Wanted: "You know, that guy ... in that movie ... the one with the dark hair .. 

Wanted: "You know, that guy ... in that movie ... the one with the dark hair ..

"We watched the tragedy unfold
We did as we were told
We bought and sold
It was the greatest show on earth
But then it was over
We ohhed and aahed
We drove our racing cars
We ate our last few jars of caviar
And somewhere out there in the stars
A keen-eyed look-out
Spied a flickering light
Our last hurrah
Our last hurrah

And when they found our shadows
Grouped 'round the TV sets
They ran down every lead
They repeated every test
They checked out all the data on their lists
And then, the alien anthropologists
Admitted they were still perplexed
But on eliminating every other reason
For our sad demise
They logged the only explanation left
This species has amused itself to death." (Roger Waters)


What will the alien anthropologists say? Actually a book occurs to me, only I don't know the author or title. My memory tells me it's a children's book, with vibrantly contrasted illustrations. The plot is essentially that the aliens have landed at a motel outside of Reno or something after humanity has departed. I'm quite sure the book isn't as funny as it was presented to be. Perhaps it is, but there seems to be a certain gravity to such futuristic speculations as this book undertakes.

Why are visions of the future often grim? I tend to think it's because we often build such visions by taking an idea we deplore and applying it theoretically in the future to its maximum potntial harm. This is perhaps somewhat simplistic, but it really does seem, especially in the days of Hollywood apocalypses, that the message is always that the future is grim but it doesn't have to be. A minor irony occurs to me in lieu of the new Terminator flick, but I'll leave it be.

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