Thirty years ago, when I was a longer-haired indigent hippie, I realized that science fiction had warned me about certain ethical perils of everyday life.
If anyone younger than 35 is reading this, you may not know that Piers Anthony, circa 1975, was thought of as a leading-edge science fiction writer. The Xanth books were years in the future. The protagonist of Cthon
, Anthony's first novel, was a character who'd been exiled to a prison planet for falling in love with and courting a Minionette. Anthony's Minionettes were sensuous alien females, indigenous to the Planet Minion -- where the emotional spectrum and responses of the inhabitants are the inverse of normal human emotions.
For Minionettes, pain equal pleasure, pleasure equals pain. Or, as Jethro Tull told us around the same time:
Lend me your ear while I call you a fool.
You were kissed by a witch one night in the wood,
and later insisted your feelings were true.
The witch's promise was coming,
believing he listened while laughing you flew.
Leaves falling red, yellow, brown, all are the same,
and the love you have found lay outside in the rain.
Washed clean by the water but nursing its pain.
The witch's promise was coming, and you're looking
elsewhere for your own selfish gain.
-- Witch's Promise -- Jethro Tull
What has all this hippie chestnut stuff got to do with anything now? Well... I can't say they never warned me if my train gets lost.
Like many aging Boomers, I now have a certain percentage of my retirement savings sunk into -- mining operations on the Planet Minion. I monitor economic processes on the planet during coffee breaks at work, hoping that at the end of the day I'll have at least as much in my savings accounts as I had at the beginning of the day. On days where the little Dow and NASDAQ status reports are green, I congratulate myself for not being completely locked down to the miserable investment rates of CDs.
Except that the following news note reminds me of what my younger self already knew. I'm turning myself in, for the benefit of Pastwatch and Futurewatch time-monitoring versions of myself. (No idea whether any other entities will care.)
From Google News
, Wed Nov 4, 2009 3:42pm EST:
... In the hour following the FOMC statement, the S&P 500 rose as high as 1,061.00 and the Nasdaq touched 2,081.00. With less than 30 minutes before the closing bell, though, those late-day gains began to fade somewhat.
The healthcare sector jumped on hopes the Obama administration's healthcare reforms may be slowed after Republicans scored some key election victories.