Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Crystal Balls

Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" was published in 1932; George Orwell's "1984" in 1949.

In these two seminal and brilliant novels of the future, people were stunned and regulated automatons.

They were controlled in all their behaviours by overshadowing central governments.

They watched and were watched by TV screens.

They took soma tablets to stay happy.

On Monday, I was walking in the 'hood.

A girl of about 15, dressed in the uniform of a very expensive private school was walking towards me.

She was texting.

Of course.

She's a Happy Little Consumer Unit.

Her family thinks she's a person.

On Friday, I had a late breakfast with my son.

At the table next to us, two people met and texted and said, without looking at each other, "Great to see you."

They are Happy Consumer Units.


Somebody has mistaken them for real people.

But less frequently these days.

People in the UK are pissing so much Prozac into the toilets that the water systems are polluted with Happy Medicine.

One in ten Americans has a prescription for an anti-depressant.

HCU's rule.

The pharmaceutical bill is in the many, many billions of dollars, euros and yen.

Hank Haney, Tiger Woods swing coach, decided the other day to jump from the Tiger ship. After working with Woods for several years very closely, how did he break the news to his biggest client and a man he calls his close friend?

He texted him.

Tiger Texted back.

They may speak soon.

All the good HCU's are texting, watching the Big Plasma Screen and popping the Happy Pill.

Half the people driving in the lanes next to you are HCU's stoned on Happy Meds.

The rest are texting and talking on their cells.

Brave New World.


We thought it was just literature.


Gary L. said...

Excellent piece David!
"We thought it was just literature".
I HOPED it was just literature...
I was wrong.

I have never bought into the game.
I don't even own a Cell Phone, and instead of Prozac, I go for a brisk walk.
I have patterned my habits after our cats.
I am doing okay..........


Anonymous said...

"1984" was meant to be fiction but it turned out to be an implementation guide for governments.

Ron H

David Berner said...

"I have patterned my habits after our cats."

I love it!!



Anonymous said...

It was 1985 and I was camping at Golden Ears. The RCMP showed up and broke the news to me that my dad had died. Im not sure if I would have prefered to get bad news over a cell phone or from a policeman. I suppose that in this day and age the police would not have time to find someone in a camp ground.


Anonymous said...

Sorry David.

I just don't agree with your demonization of people who use antidepressants.

I have moderate depression on and off. I also had moderate/major post partum depression after the birth of both of my children.

It was medications like Celexa which helped clear the fog and sadness to the point where I was able to take better care of myself and my children.

The use of the medication was under the close supervision of my doctor and was discontinued when I was better able to deal with my situation with means other than the drug (getting out of the house, exercise and getting other support).

Sorry if this doesn't fit into your consumer zombie view of people who use anti-depressants.

The only thing worse than having on and off depression is the judgmental attitudes of people who think they know more about my health than I and my health care providers do.

David Berner said...

Let's be very clear.

I have not ever demonized people who use anti-depressants.

I am commenting on the OVER use and OVER prescribing by doctors and psychiatrists of anti-depressants.

Of course, there are some people for whom such drugs are helpful.

But the billion dollar industry that has been consciously created is to the detriment of the public good.

This is a comment - and one that I have made repeatedly over the years and that I will continue to make - about public policy.

I am not a casual observer in this case.

I have spent years working with people who have left these medications behind.

If your medications have worked for you, I am happy for you.

But try to read clearly what is written and not only your own story.