I am convinced that the human race as a collective species will not make it to the next millennium. Man has never been able to curb his violent and destructive nature throughout the course of history. “It is in your nature to destroy yourselves,” said Mr. Schwarzenegger in the second Terminator movie, and what a prophetic quote Arnold’s line may turn out to be.
Queensryche’s song “Revolution Calling” contains the line, “Gotta make a million doesn’t matter who dies.” It is this philosophy, so aptly summed up by band frontman Geoff Tate, that seems to be the status quo, not just in monetary matters but also in all aspects of life today. I can’t count how many times I have sat in my car in traffic and watched someone run up in the right-turn-only lane only to force his way in at the last second. He doesn’t care that he is prolonging my commute home, or that he is blocking the lane for those folks who need to legitimately make a right turn. No, it’s all about him, in his own little world. It’s no longer the “Me Generation,” we’re now the “Screw You Generation.”
During my morning bus rides to work, there is one corner, rather tight for a full size bus, where my driver intentionally takes up both left turn lanes. If he doesn’t he runs the risk of running a car into the divider or into the parked cars as he makes his turn because his vehicle is so large. This morning after making this maneuver we were greeted with an angry driver passing by, arm and middle finger extended out the window. What harm could possibly have occurred to this person to provoke such fury? He wasn’t cut off by the bus, his commute wasn’t made any longer by the extra five seconds or so it took to wait (given a typical San Francisco commute of 30 minutes to an hour or more), and his safety was actually looked after by the bus driver.
It is these two aspects of the current prevailing human nature-the drive to triumph over others at all costs, and the quick transition into rage-that make me feel that we are doomed. Given the ever-increasing methods of murdering ever-larger groups of people with a single act, this is a frightening combination. With medical technology as it is today and into the foreseeable future, it is unlikely that I will be around when the calendar ticks over to the year 3000. I wonder if any human will be around to see it.