Hey, guys, I was just grabbing my mail yesterday when I found this thing. It was inside a beaten-up envelope smudged with ashes and what looked to be the blood of the innocent. It had a variety of stamps on it, and the address read ‘WHEREVER THE PEOPLE ARE,’ which further confused me because I’m not sure how the mailperson decided my apartment was such a place. I opened it up and what I read astounded me. I want to clarify that this is 100% totally not a hoax, flim-flam, trick, prank, or deception. This is also DEFINITELY not a farce or a satire on the tragic relationship our culture has with corporate power structures and neo-conservatism. This is, again, a totally legit document that was delivered to my door for reasons unknown to me.
“Greetings, 2014. My name is Columbus Jesus Webster, and as I think this memo into existence it is the year 2139, I sit in my comfortable cubicle under the watchful gaze of my supervisor. I am writing you to discuss the way of life we have, now, so that you will have a greater understanding of how your actions might affect the future.
I understand that in the year 2014, you still have the vestigial power aggregate known as ‘The United States Government.’ I am pleased to inform you that such a power structure no longer exists, though we still have a House of Representatives and a Corporate Senate. The House represents the various interest groups within a company (those of us interested in longer lunch breaks, for instance, as 20 minutes is a very short time), and the Senate comprised of representatives chosen by the Executives after a rigorous application process. Since the establishment of this system in 2086, we have solved the national healthcare issues that currently plague you. The corporation is now responsible for 0% of a citizen’s healthcare! All health-related costs must come directly from the employee’s pocket, except when forbidden by our religion. Those medical services and goods forbidden by our religion are illegal to purchase, but they are legal to sell and, indeed, our leaders accrue profits from their sales. I hope that sounds as attractive to you as it does to me.
The official religion of our country (now known as The United Companies of Conglomo) is one you are only vaguely familiar with, now, called ‘Conservatism.’ The scripture, a series of ancient bumper stickers and corporate pamphlets pasted together over the pages of a book from some inferior religion (I believe at some point the book was called ‘The Bible,’ though most of it is now unreadable—save for certain parts of ‘Leviticus’), is primarily concerned with issues you have not yet resolved. For instance, I understand that you are currently embroiled in debate over birth control. The corporate senate has resolved that issue — women are disallowed from deciding whether or not to have a child. An Executive, analogous both to your “employers” and also your “priests,” will inform a woman when she is and is not going to have sex or become pregnant. When it is time for her to be pregnant, she will continue working through the maternity process (as no leave is given), before finally retiring from her job to be a full-time care-unit for the child. This usually occurs between the ages of 30-35. The concept of female autonomy has been dealt with, as well: no female is autonomous. As males are a superior sex, they are given preference for all jobs, corporate positions, and religious roles. This also means that our divorce rate has declined spectacularly from your era, as it is nearly impossible for women to hold jobs, and therefore they are entirely dependent on their Household Heads (“husbands” they were called in your time.)
As a jobholder, my life is very easy. As long as I do not get sick, I make a steady, almost uninterrupted wage. I live and work in the same building, in the arcology known as Google Town. My rent, utilities, groceries, insurance, maintenance fees, holo-bills, neural-net access, and various et cetera are all drawn automatically out of my paycheck, which rarely ever varies. With what money I have left over, I often go to the Google-Plex or stop by the bookstore Barnes & Google to make a purchase. It is the only bookstore in the entire arcology, as holo-reading, auto-reading, and never-reading have replaced most people’s libraries. I occasionally visit one of the many Google-owned pubs in the area. My personal favorite is Any Google in a Storm, where Google employees receive a 20% discount, and every customer is a Google employee. The staff is also comprised only of Google employees.
