Everything we’ve been told was a lie

helping the children

~ I recently finished reading a biography on Louis Armstrong the famed jazz musician of the 20th century. It struck me as nothing short of amazing when the biographer noted that 1920 New Orleans culture involved being able to hear jazz music anywhere within the city, “No matter what neighborhood you were walking through, you were sure to see and hear jazz bands and various musicians playing on their porches, the street, or in any assortment of cafes and saloons; you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing live music in New Orleans” (my paraphrase). What a different world it was back then!

Could you imagine walking through any of America’s great cities and seeing teenagers sitting on their porch playing music in our day and age? Instead, if you walk through St. Louis, Atlanta, Des Moines, or wherever, you are more likely to see young adults walking around with large obnoxious head phones or staring at their smart phones.

During the prohibition era of the 1920’s, according to a different historian, it was quite common to be sitting in a speak easy or saloon, and for the entire room of people to suddenly break out singing a song, just for the hell of it. Public singing with strangers was common fare back then. Could you imagine sitting in a Buffalo Wild Wings and joining in with the entire crowd of people in a rendition of a Beatles Song; such a thing doesn’t happen in our society anymore.

Prior to becoming famous as the woman married to the President, Nellie Taft was a well known instigator of intelligent discussion and music; throughout her teen years and much of her marriage to William, Nellie would hold weekly “salons” at her house in which she would lead discussions based on literature, current events, politics, music, and the arts. How often does this kind of thing happen in our day and age?

The late 1800’s and early 1900’s in America was a time in which people spent massive doses of their life in community with each other; playing music, talking philosophy, and merely hanging out living life together was how people spent their free time when not working on the farm or the newly invented assembly lines and factories.

However, in 1919 the radio became a massive technological breakthrough in American culture. Prior to 1920 less than a few thousand people owned radios, but by 1929, millions and millions of Americans owned radios and sat spell bound in their living rooms listening to the latest news, music, or various variety shows that the networks offered.

We know the rest of the story. Over the course of the 20th century the radio gave way to the television, then came Nintendo in the 1980’s, and by 1999 we were then introduced to the massive wave of the Internet which would finally seal the deal on our connection to the world that once existed before technology.

The simple fact of the matter is that technology has all but destroyed the world that once existed. Consider for a moment the fact that prior to the industrial revolution, “unemployment” didn’t exist. In fact, “unemployment” didn’t even exist as a theoretical idea. There was no “unemployment” in the preindustrial world because there were no factories, no assembly lines, and no electronic technology.

The world used to be agrarian; prior to the Industrial Revolution, 97% of Americans were farmers. If the weather was bad one year, instead of being “unemployed”  you merely migrated to a different part of the country to hunt for food, fish, or gather berries. You see, prior to the Industrial Revolution, people lived off the land and provided for themselves…….there was no dependence on “the man” for a job.

The Industrial Revolution changed everything, and then the wave of technology in the 20th century changed the Western World from a more communal culture to an isolated individualistic society. In fact, prior to the 1920’s, using the word “community” in the context that we use it today (social interactions, relationships, friendships, conversations, etc) didn’t even occur, because that kind of community was a given.

But by 1920 sociologists were realizing that the world was changing, and they began studying the psychological effects that being disconnected from “community” was having on people. One study theorized that a lack of “community” in a person’s life contributed to a higher likelihood of deviancy, depression, and even crime.

As we sit here in the year 2015, we have all but obliterated the America that once existed. In some ways that is good (no more slavery), but in other ways it has devastated our society. Depression, anxiety, and other psychosomatic mood disorders have reached epic levels. 70% of ALL Americans are on prescription drugs, and 1/3 of ALL Americans take more than 3 different kind of pills every day.

Technology has directly contributed to the rise we have seen in bi-polar disorder, depression, and other psychosomatic mood disorders.

