The real Little Green Man from Mars is alive and well and living in Appalachia.

The Truth Is a Lone Assassin by Jonco Bugos

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Faster and Faster

I know that evolution demands change. Nothing in the universe can stand still for very long and survive. Not only is it one of the most basic tenets upheld by man and nature, it's pretty much universal law throughout the cosmos. Stand still and you'll get run over. Refuse to grow and learn and life will pass you by. Fail to evolve and you'll soon become extinct. Even most Earthlings will agree with this. That's why nothing remains the same on this planet for more than a few weeks anymore.

It used to be that if you already had something that came out last year you'd die to have this year's whatever-it-was. Nowadays (archaic word nobody uses anymore except me and people who like classic English literature) nobody wants it if it came out last month. Last month is like the Neolithic period to everyone on Earth. Today is what's hot. Today sells. And tomorrow is even better because tomorrow's stuff will get your foot in the door before anyone else. Everybody on the planet wants to be first in line. Second in line is like something from last year.

That's why speed is so important to Earthlings and especially to Americans. The faster anything gets done the quicker you can dispense with that and move on to tomorrow's whatever-it-is. The faster you go, the sooner you'll get there. Slow is for sorry losers who can't pull their dopey heads out of yesterday so they can look ahead to tomorrow. Earthlings are irretrievably addicted to speed. And there seems to be no end in sight.

I'm deadly serious. "Faster and Faster" is everybody's motto today. A hundred years ago Earthlings had cars and roads and going 25 miles per hour was fast enough for most people. But twenty years later people couldn't wait to do 40. 40 mph got you there faster. Then it was 55. And now people are trying to break ground speed records in their family SUV's, going to grandma's for Thanksgiving by way of the interstate at 80 miles an hour, despite the posted speed limit of 65. Grandmas are doing 75 in their SUV's to get everything for Thanksgiving dinner from the Walmart Super Center of their choice. College kids are racing back to campus from spring break in their second-hand Toyotas with the pedal to the metal. Faster and faster. Turning their cars into speeding bullets aimed at the person in front of them.

Nobody thinks you should ride an escalator up or down these days. You're supposed to walk on them so the speed-addicted louts behind you can get to where their going sooner. You can hear them talking about how pokey you are and how you're in their way. But you can't understand exactly what they're saying because they're talking so damn fast. Just like the people on TV and in the movies. If you want to know what they're saying to each other you have to turn on the close captioning. Then you need to be a speed reader.

I don't know where it will all end. Being a former Martian with a waning memory of my previous life on the fourth planet, I don't have any Martian speed data to compare contemporary Earthlings with. Except for maybe one salient detail. It seemed to me that whenever Martians walked and talked and drove faster, it was because they were truly in a hurry to get someplace. On the other hand, it's clearly evident that Earthlings are doing everything faster and faster as they evolve because they're addicted to speed. They really don't care anymore than the Martians did about getting anywhere sooner. They just want to feel the incredible rush that goes with rushing headlong into the future as if the present were somehow outdated and boring, like yesterday.

Well, everybody else can have their speed trips. If I did everything as fast as everybody else I'd be afraid I wouldn't get to where I'm going at all. I'd be dead. And dead people don't go anywhere.

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