After dealing with the issue of women’s rights (they have none, of course), the next people we dealt with were those of the “lesbian gay bisexual whatever” persuasion. It was decided that, generally, these people were workplace disruptions and anti-Conservative, and that no employer would have need of them. The more Orthodox corporations (those who adhere most closely to our scriptures and listen most attentively to our singular news station), herded their homosexual populations out into the streets, where the unmaintained buildings have fallen into disrepair and destruction (much like your current “Detroit,” a city I’ve read about in my history texts. I’ve heard that the people who lived there destroyed it, despite the hard work of a virtuous political system.) Google is less orthodox in their observance of our religion, and so there are a number of homosexual people who live in the lower levels of the arcology. They are kept away from the general population in case they decide to force their agenda on us. I sometimes feel bad for the homosexuals, as many of the apartments on the lower floors are no larger than a closet, but I know it’s for the best for everybody that they stay there.
By the year 2014, you are probably aware that racism hasn’t existed for half a century, and any remnants are really more related to class. The correlation between race and class isn’t so much a byproduct of hundreds of years of abuse and dehumanization as it is, say, pure coincidence. Things have continued in much the same way since your time! While a decent percentage of our working and ruling class populations are ethnic/urban/etc, most of the minority population lives out on the streets with the homosexuals and the unemployed non-ethnic proles, scavenging the desolate landscape beyond the walls of our arcologies for food and goods. This isn’t to be conflated with racism, of course, because the ethnic/urban members of our working and ruling classes, as the exceptions to the rule, prove that anyone can achieve greatness (though it is admittedly more likely if you’ve inherited it through generations of substantial wealth). I’m sure the Executives don’t even see color, anymore. Though, to be honest, the Executives don’t see much of anyone. They only receive reports on advancements and output and make decisions based upon those. So, I suppose what I meant, is that the Supervisors don’t see color, anymore, since they’re the people watching everyone constantly. They judge us all based on our merit. No one here is a racist.
As you can gather, we now live in a perfect world, where our corporate benefactors have resolved many of the social and economic issues you now struggle with. Of course, the unions had to go immediately (but they were already well on their way), and we’ve turned Saturday into a work-day to make sure that profit margins remain acceptable, but these are minor costs to pay for such a comfortable lifestyle. On my day off (Sunday, when we celebrate the rhetoric of our founding fathers, like Bill O’Reilly), I sometimes peer out of my bullet-proof window and look down on the proles meandering the desolate unemployed streets, burning fires in hollowed-out garbage cans and living in half-collapsed warehouses, and think about how grateful I am to live in this wonderful era.
Okay, my supervisor has just left. The real reason I am writing this is so you will STOP THIS MADNESS. My paychecks are very irregular, with random deductions made for ‘improper neural-net usage’ and ‘profit-risk analysis,’ and often I take pay cuts for reasons I never learn about, only to have my wages return to normal weeks later. The employees are powerless. We can do nothing to stop these things from happening. We have no real representation. The House elections are all bought and rigged!
This world is not what it should be. I can feel the walls crushing in against my body. I smell oppression everywhere. I smell it in the stale scent of air conditioning. I smell it on the Super 200 suit my supervisor wears. I smell it in the artificial parks they’ve constructed, since going outside is too dangerous for employed citizens to do. It’s awful, and it’s all around me, the reek of it, the constant rancid stench.
The proles are restless. They have begun carrying signs, scavenged poster board mounted to long sticks and metal poles, and even with the security squads patrolling the street I get the sense that things are not safe. It seems that despite their most rigorous efforts in their stop-and-frisk policies, the police can’t maintain control! I suspect it is only a matter of time before bloodshed is incipient, and I will not stand for it! Or, rather, I hope you won’t stand for it. You see, I really need this job, and I can’t afford to lose it, so I won’t be doing anything. I’m scared. I’m hoping that there are some of you in the year 2014 who are less scared than I am.
Luckily, an underground fringe organization called ‘Scientists’ has informed me that not only is global climate change real, but that The United Companies of Conglomo’s decisions have opened a rift back through time. I only hope that I can get this memo through the temporal rift back to an era when people can still change things.
Please, do whatever you can to stop this nightmarish place from existing!
Super-weird letter, right? Well, anyway, I’ve got this really important yoga thing tonight, so…I think I’m just going to throw it out. I just wanted to show people in case, I don’t know, someone else felt like doing something? Whatever. #livingforthepresent.