Friday, April 12, 2019

The Progressive Party

If you’re old enough you’ll remember Ronald Reagan intoning “Progress is Our Most Important Product” when he hosted the GE Hour. Even though much of the world is sunk in poverty, the price of progress in the affluent societies is growing even greater. People now look like scuba divers when they head for bed in their CPAP devices. Yes it’s for sleep apnea, but there’s the subtext of preventing the snoring that can keep a spouse awake. God forbid! The demands for newer and better things, speedier internet, faster telecommunications are becoming more pressing. Cable, once a luxury is now a necessity. And who's going to buy a car that isn’t equipped with satellite radio? Imagine being caught without a broadcast frequency on an open stretch of highway. And of course there's the food. Prime beef is no longer enough for many diners. It has to be farm fed. Not to leave out sex, an increasingly litigious process that may no longer even be worth the trouble in the age of test tube babies and artificial insemination. However if you’re going to give it a try make sure you have an “affirmative consent” decree in hand. Forget the political connotations of the word, modern life is truly a progressive party in which people like the proverbial mouse on a treadmill, are using up enormous amounts of energy under the illusion that the effort is taking them somewhere.

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