In the old days,” the Old One said, “we all had real bodies.  Blood and bones and nerves and guts.  Like me.  We worked and sweated and loved and fought and killed and lived.  You do not live . . . you adjusted supermen . . . machine-men . . . half-bred bastards of acid and sperm.  Nowhere have I seen a blow struck, a kiss taken, the clash of conflict, life.  How I yearn to see real life again . . . not your machine imitation.”

“That’s the ancient sickness, Old One,” Tom said seriously.  “Why don’t you let us reconstruct you and heal you?  If you would let us replace your ductless glands, recondition your reflexes, and–”

“No!  No!  No!” the Old One cried in a high passion.  “I will not become another Tom.”  He lurched up from his chair and beat at the pleasant young man with his cane.  The blow broke the skin on the young man’s face and was so unexpected that he cried out in astonishment.  Another pleasant young man ran out on the veranda, seized the Old One and reseated him in his chair.  Then he turned to Tom who was dabbing at the frosty liquid that oozed from the cut in his face.

“All right, Tom?”

“No great harm done.”  Tom looked at the Old One with awe.  “Do you know, I believe he actually wanted to hurt me.”

“Of course he did.  This is your first time with him, isn’t it?  You ought to see him curse and carry on.  What an old unreconstructed rebel he is.  We’re rather proud of the old boy.  He’s unique.  A museum of pathology.”  The second young man sat down alongside the Old One.  “I’ll take him for a while.  You go watch for the Envoy.”

The Old One was shaking and weeping.  “In the old days,” he quavered, “there was courage and bravery and spirit and strength and red blood and courage and bravery and–”

“Now then, now then, Old One,” his new companion interrupted briskly, “we have them too.  When we reconstruct a man we don’t take anything away from him but the rot in his mind and body.”

“Who are you?” the Old One asked.

“I’m Tom.”

“Tom?”

“No.  Tom.  Not Tom.  Tom.”

“You’ve changed.”

“I’m not the same Tom that was here before.”

“You’re all Toms,” the Old One cried pietously.  “You’re all the same God-forsaken Toms.”

“No, Old One.  We’re all different.  You just can’t see it.”

The turmoil and the cheering came closer.  Out in the street before the hospital, the crowd began shouting in excited anticipation.  A lane cleared.  Far down the street there was a glitter of brass and the first pulse of the approaching music.  Tom took the Old One under the arm and raised him from his chair.

“Come to the railing, Old One,” he said excitedly.  “Come and watch the Envoy.  This is a great day for Mother Earth.  We’ve made contact with the stars at last.  It’s a new era beginning.”

“It’s too late,” the Old One muttered.  “Too late.”

“What do you mean, Old One?”

“We should have found them, not them us.  We should have been first.  In the old days we would have been first.  In the old days there was courage and daring.  We fought and endured. . . .”

“There he is,” Tom shouted, pointing down the street.  “He’s stopped at the Institute. . . . Now he’s coming out. . . . He’s coming closer. . . . No.  Wait!  He’s stopped again. . . . At the Center.  What a magnificent gesture.  This isn’t just a token tour.  He’s inspecting everything.”

“In the old days,” the Old One mumbled, “we would have come with fire and storm.  We would have marched down strange streets with weapons on our hips and defiance in our eyes.  Or if they came first we would have met them with strength and defiance.  But not you . . . machine half-breeds . . . laboratory supermen . . . adjusted . . . reconstructed . . . worthless . . .”

“He’s come out of the Center,” Tom exclaimed.  “He’s coming closer.  Look well, Old One.  Never forget this moment.  He–”  Tom stopped and took a shuddering breath.  “Old One,” he said.  “He’s going to stop at the hospital!”

The gleaming car stopped before the hospital.  The band marked time, still playing lustily, joyfully.  The crowd roared.  In the car the officials were smiling, pointing, explaining.  The Galactic Envoy arose to his full, fantastic height, stepped out of the car and strode toward the steps leading up to the veranda.  His escort followed.

“Here he comes!” Tom yelled, and began a confused roaring of his own.

Suddenly the Old One broke away from the railing.  He shoved past Tom and all the other Tom, and Dick and Harrys and Daisy, Anne and Marys crowding the veranda.  He beat his way through them with his feeble, wicked cane and came face to face with the Galactic Envoy at the head of the steps.  He stared at the Praying Mantis face with horror and revulsion for one instant, then he cried: “I greet you.  I alone can greet you.”

He raised his cane and smote the face with all his strength.

“I’m the last man on earth,” he cried.

 

[This is a reposting—the original was posted on April 18, 2014.  Even then, I identified so much with the protagonist of this story.  Yet as my fellow human beings become more and more mindless, godless, and inhuman—just like the mindless, godless, and inhuman smartphones to which they become more and more addicted—I identify so much more with the protagonist of this story.  The tragedy of this Digital Age is that Digital-Age human beings can choose to limit the Digital-Age technology in their lives—that they can get rid of their cellphones and smartphones, and close their Facebook and Twitter accounts—but they simply refuse to choose to limit the Digital-Age technology in their lives.  This Digital Age is the end of the world—but it doesn’t have to be.  America is destroying itself, though it doesn’t have to do so.  And humanity is destroying itself, though it doesn’t have to do so.  There is so much in this world over which we have no control.  Yet there is so much in this world over which we have total control.  And my fellow human beings simply refuse to take the total control they have over the Digital-Age technology in their lives.  And this is how they’re destroying humanity.  And for what?  Convenience?  It’s all so totally unnecessary—and so totally tragic.  God damn this Digital Age.]


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