We knew this was coming, didn't we.
I was born in 1954. It's hung over my head my whole life. Yours too I bet. I grew up reading dystopian novels, tales of vicarious journeys into the dark side of man, nightmares that lodged themselves into the recesses of our psyches, nudged there by notions that those stories were too wild to be true. After World Wars I and II we knew what mankind was capable of, but we were better than that. Better fools than we would have ourselves believe.
Then came the 1960s and the world turned upside down. Change was in the air. Much of the upheaval in the 60s was about today, we just didn't realize it then. Hell, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it. Little did we know, that was the start. The road and the proverbial can were going downhill at an ever quickened pace. The can took the wrong fork somewhere on that road, and we followed.
After the effort for a better world, that was beaten down at the barrel of a gun at Kent State, life became about excess. All the while though, in the back of the mind, it loomed. Mankind seems more adept at rationalization than rationality. Did this predicament we find ourselves in today sneak up on us or did we fool ourselves into believing our own arrogance? Did we look away in lieu of the good life?
Much like Dorian Grey, we sat at the apex of man, and exchanged our nation's youthful vigor for the pleasures of abundance after making a deal with technology, and comfort. That deal is now coming due. And like Dorian, we look at the landscape that reflects our excesses, and we see what we have become. And it's ugly.
In the end, Dorian slashes, with a knife, at the hideous figure staring back at himself in the portrait, and in a stark realization becomes that which he feared. A dark, empty, and rotten shell of a man. Dead by his own hand.