Sunday 7th February
-[You are far too simplistic, Janek. As usual. The world we have created, this new stage of man’s long evolution, is simply a stage. It is not the finished article. For millennia, man struggled to satisfy the minimum of needs; food, shelter, a place to rear children, the passing on of whatever meagre knowledge they had gleaned to their descendents. Now we are on the threshold of a brave new world indeed. Our first objective was stability, economically at first, and environmentally second. As you know we are in what is termed the Ambivalence, but behind the scenes we are getting quite close to a long-term solution, a way of turning the planet back towards Equilibrium. Then we will slowly reclaim the deserts and the ice-sheets, we should, if our predictions are correct, be able to create the old World environment we all took for granted for so long some time early in the next century. Do you not think that is an achievement worth striving for?]-
Of course I do, who wouldn’t, though I doubt if it can be done; in the timescale you have stated, or in fact at all. I also acknowledge that in many ways the economic stability you talk about is by far preferable than the craziness of the free market. But life isn’t just about economics and consumerism. I don’t see any great Art, or Music being created now. All we do is rehash the masterpieces of the Twentieth Century, with all its madness and turmoil. It is as if we have forgotten how to create anything ourselves. It’s all too easy with computers to just prettify – to mess around with the old stuff. I mean if I hear another so-called ‘rerite’ of ‘Sergeant Pepper’ I will puke. I want to hear new tunes, I want to see great new paintings, not 3D inversions of Picasso. It’s as if the soul has been sucked out of us. Where are the kids? Why aren’t they knocking at the doors, demanding to take over? No, they are too busy working out how they can get good scores at crammer, how their parents can help them get into a good strata level.
-[Well, there you go again Janek. You have all the answers, and yet you are patently short on solutions. Do you not think that we are only too painfully aware ourselves of the short-comings of our ‘society’. All of that diversity you crave so much will come. We are working in the creative fields as well. And what of you, Janek, why, if you felt so strongly did you not try to change things from within? You used to belong to a political party in your twenties, the old New-Lab party I believe it was. Why did you let your membership lapse? Why, actually, holding such strong and interesting views did you not argue your case? Why have you not participated in any of the on-line discussion groups? We know you logged on and read the comments, but you almost never contributed. Why was that?
You may have found that you were not quite so alone in your thinking. What you fail to realise is that we are still a Democracy, and even though the nature of our new republic may seem fixed, we are open to new ideas. In fact we welcome them. We are more than aware that we cannot stand still. We also know that we do not have all the answers; we want people to join in, to contribute. Had you never thought of participating in any way?]-
And how would that be accomplished exactly? By becoming a politico? Do you really think I don’t know that they have no real power. They just tinker at the edges, and besides, they are all the same. No, I have no faith in politicos at all. You, and your like are the real powers, the faceless ones, the ones behind the politicos, and whatever any of us little people say, nothing will change that.
-[But given the chance, would you like to be one of the ‘powers’ as you call us? If things had turned out differently, do you think you could have contributed in some way, rather than just carping from the side-lines? Do you think that given the chance you might actually have made a contribution rather than just denigrated the achievement of others?]-
Well, that’s never going to happen is it? But if you are asking a purely hypothetical question, “Would I like to make the World a better place?” Then, yes; who wouldn’t. But of course the devil is always in the detail, isn’t it. If you are asking me to be a good boy from now on, and obey all the rules, then I don’t think I would actually be able to. I might promise that I would keep quiet, slip back into the harness. But it wouldn’t be long before the saddle would start to rub and the bit in my mouth taste too much of rusty metal. You must know how I have always loved History, all those old romantic horse-drawn stories, and even the sepia tinted versions you let us see on holo-tv. No, Mr. William I don’t think that is going to happen, do you? I am far too dangerous for you to just let me slip back into the world I came from. I have seen too much, I have travelled too far, I have crossed the Rubicon. I am probably unredeemable, don’t even waste your time speculating. And anyway, I don’t think I could make the effort, even if you could.