I have friends who insist on interpreting dreams. I also have very strange dreams from time to time, so I’ve decided to put the two together in an occasional Omniop feature I’m calling ‘Dream challenge.’ Go for it.
I’ve been selected to participate in an expedition to colonize a distant planet. We file onto the spacecraft, giddy with excitement, check our bags and take our seats. Because the planet is so far away, it will take 30 years to get there, so as soon as we’ve settled in, clear polycarbon canopies descend, sealing us off and putting us in a state of suspended animation for the duration of the flight. We don’t feel the tug of Earth as the rocket lifts off, we get no last glimpse of our erstwhile home; we are essentially comatose until we get there.
30 years pass, The computer wakes us as we approach our new home. The spacecraft has a wide window, through which we see the rapidly approaching terrain, green and inviting, when it hits me.
“Damn!” I say, turning to the Captain. “I forgot my phone. Would you mind going back to get it?”
First of all, let me say straight out that I am against all these new fangled ‘improvements’ on things that were working just fine. Remember the old adage, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?’ It seems we have long since forgotten it, in our haste to make things easier and more productive. We may gain a second or two, or reduce energy expenditure by a point or two, or allow more people access to some particular process or commodity, but at what price? Do we really gain anything if we have to sacrifice ancient wisdom and tradition to get it? Or give up our long-held values, our ways of testing the worth of ourselves and our families to ‘spread the wealth?’ Whatever happened to the concept of earning wealth?
Take, for example, the bow and arrow. Easy as pie. You just pick it up, insert an arrow, pull the string, and point it, and presto! you’ve killed something. What could be easier? Anybody can do it.
And that’s the problem. With a spear, you had to have some skill. You had to calculate the distance to the animal you were hunting, figure the arc to make the spear end up at the level you wanted to strike the animal at, or at which you wanted to strike .. oh, never mind. And not only that, you had to have some strength. It was bad enough when they came up with the atlatl (is that a dumb name or what?) Now, with the bow and arrow, all the strength you need is to pick the damned thing up, put in the arrow, and point it at something. Is that the kind of man we want to encourage? Is that who’s going to get us out of a jam when we’re attacked by enormous beasts? Or when someone makes a really stupid comment around the fire?
I will just ask you this and leave it at that: when you’ve stolen something or insulted someone, who do you want at your side, a spearman or a ‘bowman?’