I cannot say what time it will be when this message reaches you. As with most things, I don’t think that matters as much as we might think.
So. For this morning, what then?
What will it be that finds its way into the illustrious ramble, now returned, for those few who have witnessed before?
The sky casts a softer blue, faded as old dyed linen. Up towards the top, gashes of lilac tear wide through, pooling the same tides of shade upon the horizon floor. The first to wake up. Every day, at least. Oh no, not I. That damn Apollo. Ambitious fellow, that one.
And with that, the theme is had. Today, we shall discuss ambition. And in honor of that, I’ll skip the usual filler bits where I go on and on about why we might talk about that.
Ambition, as it were, and is, finds itself siding one of two ways, with a thorough blend there in between. A not so strict dichotomy of polarized intent. Or at the least the appearance of such.
On one side.
There are those who are, or attempt to be, ambitious with benevolence. They come in all shapes and sizes, from a horribly annoying but incredibly well intentioned volunteer youth leader, to the billionaire who uses a massive fortune to fight crime in the night. And all the folks between. Which would fall into a larger category than what might be thought of as truth, me thinks.
As the reality goes- most folks, even the ones doing bad stuff, usually believe that they are doing something towards the ‘greater good.’ You know? That vague idea that exists in nearly all sentience on this rock that there is a grander life to be had, but efforts must be made to make it so. I would doubt it would be out of line to say that nearly everyone acts based upon their version of what is right. Even in acts most would deem heinous, the mastermind and executioner believe it must be done.
For example. No ethnic cleansing- in humanity’s long history of ethnic cleansing- has ever occurred because they thought the group that had to go were generally nice and good decent folks, who helped their neighbor and recycled and all that. Even if that’s how the whole group behaved. In their madness, they believe those peoples must be taken care of, for some betterment of the species or such lunacy.
Though much rarer, the other form of ambitious intent that occurs in the mind of humans is just the opposite. Those who work away from that vague ‘goodness’. Unlike the other side, I cannot say for sure if any of these types of people actually exist. Even the shittiest shit-bird of a human being I’ve managed to run into seems resistant to being their interpretation of evil.
Though, I may just be naïve. After all, murders, rapes, theft, pillaging, more murder and pop-country tunes happen every day.
Those are the ends that the little people live between. Though, not all of them. As ambition is not in the heart of all of mankind. Tragic though tentatively true, it may be less now than ever before. Though I cannot say for sure, I hope to be wrong when I think that most of my fellow humans eventually renounce all motivation towards anything at all.
Saturation. We are soaked deep with vast options to occupy a mind aside from active thought. And of a human design. We are sold something every second in this connected world. And more and more as one generation has set up the snare for the next. Deeper and deeper it goes, more cunning at each turn. To the point now, you can consume nearly any kind of visual recording on demand, after you watch this ad. It’s not new, but it has more force each day. Or so it seems.
Because I dare say- a miniscule number, if any people alive today can recall a world without the radio. Most folks with memories have lived most of their lives with televisions in every home. And there is nothing that can suck ambition from a soul quite like the television. Though the now common use of interconnected computers may very well give the old vacuum tube box a run for its money. And that’s not to call Marconi a bad guy. Nor Farnsworth. In fact, Philo never really liked the TV. Except when the world watched the moon landing. He thought that was neat.
But doom and gloom of technological enslavement is not something that the person of benevolent ambition, that I believe myself to be, should allow victory. For I see a small change in the tide. I see the resistance, though it may not even be intention. The effective limit of effortless entertainment consumption may be near, or here. Perhaps we’ve had all we can stands, and can’t stands no more. Perhaps it is that greater good we all seem to be so stuck on, pushing through.
As the old means are fading. Trickily, but fading they are. Interconnection isn’t being learned as much as it is just known. And all the two-year-old’s in the world have always known the screen their parents carry in their pockets. It is no longer the wonder that it once was, which may rob it of dominion over us.
Because I know, a screen can usually only hold down my daughter’s attention if one person is on it. And that person would be Elvis. A young Elvis. Because she wants to dance. And dance she does. And I dance with her.
And that, my friends, lets me think we might end up being alright.