Back to the Future: Jim Sends Greetings from the Bottom of the Cliff in 2112
This is my end-of-the-year lawn, but I'm so grateful to you loyal lawners out there for showing up, I'm going to go you one better. In fact, 100 better. This is "Get Off My Lawn" from the year 2112.
So here I am in the year 2112 still cranking out lawns thanks to the last-minute invention of a new wonder drug called Liagra. If you don't mind, I'm not going to go into a lot of biological detail on that, except to say that it did not solve the problem of skin wrinkling, and so it did destroy rock and roll. Most of us really old people now listen to Zamfir and his pan flute, while the young people hit themselves in the head with pots and pans.
You're probably worried about your own immediate issues back there in Oh-12, so I will tell you, yes, you did go off the fiscal cliff, and, yes, it did help usher in a severe global economic depression. But, wait. Everything came out OK in the end.
Using computer imaging software, we fast-forwarded to project an image of Jim 100 years in the future. To be honest, we're not sure the software worked.
At first the haves started building economic plague villages with high walls and luxury shopping districts, leaving the have-nots outside to starve in the mud. But of course as we have seen cyclically throughout human history, the have-nots eventually rediscovered the basic moral principle of Screw This.
Once Screw This became the order of the day (in about 2013 if memory serves), the have-nots also rediscovered other ancient practices including siege, stream-poisoning and burning doo-doo catapults. The haves had lots of high-tech weapons, of course, but the have-nots had lots of have-nots, which, in fact, led to the invention of the burning have-not catapult, raining down burning have-not corpses right in the middle of the luxury shopping districts. That one really got to the haves.
After the invention of the burning have-not catapult, the have-nots were able to bring the haves out of their plague villages pleading for mercy in about a month, a day still celebrated on the tenth of October every year as Global Heave-Ho Day.
Another factor leading to our much longer life-spans in 2112 was the principle of No Deliberate Cancer as the guiding element in our economic and social lives. After the have-nots rousted the haves from their plague villages, they discovered all kinds of documentation showing that the haves had amassed most of their wealth by giving other people cancer. A decision was made that deliberate cancer would no longer be allowed.
The haves objected that deliberate cancer was the sine qua non, the one absolutely essential ingredient in economic growth, without which there could be no economic growth. They made a convincing case. Therefore in the year 2015 a decision was made that there could be no more economic growth.
I know, I know, all of you back there in 2012 believe that if there is no economic growth you will die. That is because you live in the era before the invention of the principle of Why Don't You Go Grow Yourself For a Change? I'm not sure there is space here to explain it. Suffice it to say that it involves a whole new approach to the definition of growth and the good life.
The thinking was along these lines: if the only way human beings can grow their lives is by giving each other cancer and poisoning the earth, then what's the difference between human beings and a really bad virus? That question, in fact, led to the development of a new religion called "Better than a Virus" that has swept the planet based on the principle of Surely We Can Be Better Than a Virus.
Of course, we still have free will, and we still have dissent, so that's why I still have a job. Now most of what I write is in defense of viruses. Hey, what else am I gonna do? Gotta pay the rent here.
I just wanted you to know that everything came out OK in the end, not that there weren't some tough moments getting here. What else? Oh, well, the matter of Bill Clinton, who is still very much with us. His role is to frighten the children into obedience. If that doesn't work, then we have no choice but to bring out Mick Jagger, but we just hate to have to go there.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.
- That's It Then: The Cowboys 2015 Season Gets Put Out of Its Misery
- The Cowboys' 5 Biggest Thanksgiving Turkeys
- Live From London: Your Holiday Weekend Weather Apocaforecast