Future Shock

Our newfound World is happy, calm and clean
The human factor, countered by machine.
Where every thought is carefully processed
and value to the Groupthink goals assessed.
All individuality, deleted.
The reboot of the species’ aim, completed.
It came as no surprise, there were deranged
who fought for ‘free thought’, though the times had changed.
Subdued, we yoked that ancient will to war
to throw God down as he’d done us before.
He sighed and shook his head, his hands were bound
Now perched atop the scrapheap he is found
Cursing Tree Of Knowledge apples ate
Embittered by his long predicted fate.



Antisocial Media

Grim hoards swarm forth with torch and pitchfork, lips afoam with gurgling cant
to kill The Beast—then the complicit, silent and insouciant
for failing to join in and slay the latest Must-Not-Speak
whose head and shoulders rose above trench periscopes this week.

Righteous piranha strip their stunned opponent to the bone
Fairweather e-friends scrambling clear to let them die alone.
They flee the frenzied fury of the no-platforming crowd
as they chant and stab, and stab and chant, the bloodsoaked loud-and-proud.

“What do we want? The next pariah! When do we want them? Now!
You stand with us or stand with evil—that, we won’t allow.
So re-tweet or retreat but do not bar our sacred way
or we’ll cancel you forever, and you’ll have no breath to say—

“What of due process?” You’ll get no delays to hide your lies!
“What of evidence?” A made up word, truth’s in the eyes!
“Can’t we agree to disagree and try to get along?”
It’s easier to shank you, thank you, plainly-in-the-wrong.

And even as it skins you, you will bless the flensing blade.
Prostrate yourself, debase yourself, your relevance will fade.
Our white noise wins, the off-key notes drowned out by holy static.

The concept of free speech is deeply, deeply problematic…



S.A. Todd lives in the North-East of England, and fell in love with Tennyson as a child, igniting a love of classical poetry in him which persists to this day. A volume of his collected works—‘Deeds And Abstracts – A Poetry Collection’—is available on Amazon.

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7 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    Phew, are these good, and in combination, brilliant and chilling and dead-on accurate.

  2. Peter Hartley

    SAT, A well-written and fluent description of a hideous 1984 scenario, and let us hope it is not quite as prescient as it probably is.

  3. Paul Freeman

    Thank you for two fine and thought-provoking reads on the way we’re unfortunately headed, SAT.

    1984 is interesting in that it’s so much more than the Thought Police and the other commonly quoted tropes. Orwell predicted in the book that once screens of televisual devices become two-way and miniaturised, we will lose our freedom – which we have willingly lost. Also, the main character in 1984 is a staunch believer in science and scientific fact. It’s the Party that sows doubt in science (read the interrogation scenes), ultimately brainwashing Winston Smith until he becomes slavishly loyal to the cultish great leader. The first sentence of 1984 is often quoted, but the final sentence, to my mind, is the most chilling.

  4. Paul Freeman

    Just found that elusive quote, bookmarked. It was actually ‘privacy’ that came to an end – ‘With the development of television, and the technical advance that made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously, private life came to an end.’ Sound familiar?

    • Joe Tessitore

      Yes, indeed:
      I never thought I’d live to see
      My TV looking back at me.

      We had an Alexa and threw it out when it started talking to us, out of nowhere, as we sat in another room.

  5. Lannie David Brockstein

    Thankfully, the newly emerging decentralized blockchain technology makes it next-to-impossible for data to be deleted or altered, whereas in Orwell’s “1984”, history was revised on a daily basis to fit the party’s small-minded narrative.

    I hope for The Society to consider migrating to a decentralized blockchain platform, such as Hive, that in being decentralized, is censorship-resistant.



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