The Masses

Pontifications on a machine-ridden future

by Zane Bridgers and Sean O’Keefe, guest writers

The masses. The masses. How pertinent. Everywhere things made efficient, made to move more people through more places. Fast food, mass transportation, mega churches, urban sprawl. Mass deaths. Mass births. Billions being recycled through an ever-degrading ecosystem that ever-dies to be sure that we ever live in ever greater numbers and luxury. And the question lingers: what will happen when no room remains?

Who decides where go the hordes? Sprawling factories that recycle people. Pleasurable death by drug overdose. Death by sex. Death by music. Or maybe something yet more efficient. Trickery, delusion. The roof of the mega church, driven by screeching hydraulics, pushes downward, like a garbage truck compacting our material excesses. Or maybe slow-acting, traceless poison in the Chicken McNuggets. Government mandated, of course. Staged natural disasters. Accidental detonations of powerful weapons. Chemical spills. Endless possibilities for our doom. Or perhaps we’ll have no control. We’ll envelop the world like ants, crawling over each other, too rushed to stop and observe our fallen companions. Natural selection will again take rule. And as for birth, will it be regarded as excessively painful or inefficient or costly? Will test tubes of genetically-modified semen be injected with mechanical perfection into a fleshy machine’s nurturing womb, kept at a constant temperature, fed constant hormones and vitamins all in the name of perfection? Perfection. Will machines indefinitely compensate for our flawed human nature? And if sex isn’t just a compassionless movement meant solely for procreation, how will humanity dispel explosive lust? Machine again? Beautiful robots that tirelessly love even the hideous, the abusive, the uncouth. Robots that never get emotional. Robots that are always horny, always DTF. Screens and high fidelity surround sound to lend us human compassion, satiating our thirst for gossip in a painless manner. And all the idealists will clamor about humanity’s incredible ability to achieve equality, peace, and unfaltering happiness while the viewers feel their metal hearts unmoved.

But I don’t think any of this will happen. The future can’t possibly be that dark. I think we’ll catch ourselves. Or nature will catch us. And gradually the masses will shrink, and people will say “we don’t need any of this! We’re not any happier because of it! We did just fine before it!” And the sprawling s u b u r b s will be reduced to cities. And the cities will shrink to towns. And the towns to little villages. And people will react with each other and their surroundings in a genuine fashion, just like the good ‘ole days. For the walls, the layers of shit that keep us separated, that isolate the individual even in a sea of living beings, will disintegrate. Then we’ll be faced with the raw reality of the land and the sea and sky and the cosmos that ultimately allow us to construct our fanciful systems.

We’ll again be in touch.

The Masses PDF


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