Another „get rich wothout any work“ ad. But there is a little bit more to it. And it blends very well into the „Cyberpunk NOW“ theme that is – or will become – the backbone to the upcoming homebrew RPG Generation Z for the d6 system.
You’ll notice the cynical undertone this ad has if you’re familiar with the 1997 book „The Global Trap“ (see English wikipedia here or the larger German article here). In the book there’s a statement (or projection) that in the future (read: now) 20% of the world’s population are more than enough to produce about everything we need. Which poses the problem of what to do with the remaining 80%. The authors expect that the global society will split up in a „20/80“ way in which 20% earn real money in a real, productive way, and 80% get „tittytainment“, a combination of social welfare and entertainment to keep them silent and „content“.
If you stop and take a step back, if you remember that this assumption about the future was made in 1997 and what new ways to entertain and occupy oneself have been developed since then, you just might feel the urge to swallow hard (or throw up, depending on your nature).
If you look at the Internet, the blogs (yeah, including this one), the forums, the communities, the online games, Second Life, World of Warcraft, twitter, whatever, you can’t help but think that all these things eat up your time and energy – time and energy that earlier generations would’ve spent on, oh, fighting against war and oppression maybe (or THE LOSS OF PRIVACY, fer Chrissake!).
Meanwhile, we chat our life away, thinking we are important if we see that our blog has been visited by 100 people, ignoring or banning anyone whose attitude offends us, we complain about anything and everyone, we know of all the problems of the world but choose to ignore (ban) them.
Don’t get me wrong: I am not better than anyone else. Ranting in a blog no one reads doesn’t change the world (nor does ranting in a blog 100,000 people read, as long as every f*cksite gets millions of hits). And really, if you think about it, what can anyone do? Or anymany?
Well, there is ONE thing any one can do: Don’t exploit your „social network“ by stealing their lifetime away. Even IF you could make a fortune selling them online games. Don’t become one of Momo’s Grey Men.
Quotations taken from Momo by Michael Ende:
„Calendars and clocks exist to measure time, but that signifies little because we all know that an hour can seem as eternity or pass in a flash, according to how we spend it. Time is life itself, and life resides in the human heart. Life holds one great but quite commonplace mystery. Though shared by each of us and known to all, seldom rates a second thought. That mystery, which most of us take for granted and never think twice about, is time.“ „Lots of things take time, and time was Momo’s only form of wealth.“
„[The men in grey] had an uncanny knack of making themselves so inconspicuous that you either overlooked them or forgot ever seeing them… Since nobody noticed them, nobody stopped to wonder where they had come from, or indeed, were still coming from, for their numbers continue to grow with every passing day.“
„Surely you know how to save time, my dear sir? Work faster, for instance, and stick to the essentials. Spend only fifteen minutes on each customer, instead of the usual half-hour, and avoid time-wasting conversations. Reduce the hour you spend with your mother by half. Better still, put her in a nice, cheap old folks‘ home, where someone else can look after her – that’ll save you a whole hour a day. Get rid of that useless budgerigar. See Miss Daria once every two weeks, if at all… Above all, don‘ squander so much of your precious time on singing, reading, and hobnobbing with your so-called fiends. Incidentally, I’d also advise you to hand a really accurate clock on the wall so you can time your apprentice to the nearest minute.“
„The odd thing was that, no matter how much time he saved, he never had any to spare; in some mysterious way, it simply vanished.“
„I’d like some new things,“ the doll squawked suddenly. „You see?“ said the man in grey. “ She’s actually telling you herself…..If you don’t want to get bored with her, you have to give her things.“ „As long as you go on getting more and more things, you’ll never grow bored. I know what you’re going to say: Sooner or later, Lola will have everything, and then I’ll be bored again. Well, there’s no fear of that. Here we have the perfect boyfriend for Lola… So you see, you can never get bored because the game can go on for ever. There’s always something left to wish for.“
„All that matters in life,“ the grey man went on, „is to climb the ladder of success, amount to something, own things. When a person climbs higher than the rest, amounts to more, owns more things, everything else comes automatically: friendship, love, respect, et cetera…“