A World Four Years in the Making

Posted: August 31, 2011 in Miscellaneous
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A lot can happen in four years…

For instance, a kid from small town Ontario can graduate university at one of the biggest schools in the country (I know it hasn’t happened yet…).

When most of us think of where we were four years ago it won’t seem like it was that different.  It won’t seem like we’ve each undertaken a journey, a progression.  But things do happen, things do change.  Here are a bunch of things that can (and have) changed over the past four years.

Is he smiling for the camera or the pretty blonde in the second row??

Tiger Woods can go from being the most respectable athlete of his generation whose career couldn’t possibly fail to a degenerate sex addict without a good knee to stand (or swing) on.

– Justin Bieber can become the whitest thing since sliced bread to achieve world-wide popularity.

– Space shuttles can stop being launched into space, ending the 30-year NASA project that has come to form a large part of the American mythos.

– Osama bin Laden can cease to be the most wanted man in the world.

– Jack Kevorkian can cease to be Dr. Death and instead be collected by Death himself.

– Natural disasters can become more common and more devastating…and more translatable into Hollywood box office success.

– The BlackBerry is no longer just the smartphone of choice for the United States Department of Defense, but nearly every other two-thumbed organism.

Yes, a lot can happen in four years…but a lot can stay the same…a lot of things can seem to be just where we left them four years ago…

– Harry Potter can go from chasing criminals and godfathers through mysterious tunnels to chasing even bigger criminals and surrogate fathers’ ghosts through mysterious tunnels.

Smoother than a Baby's Bottom: Findings from an Examination of Justin Bieber's Face

The island nation of Fiji can still be controlled by Frank Bainimarama’s military government.

– The All Blacks can still be odds-on favourites for the Rugby World Cup.

– The Dark Knight can still be everyone’s favourite movie.

– Justin Bieber still cannot grow any measurable amount of facial hair.

– EA Sports can still fail to release a decent Rugby Union video game, thus alienating even more fans than it did when they repackaged Rugby 06 as Rugby 08.

– People can still be expounding 9/11 conspiracy theories like the world actually gives a damn.

Sure, these are all interesting tidbits and nice reflections, but what can we actually take from them and learn?

Let me do some reflecting and tell you what I’ve learned from the past four years…

– It doesn’t take much to capture the attention of a world wide audience…although sex certainly does sell.

– Now that the Cold War arms-race is safely over what is out there in space can be consigned to the laboratories of mad scientists everywhere as it has outlived its fifteen minutes of fame (or should that be light years??).

– Osama bin Laden was the world’s most wanted man, but no one bothered to knock on his front door to see if he was home…  Man, people are stupid.

– What goes around comes around.

– The end of the world is pretty hip right now…

– Evolution is eventually going to cause human necks to bend at a 45-degree angle so that it is a much more natural position to be in when we spend 8 hours a day staring down at a smartphone.  And thumbs will shrink to less than half their current size to prevent awkward messages like “I just saw your dick” (as opposed to “I just saw your duck”).

– What works once in popular media will work again and again and again and again and again…

– No one cares about Fiji.

Why am I showing you this? No one cares...

– Truly good movies stand the test of time.  So do truly bad ones…

– Being young and naive can be a great set of qualities to have, so long as they don’t land you in someone’s trunk and/or basement…

– and again…

– Shit happens.  Sometimes you can explain it, sometimes you can’t.  Sometimes you under-react and other times you over-react.  But there comes a time to move on…in the case of 9/11 that time would have been January 20th, 2009 – the day Barack Obama took office and replaced George Bush.

There are some important lessons in there, but there are also some things that just make you want to shake your head.

I guess the real moral of this story is that the world is an ever-changing place.  Things come and things go.  It is the destiny of humanity to adapt to these changes, especially since they are so uniformly driven by humanity’s need for progress, instant gratification, and total connection.

In a way, the change that we have seen over the past four years is a product of a movement towards a global community.  I mean, how many people seriously used Twitter back in 2007?  Why does the news cover things from around the globe instead of what is happening just down the street?  This is the world, and we’re going global.

The only real question that remains to me is to speculate on whether the changes we are seeing are good or bad.  It strikes me as an odd question given that we aren’t writing the history of our time, but rather living it.  When you wake up in the morning and check your email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, do you wonder to yourself whether it is good or bad to do so?  I know I don’t.

Besides, can we really measure these changes on a scale of good to bad?  What classifies something as good or bad on the global framework?  What scale of morality do we use?

I say, leave the weighing of our time to the historians of the future…they’ll be the experts on our age.  Just as the historians of the past were on the ages that came before us…

  1. moo says:


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