COMMISSIONS (back to list)

A Work In Progress

We’ve got our blue-tooth underpants
We’ve got our wi-fi frying pan
We live on super-fast fibre
We're 21st Century Man

What a piece of work in progress
How infinite in enterprise
In mass-production how like gods
Creating all that money buys

We’re improving, we’re expanding
We’re constantly upgrading
We’re increasing, we’re advancing
Our endless growth is all-pervading

Faster! Faster to the future!
Don’t look back, full speed ahead
Our yesterdays are discontinued
Our history’s history, it’s dead

We’re uber-smart-state-of-the-art
We want tomorrow’s world today
We’re flying to Mars with Icarus
We’re asking Alexa the way

We’re dancing to the algorithm
Singing “Things can only get better!”
We’re looking through Zuckerberg eyes
Our universe is meta

We have no need of understanding
We're one click away from Google
We’re staring at our selfies
We’re a wide-eyed Father Dougal

We’re thumbs up, clap hands, smiley face
We don’t do the Slough of Despond
We’re jabbing out those emojis
To inanity and beyond

We’re floating round in cyberspace
An all-consuming viral blight
We’re spreading brand new pollution
Our profligacy’s out of sight

Blinded by science fiction
Deaf to Cassandra’s wake-up call
Our greed is eating the planet
Shrouding life in a leaden pall

We’re standing on the burning deck
Of a slowly sinking ship
A modern mediaeval peasant
In a smock with a shiny zip

We’re 21st Century Man
Our follies too rife to be reckoned
Unless we stop making progress
There won’t be a 22nd

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2022
for bbc radio 4’s archive on 4 “a brief history of progress”

elvis mcgonagall

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