I’ve been wanting a “drone” for ages now. I hesitate to call most of what we think of as drones “drones” because, in fact, they are rarely truly autonomous except for brief moments if they lose contact with their radio controller and lower themselves to the ground. The average American consumer is not purchasing predators and cluster bombing their neighbors. Although wouldn’t that be fun? “Fuck that Larry, I’m tired of him blowing his leaves onto my yard!” But, in truth these are just radio controlled helicopters, not much different than what you’d expect growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, they simply have three more propellers.
So, considering its the United States government who is blowing up foreign hospitals with drones and there hasn’t been one single incident of a consumer hobbyist drone hurting anyone or anything other than itself and its operator, you’d think people would be able to simply enjoy them and our enlightened government would smile and nod and wave as we have our fun, right? Wrong… now the FAA, citing the increased incident of “near misses” (aka, nothing actually happened) between tiny little drones and commercial airlines – and come on, even a ten pound drone versus a Boeing 727 is like a chihuahua going up against a Rhino -will now require that hobby drones have to be registered. We can’t even agree on registering guns in this country, but we race to require it of little flying toys? Yeah, we certainly have our priorities lined up, don’t we.
We are a reactionary society. We don’t ponder thoughtfully about issues and what the future may bring. We see a “problem”, we scream about the “problem”, and then we pass laws designed to fix the “problem”. For example, there’s a growing hashtag (and there’s another word that gets my panties in a wad… fucking hashtag the world, everyone… makes me think of hashbrowns, disgusting fried potato crap that you scrap off a grill… blech) calling for a boycott of the new Star Wars: Force Unleashed film because there are more minorities in it, thus showing that the Jewish cabal of Hollywood producers has committed cultural genocide in the Star Wars world. Racism… it’s not just what we talk about in history class. But in reality, the reason the hashtag is blowing up isn’t because there are twenty million racists tweeting it and spreading it, it’s because there’s a huge backlash of folks who are tweeting the hashtag to condemn it. So they end up blowing up and promoting the very thing they are fighting against. Like tossing gasoline on a fire, it’s not going to have the effect you think.
I think this is why I like Science Fiction so much. It’s forward thinking, looking towards a future, sometimes brighter or not, but it leaves behind the dust of our freak-out society, our idiocracy where guns and religion are the prime motivators of what passes for political discourse these days, and liberal ideals – you know, silly stuff like like ensuring all people have access to affordable healthcare and education – are treated like the arrival of Galactus, World Eater (and horrible special effect in that one Fantastic Four movie… I mean come on, a big giant cosmic space cloud? Geesh… he’s a huge purple giant, idiots!).
I ramble. This is what happens when I wake up at 3:00 AM and decide I need to write a blog post. Just realize the buzzing in your ear is me, not your neighbor coming after you for that tree branch you dropped on his fence last week…