Technology has also contributed to the greatest plague we have seen on the earth since the Bubonic Plague, I call it the Ford Plague. Over a five year period in the 14th century, the Bubonic Plague killed an estimated 25 million people, and while that seems like a lot, consider the fact that last year the Ford Plague killed 1.3 million people, this year the Ford Plague will kill another 1.3 million, and next year it will kill another 1.3 million…more than a million people a year and nobody even talks about the Ford Plague!

Every day an estimated 3,247 people die from the Ford Plague; and unlike the Bubonic Plague which eventually fizzled out after five years…the Ford Plague is with us for years to come. Unless we all stop driving automobiles, the Ford Plague will kill another 50 million people in the next 50 years). An estimated 20-50 million people are injured or disabled EVERY YEAR from the Ford Plague. Thus, over the next 10 years, we will see over 11 million people die from the Ford plague, and nearly 500 million people injured or disabled!

Auto Accidents are the unprecedented king of killers. The Ford Plague is Gods curse on the USA. We invented technology that enabled us to get from one place to another in a metal box, and the result is that a million people a year die because of it.

Technology has contributed to the rise we have seen in Mental Illness

Technology has contributed to the break down in community and relationships

Technology has created the greatest plague the world has ever seen

Technology has created pollution and nuclear weapons that could bring more destruction

What is so great about technology? Some people say technology should be praised because we have saved so many lives via modern health care. Such people are merely self-deluded in their ignorance since they ignore all of the destruction that technology has wrought via modern war fare, pollution, mental illness, and the Ford Plague.

The only hope for Western Culture is if Aliens show up and turn our electricity off. Until then, perhaps you might join me for a cup of coffee in Costa Rica.


Categories: Culture & Society

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18 replies

  1. I enjoyed this idea of the “Ford Plague”.

  2. I would live life just fine without technology, although I am not so sure about the younger generations. Technology, like so many other things, is just a tool and it all depends on the person using it. Know how to use it, but know how to live without it too, there is always another way.

  3. How are you? I’ve wondered if you were not well. Your blogs have been few and far between. Today your blog was in part about a possible cause for the increase in mental illness, and I wonder if you don’t have a personal interest in this, as I do. I hope you are coming along. That the decrease in blogs is an indication that you are on the way to recovery and doing better.

  4. “The only hope for Western Culture is if Aliens show up and turn our electricity off.”

    LOL! I know, right?? The world is a wee bit broken at the moment. Take heart however, there is genuine goodness out there. One of the other problems with technology is that it has gifted us with information overload. We can see the big picture in ways we have never been able to before. The problem with that is that we sometimes forget to smell the roses, to receive life in smaller, bite size chunks. Also, all this information causes us to focus on the negative. Good news doesn’t sell as well, but that doesn’t mean that the world isn’t full of it.

  5. You are in Costa Rica?

    You might like the book “Almost Amish”

  6. “Technology has directly contributed to the rise we have seen in bi-polar disorder, depression, and other psychosomatic mood disorders.”

    Not to defend technology… the problem really though of increased illness of an emotional sort is that of poor social living; IMO.

  7. I beg to differ, my Dear Kenneth. Coming from the Stone age and Stone age Tools, today I have really Well sharpened knives in my room. But Technology has not led me into mental sickness or crime.

    I myself have written about the misuse of technology, a person climbing into a car to post a letter, (Pl see: https://lovehappinessandpeace.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/on-work/).

    But still and yet, I wonder if going back to the buggies and carts (which themselves are part of the technical revolution) would be the answer.

    It is Wilfully returning to an Appreciation of Community and Lives in accordance with this.

    Looking forward to those days! And wishing them for You and Yours! …Hearty Regards. 🙂

  8. When you look at the big picture, more people have been killed by technology than those who have had their lives extended.

