NOTES FROM THE HOLODECK

For a long time, I followed writing prompts. I liked the challenge of finding something to say about a random topic. And I was interested to see the commonalities and differences between my thoughts and everyone else’s.

REUTERS/Noah Berger

REUTERS/Noah Berger

Lately, though, I want to write about other stuff. The crazy political stuff. The insanity of our failure to make any changes to our gun laws. The wild weather.

Talk about crazy. Insect plagues (not just here … all over the country) … and temperatures so high they turn forests to tinder. Flooding down the middle. Drought out west. Tornadoes threatening Chicago. Chicago? Mother Nature, like Howard Beale in “Network” screaming “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

network-howard-beale-horizontal-large

Network is a 1976 American satirical film written by the great Paddy Chayefsky. Directed by Sidney Lumet, it’s the story of a fictional television network willing to do anything and everything — including assassinating one of its own anchors on live television — to get better ratings. When the movie came out, it was almost science fiction. Now, except for not yet assassinating a reporter or anchor live during prime time, the rest seems tame compared to what’s truly going on.

Sometimes, I wonder if maybe Donald Trump was invented by TV network executives to get higher ratings for the news. It worked around this house. We hadn’t watched news on television — except for sports and weather — since Garry stopped being part of it.

Now, we watch the news every day just to see what new madness is in progress. “The Daily Show” seems more attuned to the surreal nature of current events than any of the standard stations.

daily show trevor noah

Not all that long ago, I had no trouble figuring out what was real and what was not. Now? There’s such a massive crossover between reality and “art,” I feel as if I’m living in the holodeck. In case you don’t remember (or never knew), the holodeck was a virtual reality facility on the Enterprise (especially on “Next Generation”). It was used to recreate environments — real and fictional — via “hard light” (solid and touchable) holograms.

holodeck

In our world, no such technology exists. Yet. So they tell us. Except that I’m beginning to wonder. Maybe this entire year is a creative exercise by some mad computer genius designing a world that could never be. Except … it does. Exist. And we are all living in it.

Or … maybe … we’ve slipped into an alternate dimension. Because this world cannot be real.



Categories: Blogging, film, Humor, Movies, News, Sci Fi - Fantasy - Time Travel, Writing

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

32 replies

  1. I thought of “Network” the day of the Florida shootings. I sat here and fired off email after email. Oh well, they didn’t listen this time any more than all the other times I was mad as hell.

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  2. 3D printing is the closest we’ve come to the “Holodeck”..,,maybe next month?

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  3. Forget the holodeck. We have slipped down the rabbit hole.

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  4. News has become entertainment. It was only a matter of time until entertainment became news.

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  5. One almost hopes that this world isn’t real.
    Leslie

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  6. This makes me think of The Matrix (1999 movie). Surely this is just a simulation! It can’t be real. I sometimes wonder if I try hard enough if I will be able to see the lines of code. If it is not real then we actually have a lot more power than we think. Thanks for being willing to write about the crazy!

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  7. definitely an alternate dimension Marilyn!

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  8. Well said. Well written. I keep having Rip Van Winkle moments – wide-eyed and wondering how we got to this place – some humans creating so much havoc and idiocy out of pure greed, while most others seem blissfully unaware of a world beyond their smart phone screen. Weapons of mass distraction.

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    • I hope this really means that we are evolving and this is the idiots’ last stand. A girl can dream. Weapons of mass distraction is a GREAT term! I’m probably going to steal it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was rather pleased with it myself, so feel free to spread the word. I too was wondering if it’s the idiots’ last stand. There’s something hysterical about it.

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        • That would indeed be a very satisfying outcome. Total humiliating defeat of the idiots. YES!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • And here in UK people have just voted to leave the EU (51% for leaving) – and apparently all because the current government has failed to acknowledge and meet their needs. This of course includes not following EU directives on workers’ rights and fair employment contracts. All totally basket-case mad. It’s extraordinary how many believe we have no sovereignty and that the country is overrun with immigrants, and that we’re now going to forge our mighty place in the world all on our own.

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            • Why do people believe such stupidity? Why? I see it here all the time, but somehow, I believed other nations were smarter than us. Maybe it’s the human condition to be willing to follow whoever is willing to say what we want to hear. I am so sorry. The human bellwethers live on to lead us over the cliffs.

              Liked by 1 person

              • The problem here too is that we have half the country that has been suffering under austerity measures since the banking crisis, and before that a long ill served under-class. The referendum just gave everyone a chance to hit back, but at the wrong target (probably). The EU certainly needs reform, but it was this body and not the British Government that was trying to get corporations to pay their taxes – a problem which we also share with you. But it does indeed feel as if we’ve been led over the cliffs.

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                • A failure to understand what’s really going on dogs the electorate in many countries — especially yours and mine. People lash out at perceived enemies, but they accept simplistic explanations that omit or obfuscate critical information. Slogans rather than solutions. They want simple answers to complicated questions … but it doesn’t work that way.

                  Folks are angry, tired of being poor, weary of working so hard and I get that. But shooting the meessenger doesn’t solve the problem and I think in this case, is probably going to create even more difficulties.

                  This century has been marching toward some kind of social and cultural cataclysm for a long time. All we can do at this point is see how it plays out. Maybe there’s a happy ending buried somewhere in the rubble.

                  Liked by 1 person

      • I think we’re trapped between earth 1 and earth 2.

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