Sci-Fi Film Fiesta: Sci-Fi Future Is Here & Now (Part 17): Who’s To Blame?

admin2021January 8, 2023

Just A Pleasant Valley Sunday

As an addition to the disturbing future direction our society is moving in, there is the matter of blame as was raised in the film, The Omega Man in the previous post. Who or what is to blame for the way things turn out?

Scenario 1: A bloke in his mid 60s goes off on his weekly visit to the cemetery to pay his respects to his deceased parents. He stops off at the cemetery’s florist to purchase flowers for their grave-site as he has done for the last decade. He waddles up to the entrance to be greeted by a 20 something door “marshal” who requests that a QR code be scanned for Covid trace and tracking purposes. Annoying yes, but the task is completed and the rationale behind it can be understood but is somewhat debatable as of late, not mention its mass surveillance implications.

UPDATE: Mass Surveillance and by implication PRIVACY implications as almost exactly one month later we have the following report……

Personal information shared with Victorian contact tracers not fully protected

Ah, but the “marshal’s” eagle eye has noticed that the digital vaccination passport has not been presented. The “marshal” is calmly told that the mid 60’s bloke who although fully vaccinated does not wish to participate in a system that actively discriminates against individuals and groups of people and as a result refuses to download or present said passport.

The “marshal’s” Sunday morning is suddenly thrown into confusion. Will the mid-60s bloke go angry old man all over his ass? Will he have to call the authorities? All he can say is that he’s sorry and that it’s “mandatory.” A bit like saying, “the computer says ‘no.’”

The mid-60s bloke tells the agitated and perplexed “marshal” that he’s so sorry but he just can’t help the young fella with his current dilemma and wonders off minus the flowers for his parents’ grave and away from a shop who he would normally do business with on a weekly basis.

Now, is this the kind of society we want? Is this the future we’re heading towards? Who or what is to blame? The virus? The cantankerous mid-60s bloke? The 20 something “marshal?” The passport-verified compliant customers in the nearby café sipping their cups of decaffed smug self-satisfaction? The government and its issuing of nonsensical edicts? Individual complacency? Our collective addiction and dependence on technology? Fear of punishment, sanction and social ostracism?

Seems to me like there’s enough blame to go around for how things turn out now and in the future.

Scenario 2: After mid 60’s bloke leaves the cemetery, he decides to do a spot of Sunday shopping on the way home and drops into the supermarket. No QR code scanning evident, not everyone wearing a mask and no “marshals” to check vaccination passports, supermarkets being deemed an essential business, no doubt. No contradictions evident so far, right?

After picking up his required items and passing the vaccinated and possibly non-vaccinated alike, the mid-60s bloke approaches the checkout. On this occasion, however he finds that the personnel, some of whom he knows by name, are no longer there! In their place are automated “self-service” aisles with only one harried young lady showing those who are obviously confused and inept the correct procedure for processing their goodies.

Well, it wasn’t long before the customers like good little automatons, adopted the oh so efficient clockwork mechanical and efficient motions necessary to perform the privilege of sorting, scanning, packing and paying for their own goodies. Hup, two, three four and of you go, out the door!

In the interests of cost-saving and profit maximization, people are being increasingly removed from the equation and replaced by technology. The mystery remains: where did the people go? Where did the jobs go? Will such jobs as they performed no longer be available for young people in the future?

The unblinking eye of the supermarket’s security camera perhaps caught the image of a bloke in perhaps his mid-60’s wandering disconsolately out of the store lugging his supposedly reusable and recyclable laden shopping bag. A perfectly pleasant Sunday clouded by concern for what the next day might bring, and knowing who and what might be to blame….

NB: This all did happen and as you guessed, the mid-60s bloke is yours truly!

Update: Vaccination status passports are as of 16/12/21 no longer needed to gain entry to non-essential retail shops. Sure I can now buy flowers to put on my parents’ grave but that is not the point. The disquieting fact remains: So many just sat by and allowed (colluded with) the government to issue edicts legitimizing discrimination against a minority segment of the population by denying them access to the economic and social life of the community. Under punitive threats of enormous fines, businesses were forcibly co-opted to act as enforcers of the government’s discriminatory edicts. That is why as a fully vaccinated person, I refused to participate in such a system by not obtaining a vaccination passport and presenting it to gain entry to retail and other premises.

When we look back in history and wonder how and why whole populations participated in and condoned heinous acts against minority groups, we might not have to look too far or too hard for an answer. Nor can we feel smugly confident that such things will never happen again in the future. 

©Chris Christopoulos 2021

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