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B.A.L.L.S.: Two minutes faster leading to destruction

Tim Handelman | Interrobang | Opinion | February 14th, 2011

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
Born, fed, TV dinner, TV tray, flat-screen TVs on all day. Off to school, pass or fail, it doesn't matter, we all prevail. Girls, boys, making out in cars, smoking, drugs, booze and bars. Porn, sex, pregnancy tests, off to college, university, war, money, credit cards, shop, you're poor. Cars weaving, stopping, honking, idling, racing, rushing, rusting, cruising through red and yellow lights to nowhere, two minutes faster. Latest song downloads on tape, Walkman, iPods, torrents and rips, keygen passwords, highspeed Internet on high-speed drives to highspeed brains with burned-out lives. Elope, mortgage, debt, two kids, microwaves, cell phones, satellites, remote control, divorce, speed dating, speed reading, drive through, heart racing, on the table, stop breathing.


The world used to move a lot slower. People would live and die within 100 miles of where they were born. For thousands of years, culture and language, customs and art, behaviours and rituals were all mitigated by deep-seated traditions. Then came industrialization, then came capitalism, then came speed, then came Maude. The 1920s were distinct in art style, in literature, music, design, architecture, attitude and belief. The 1950s were equally distinct, but distinctly different. The same stands true for the '70s, '80s and '90s. The twentieth century found its Western culture changing every decade. What used to take a 1,000 years to change now takes 10. Here we are, just over the doorstep of this new millennia, our culture is changing every year, every day, every hour, fuck, it just changed. It is changing so fast that by the time we absorb it it's gone.

Industrialization has forced humanity to emerge from its chrysalis and morph into an iron butterfly (all due credit to '60s bands with extra-long songs. Remember the album? The album used to be the experience, now, with MP3s and peer-to-peer, it is the song that is the experience).

There are many peoples and nations around the globe that covet the culture that society once had. Traditions steeped in family, religion and ethics. There are many people and cultures that are so committed to maintaining what the world no longer offers, that they are willing to kill to keep what is already gone.

Traditions start somewhere. In this new age that we are inventing and evolving, perhaps we can start some new traditions that emphasize some of the values that are being lost in the shuffle. Imagine society 2,000 years from now. Will they be killing themselves to uphold traditions that we start today? Like us, will they still be speeding and fighting, destroying and rushing their way to utter destruction? Is this our legacy, to pass on a tradition of excess, wealth and speed? I surmise that our world will suffer a collective heart attack long before the year 4000 unless we slow down now. There are many that are working towards this end, people that understand that it is not only the scenery we miss as we speed by, but we also miss the sense of where we are going and why we are in such a hurry to get there.
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