After a conversation with a friend about the state of the world—and my opinion of that state—I was encouraged to compile this list of the things that I think have outlived their usefulness in society and need to be officially taken off the table and locked away for good. Mind you, this list has the most to do with the United States… but not all of it. There are admonishments enough to go around. So take a look, and you’ll have a much better idea of exactly how crazy I am.
So, without further ado (or a don’t), my list of the top 12 things that have outlived their usefulness includes:
- Racism—Great start to this list. Stop trying to separate people according to different physical characteristics that don’t mean a damned thing. We are all members of the Human Race. Time to grow up.
- Sexism—See Racism.
- Religion—I hate to break it to you, but religion is an invented belief system designed to make the majority of people on the street do what the minority of people in power want them to do. When religions had some bearing on reality—like they did about two millennia ago—they were useful. Today’s major religions, however, have lost touch with reality and the scientific evidence for how the world works… and in teaching their religious dogma, they encourage ignorance about the real world. Wake up and smell the 21st century, people.
- Columbus Day—Why are we celebrating a day when a professional explorer got lost and ended up on the wrong side of the planet, but made up for it by leading the systematic enslavement and decimation of entire cultures in the New World? If we insist on having a day off, maybe make it for the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas who were so wronged by Columbus and his European followers (since, now, we know that was a bad thing… right?), or maybe for unwed mothers, or frustrated sci-fi writers, or something.
- Manually-driven cars—Only one of the highest causes of death in the U.S., and the main contributor to the planet’s current global warming problem, which will give us a lousy next century. Public transportation is safer and much more efficient, and adequate for the needs of 90+ percent of the American population. Some cities have limited auto access in downtown areas, and they’re on the right track. For the rest of us, safe and efficient self-driving cars are right around the corner; and when they’re here, we need to mandate them, like we did lights, turn signals, seatbelts, airbags and safety bumpers. (And hopefully they’ll be runing on something other than gasoline.)
- Reality TV—Invented to be cheap television by cheap TV producers (who aren’t exactly broke), reality TV exists solely to have you laugh at or pity one of the families or groups displayed therein. Do we need encouragement to do that? Not really.
- American Football—A sport some say is patterned loosely after warfare. So violent and savage that players must wear loads of protective gear… yet still give themselves lifetime injuries and ruin their physical lives after just a season or two of play. Too complex in the rules to have much fun anymore. Corruption by the owners, who are in it only for the money. Greed of the players, who are only in it for the fame, product endorsements and money. And its biggest sponsors sell soda, beer and fast food. Period. Some parents are starting to see the light, and are pushing their kids at any other sport but that. Smart parents.
- Guns—Yeah. Most countries have taken them out of the hands of civilians, and are better off for it. Guns make it too easy to ruin and end lives, but it turns out they’re not that good at defending lives—even, frequently, in the hands of professionals. In an early United States, where homeowners hunted for food and were concerned about wild animals and the errant foreign soldier showing up, gun ownership made perfect sense. Today? Not at all. Feeling hungry? Go hit Safeway. Feeling defenseless? Buy a taser.
- Capitalism—It used to be so hard to produce power and goods for everyone that you had to put people to work producing it. Today, we’ve gotten so good at producing food, goods and services for the world, largely through automation and better efficiency through science, that a top-down system of forced hoarding/scarcity of resources for profit, and bribing leaders to allow it, no longer makes sense (except maybe for the 1% of capitalists who are hoarding 50% of the country’s money). The next age of Mankind will be about sharing the bounty.
- Working 35-40 hours per week—Tack this on with the removal of capitalism: We don’t need to work as hard as we do just to bring home the bacon, because capitalism is keeping us from getting the food we need for free. Remove capitalism, and you remove the need to work so much. Universal Basic Income is the system of the future. You’re welcome.
- Lack of interest in/appreciation for science—I’m going to put it simply: Science has given us everything we have. We would probably not even exist without it. You would almost certainly not exist without it. Yet people think it’s okay to be willfully and intentionally ignorant about the single greatest human accomplishment that has given us civilization, and made pretty much all of our lives possible. Many even blame science for society’s ills. These people are known by the label of morons. Don’t let them raise children.
- Fear of your government—First, you must clearly assume that you would not have your home, job, money or any protection from the ne’er-do-wells of the world without your government protecting you. Second, if you put them in power… and you’re afraid of them… you’re obviously doing it wrong. Government just doesn’t work without the people’s participation. So stop wasting so much time with items 1-11 and pay some f***ing attention to how your country works.