Last Thoughts on the 20th Century


Strange how a sultry summers day,

humid and sodden,

provides a perfect background for reflection,

with the scent of Nostalgia in the air

mingling with the rich, ripe aroma

of rotting vegetation.


Of course by the 20th Century

most modern citizens had lost their sense of smell.

Life’s olfactory profusion passed them by,

they could no more sniff the wind

than wake up and smell the coffee

burning in the morning breeze.




There was always something burning

in the Twentieth Century.

Few found time to stop and smell the flowers,

most were plastic anyway.

Deodorant helped

to dehumanise the Mob’s last vestiges

of their animal nature.

MMM! Smells like Product Loyalty!

MindControl for fun and profuit

But, like they say; Buy the Barcode,

Take the Ride,

Rent the DVD,

Download the Copyright

for the intellectual property

residing in your brain.

Legally speaking,

it’s not even your personality at all;

You’re just using the software

of templates owned

by a company in Switzerland.

Only the physical brain remains

your very own private possesion,

for now, for even as we speak

some lowly, lesser life form (clerk)

is taking out a registered Trademark

on your genome. You belong

to the Company now.

MindControl for fun and profuit

Shit! I’m supposed to be talking

about the 20th Century,

not NOW.

But that’s how it was,

the 21st Century

just snuck up on us unawares

and black-jacked us good and hard..

One moment we’re celebrating the End of History

(spoiler alert; “We” won) and the next

we’re way back in the medieval muck,

fighting the Crusades all over again.

syrian refugee camp

Yes, it was all so very disappointing.

One moment we’ve got our panties

all in a knot about the Y2K Bug

that was going to bring down Civilization

as we knew it,

then the next thing you know

it’s back to business as usual

with another burning Bush in the desert

pouring out great oily clouds of smoke

that hang in the still, dry air,

while a sense of hubris

and tragic deja-vu hovers like vultures

over the scene..

MindControl little alex

And what of the Sixties and Seventies?

That brief, bright bubble of Day-glo Hope

that burst too soon

when we had barely

reached the Moon.

Was it all just hallucination

a drug dream of the pipe,

Our plans to rebuild the Nations,

Our dreams to refashion our Life?

Sure some things changed, that is true,

“chicks” got the vote, “inferior races”

rose to legally human status.

The direction of the Human course

was turned somewhat askew,

We even tried somethings out

that (to us) were almost new,

like Democracy and Drugs,

but in the end Inertia won on through

and we’ve been back-sliding

into bad old habits ever since.


It’s still too early to tell

what the 20th Century‘s greatest contributions

to Humanity’s Progress (a dubious concept) will be

but in the end,

I think LSD will prove to be

more important

than the Atom Bomb.

Trust me.

MindControl little alex

It’s not so much that the 20th Century

invented anything new,

the ideas had all been round for Ages,

mechanisation, mass production, Nationalism,

Capitalism, Communism, et al;

but we certainly took everything

to it’s illogical conclusion

and now it’s at the point

where it’s too late to question anything

that’s labelled “Common-Sense”.

MindControl little alex

Back in the 20th Century

Latin finally went out of fashion

as the Language of Empire. Today,

English is the Dead Language of the Future!

Meanwhile, each Picture used to be said

to be “worth a thousand words”,

but in the 20th Century ‘Art’ had to work overtime,

what with censorship and advertising

and Inflation and all,

so that each picture had to simultaneously speak

both more

and less than a thousand words

to satisfy consumer demand.

Subliminal messages went public

for the first time,

traded well on the stock-exchange

and acquired new popularity accordingly.


There was some concern at first

that the new invention of Television

might be responsible for a general

“dumbing down” of the Populace,

but it was ultimately conceded that

they were already pretty dumb in the first place.

With this in mind, the Television industry

proceeded accordingly, but with stringent

moral and social guidelines in place

for the first thiry years to guide

the infant medium; hence,

married people slept in single beds,

the act of procreation was depicted by the occasional kiss,

black people were rarely glimpsed

except as servants or musicians,

and exposure toViolence was strictly limited

to a mere 586 television deaths

per viewing hour. (In the American Century,

Hollywood solved every problem with a gun/

it looked such Fun/ it’s no wonder

there’s so many/

Massacres today.)


Meh, who cares about the 20th Century

anyway, aside from History Buffs

and people on Quizz shows.

Try and tell the kids

about Life before the Internet

and they’ll just “unfriend” you on Facebook.

It’s like asking them to watch a black & white movie.

So perhaps I should just finish up for now by saying;

you know,

there was some really good music back then,

even if we didn’t have digitally-enhanced

5.1 “surround-sound” systems

and all that crap

and besides,

Vinyl still sounds better

than any MP3s could do.

We had some real cool cars too.

MindControl little alex

Yeah, don’t get too uppity, my dear 21st Century,

We in the 20th Century

might have stolen all our good ideas

from the other Centuries,

or from that Flying Saucer down in Roswell,

but we made them ours, and registered the

Trademark accordingly, and now,

thanks to Walt Disney,

the Estate & Heirs of the 20th Century,

will be collecting on the intellectual property

well into the next Millenium.


And as for all the rest,

We can but apologise

for the mess.

the hi rise face of the future




reverend profile red

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity,

and an ordained Minister of the Church of the Universe,

AND the Church of Spiritual Humanism.

He’s ok.



~ by reverendhellfire on December 13, 2015.

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