Herr Bischoff

Life's a Glitch, Then You Die

The title is part of a Treehouse of Horror episode from The Simpsons, where the Y2K bug destroys first Springfield and then the world. It resonated with me on a whole different level.

The world has always been a chaotic place. But today, it makes even less sense to me. Rules that were once taught to me as inviolable do not seem to apply any more. Stuff that we believed banished to the ash heap of history rises again from it with a vengeance.

As a teenager, I first questioned the state of things and haven’t stopped since. Instead of making me a successful square peg not fitting a round hole, it frustrated me. For every successful story of someone thinking differently and possibly starting something world-changing, there are thousands of stories like mine. People who are bullied in school for being different, chastised by teachers for questioning utter nonsense, the loners, the ones who are unable to see economic opportunity but the desperate inability to change anything. The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world — but fail constantly. The ones who can see beyond the horizon but forever find themselves in positions where they cannot get others to understand what they mean. Who don’t find careers as brilliant engineers, writers, artists, musicians. What about them?

And then there’s all the people and their work who are increasingly rendered redundant. The frustration of not being needed or wanted takes a psychological toll. An individual’s psyche will only ever take so much until it either cracks or starts to fight back — with exponentially unpredictable results. Both outcomes lead to disaster.

Since civilization, the western world in particular, is unable to provide answers to this emerging vacuum. We’re on a path to violent change for the worse. Billionaires realize that and build luxury bunkers in remote areas to escape a societal collapse. We’re going to have a riot of teenagers on our hands, scared for their future, before we realize what’s happening.

Common sense gets perverted into humanity’s worst instinct. What is there to discuss when you cannot even agree on a shared reality. We truly live in the age of idiots and assholes.

What kept me going back in the day was the sense that tomorrow held the promise to start over, change things, to make it better. That, at the very least, it was likely to be better at some point. It did get better, eventually. And then the decent towards today started.

What to take from this? Maybe to not take oneself and the world too serious. After all, quite a lot is utter nonsense to begin with. It’s quite possible Monty Python had the right ideas all along. And I for one will be taking more and more time to introspect and meditate. If life really is a glitch, nothing of this matters anyway. So why worry?