Thursday, September 14, 2006


JUST LEAVE THE WATER RUNNING


There's nothing wrong with longevity, if I have any left, but I've had a glimpse of the future and I'm not all that sure I want to be there when it arrives. It's looking way too virtual for an insistently palpable individual like myself. I've always liked face-to-face, hand-to-hand, cheek-to-cheek, even cheek-to-jowl, if that's all there is. But what they're planning for us elders, elderlings and those who will follow is cold, metallic and wireless, with all the emotional warmth of a silicon chip.

They're already well along in developing robot caregivers (might as well use a bespoke forklift), but you really get the sense that the old ways are fading, the old meanings falling silent, the old values losing their luster, when you read a newspaper article like the one I link to below.

Not that I myself am ever going to be conned into such a situation, mind you (no way; I'll circumnavigate the earth in a canoe first), but the fact of the steady distancing between the generations and what that portends, the growing desensitization regarding the issue of ignoring your elders to as impersonal a level as possible, already has me polishing my paddles...

The market researchers are so sure of the social outcome that government and corporations are already TURNING ELDER-ISOLATION INTO A MARKETING PLOY! (Remember, Japan is the developed world's coalmine canary):

"The Tokyo metropolitan government's Waterworks Bureau is to offer a new service enabling families who live apart from their elderly parents to check on them, by sending relatives daily e-mails with details of the volume of water their parents have used...

Such a security service has already been introduced for gas consumption and some models of electric kettles..." In other words, the water company et al. will belatedly update you on the survival status of your forebears.

As for we free-range elders (like I said, if a public utility is ever my go-between, I'm outta here), when it reaches that point I'll open the taps, turn on the gas, plug in my electric kettle and launch my canoe. Anyone else who's interested, let's meet on some pre-arranged tropical islands and start our own government: World Elder Restoration Of Classy Karma.

6 comments:

Joy Des Jardins said...

Yikes, I'm there right along with you Robert; but I think we're going to have to find a pretty big island.

annie said...

Holy mother (and father, grandparents, aunts, uncles) of everyone....where do I order my canoe?


ps: love Kaya's flowers

Maya's Granny said...

Can I bring my cats? They don't eat much, and can catch their own mice, actually.

Chancy said...

I'm with you Robert. Let's hurry before "they" come to transport us out onto the ice floe.

annie said...

I'm so slow. I just got the World Elder Restoration Of Classy Karma...WE ROCK! Sign me up for that too.

Robert Brady said...

Let's check out some islands...