18 July 2006

The Modem World

Hello. You’re tuned in to The Modem World—the show so modern, it has the word modem in the title! Today we’ll be asking the question, “Has life really changed that much in recent millennia?”

You see, the other day I was chatting with a good friend of mine. She remarked that, in order to progress in the complex and busy world of today, one has to be like a well-oiled machine. Her understandable assumption was that a more historical and laid-back attitude to the world would be preferable—if it were possible.

This got me thinking... Was life really preferable? Was it so different in years gone by? To answer these questions and more, we traveled back and interviewed a friendly group of cave-dwellers. The first caveman we met told us:

“Oh yeah, life’s tough. You know, sometimes I get sick of the routine. I mean, it’s all get up, go and chase an animal then kill it, bring it back, cut it up and eat it. Exhausting! And then we have to find a safe place to sleep before it gets dark...

“But hey, I suppose it’s not so bad. I mean I get one helluva thrill at the climax of the hunting. You know, when you’re right up-close and you can see the fear in its eyes, and it can see yours. And afterwards, it’s so great to know you ain’t gonna go hungry that day.”

A woman who, I gather, was his wife, added:

“What? No, put that nasty bug down Jill. Remember what happened to Sam when he played with a red one? Eh, well, yeah he’s right it is hard living here. I mean, it’s totally different for us gals but still hard. Every day I have to look after the kids and keep them away from the mammoths until their dad comes home with the meat. And then the kids fight over it and it all ends in tears.

“My husband, bless him, he never gets the right sort of meat. I told him, not just any meat will do; it has to be fresh, low-fat, and not too hairy neither. Thing is, in its own weird little way, being alive’s alright. My eldest just returned from his first hunt. Covered in mud and blood he was, but he’d caught something and he was happy. It makes it all worth it, I guess.”

On the way back to the tram, we bumped into a young lad who was kicking a rock. He said:

“Man, I hate school. Teach wants us to learn the alphabet but they haven’t invented it yet. What kinda stupid homework is that? But I like sports lessons. When I’m older I wanna be a famous rockballer. I’m practicing it now, see? It’s, like, tough stuff! If you think kicking rocks hurts, you should try headers!”

His sister interrupted with:

“I tried rockball ’n’ it’s a stupid game. I mean I scored more goals than my brother but he still says he won. Said it was ’cause of the Off-Hide rule but there was nothing wrong with my hide! I wore it right. Cheat. Oh, have you met my dolly? Sure, she looks like a twig but she’s my friend, Silver Birch Cynthia. Isn’t her shiny dress so pretty? Come along, Cynthia.”

Once we’d returned to the studio, we could only conclude that the world was and still is still the same hectic but lovable place!