The Wilder West
…the Art & Wit of Dave Wilder
“Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower
“The future ain’t what it used to be.”
– Yogi Berra
When I was a kid, I loved thinking about the future. In the 1960s we were doing things, going places. Human ingenuity had landed a man on the Moon and, as a side benefit, had given us wonderful things like the ball point pen, microwave ovens, Velcro, zip-lock bags and Tang. The rate of progress seemed to be ever accelerating in those days, and when I cast my young mind forward into the possibilities that the 21st century would bring, I felt a real sense of excitement, optimism that the world really would be a better place. There seemed no problem that technology could not solve. A great big beautiful tomorrow was shining at the end of everyday, and darn it, I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted my own personal jetpack or at least a flying car.
As we all know now, the future didn’t turn out quite they way the prognosticators of the mid-twentieth century said that it would. “Better Living Through Chemistry,” “Miracles from Molecules” and other slogans of that era have turned out to be worse than ironic. Technology has brought as many problems as it has solved and today we find ourselves on an angry planet with dwindling resources, a warming climate and a skyrocketing population. Indeed, as we close in on the
mid-twenty-first century, a perfect storm of climate change, peak oil and peak population seem poised to bring an abrupt end to this evolutionary experiment in sentient matter.
I would very much like to be optimistic about the future again, especially now that I have children of my own. Evolution has fashioned us as technological animals, beings that alter their environment to suit their ever-increasing needs. If one could step outside of humanity and watch the drama unfold from some interplanetary distance, it all might seem a fascinating experiment. Can these clever apes invent themselves out of their own mess or will the ruthless laws of evo-
lution wipe them from history’s stage? Who knows? Only the future will tell.
“South of the Border”
Dave Wilder’s art can be seen at:
and at the
Laughing Raven Gallery 417 Hull Ave. Jerome, Arizona
and on facebook:
“David Wilder Arts”
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