  9. I’m the pastor of a small rural church in Canada, and I have four teenage children, ages 13-19. Three of them are involved on one of our church’s worship teams, made up of all young people. My youngest daughter Hannah sings, my daughter Tori sings and plays the guitar, and my oldest son Caleb plays the drums. One of my greatest joys is when my daughter pulls out her guitar – whether we are sitting in the backyard, or around a fire camping, and starts jamming and singing with her sister – and her brother pulls out the cajon drum and they jam together. Yes, all of my kids have their iDevices, but I’m glad they can balance it out with activities other than being ‘plugged in’ all day…

  10. Book clubs have become very popular here. I look forward to getting together about once a month to discuss a book we’ve all read. Some of my friends belong to more than one club. I spend a great deal of time in the summer at my cottage where I don’t have electricity. I love it and don’t miss technology.

  11. opening: (to a novel I am writing)

    In times to come they will tell stories about the times that are, and thank the Gods they were not born into this time. A time so steeped in useless technology that we forgot the magic and the myth and the legends of our ancestors.

    Thinking we knew everything about everything . . . we knew nothing at all about the things that mattered . . . and practically destroyed the earth in our ignorance.

    • wow, sounds like we are on a similar page JJ

    • BUT in order not to get too awfully depressed . . .remember this current system built upon a foundation of greed and self service MUST collapse before the new and improved foundation will have room to grow . . . 🙂 Where the earth will become a partner instead of a slave.

  12. Beer Choir, Atomic Chapter, Kenneth. http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2015/07/26/3667752_go-tri-cities-local-beer-choir.html?rh=1

    Richland is 30 minutes from my home in Kennewick.

    Ford Plague? I’d say the next step is self-driving cars, which Google has demonstrated are actually SAFER than human-driven cars.

  13. I do not condemn nor praise technology directly; it is all a matter of how humans decide to use it.

    I am grateful for modern medicine. Please consider what I have to say next. My paternal grandfather did not have any relief for his back pain; although I struggle with mine, take away technology– the MRI machine I climbed into last Friday would not be there, and my surgeon would have very little clue why my sciatica and neuropathy generally is as bad as it is.

    Besides back pain, I am a survivor of physical, emotional, and sexual childhood abuse. All such abuse was NOT talked about in the close-knit agrarian societies you speak of. Physical abuse was an agreed norm known as “corporal punishment”– emotional and sexual abuse was simply not spoken of at all.

    You observed that I am very active on Twitter. I will tell you why, Kenneth. There are Twitter chats with people that care about me and support me in my journey to recovery. I have learned far more in one hour learning from people like Bobbi L Parish and Athena Moberg, than I got in over 30 years of counseling. Moreover, they led me down paths that made my current placement with my DBT-focused therapist possible. Take away technology, and I sincerely doubt that I would be in the same place. I am willing to bet that I would be trapped in small-town mentalities, and imprisoned in stigma. More such mindsets than I face in my community right now. I sincerely doubt I would have met such people through face-to-face interactions.

    And I say all this even though I know VERY well that fuel for the Fat Man nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki was produced at DOE-Hanford near Richland, WA. Of course Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland would all be farming communities like much of the rest of Eastern Washington, save Spokane.

    I’m not going to pull any punches, Kenneth. Not at all anymore. I unfollowed you on Twitter because you seemed to think troll-tweeting sports athletes was great amusement and fun. Perhaps my perspective is unfairly biased due to complex PTSD (and many other coping behaviors I have developed due to traumas of a dysfunctional upbringing that I do not have time to go into), but I call hypocrisy, sir, and I saw your tweets as mean and unfair. Or would you claim that technology has brought you to such regards? That because of technology, athletes are on the same level as celebrities, that should be hardened and resistant to our expressions of derision, because technology has placed much of their lives for us to see at any given time?

    Lest you think I take this too personally– well… it seems you hardly know me. I appreciate your interest in what I have to say about mental health, but, at this juncture, no, I cannot agree with your assessments of technology, for to do so, would completely deny the great progress I have made… progress that in some small way has come to your attention.

    Goodbye, Mr. Justice. You know where to find me, but, oh, how I am disappointed. Perhaps you might explain, but I withdraw for now, and hope that you might offer some context, and grant me an exception, based on the experience I have just given you. This blog post seems like a buildup of previous thoughts and expressions… and I really don’t know what to make of the conclusions you have made here.


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