The Golden Age : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

"Okay, son, it's time to tell you a few, the chickens can wait. You know how we went on that journey a few weeks ago, to see your uncle? Well, you were asking a lot of things then that I didn't have time to answer because of that bloody horse, disobedient bugger that he is, and then the axle of the cart that broke, you remember that. And now it's time to answer some of those questions, son.

We didn't grow up like this. No, not your uncle and I. You wouldn't believe the world we grew up in. You know Electricity? No, not the cat.. you know how Mr Rowley, the rich man who owns the market, his house glows at night sometimes? And how the market, when it's open at night, has this light? More powerful than candles or bonfires? Yes, we used to have that. All of us. Even the poorest, cheapest person. Everyone had Electricity. And you could buy these things called Batteries, that you could carry it around in- like candles, you could put Batteries into little things called Torches.. Yes, you've seen ours. The batteries are long run out, but they used to be cheap. You used to get them everywhere. And then there was transport.. remember on the journey to Uncle Deedah's, (sorry, had to put that one in), we passed those guys who were riding in the four-wheeled carts without horses? Oh, you know what cars are. Well, in the old days everyone used to have one. You could get them for real cheap. Why, there were so many of them that in the cities, you had thousands of thousands of them, so many the roads were jammed! Yes, that's why we have those big roads, the highroads, that can take four carts or ten horses at once. And those bridges- remember that big one we crossed? The one you said must have been part of the world when it was first created? Men made that, years ago. When they had the material to do so. Oh, there was all kinds of wonderful stuff in my day, son. Radios- yes, that talking box that Mr Rowley once showed us when we were selling him the eggs? Everyone had those. We have two, but they don't work any more. None of the Electricity to power them. Anyway, they used to work. And you could get all kinds of music, from anywhere. And people talking, and telling the news, and you could call in on your Telephone and have your own voice on radio.. Yes, the far can you be heard? A hundred yards? Maybe two hundred if you shout really loud? Well, with the Telephone you could talk to someone on the other side of the world, further away than even Deedah's house, people a LONG way away, and you didn't have to shout. And the wires carried it. Like the Electricity. And we used to live in cities, with huge buildings, not just two storeys, I know Mr Rowley's house is three storeys high, but the buildings in the cities, they were Fifty storeys. A hundred. And you went to the top in boxes called elevators, that were powered by Electricity. And not everyone was a famer, too. You know I was going to go to university? Yes, like the monks. Only you didn't have to be a monk; everyone, I wasn't studying sheep. I was going to study film, how to make pictures on TV screens.. like the one in the attic, only it doesn't work any more because there's no Electricity. Back in those days I thought I was going to fly around the world..yes, we had flying machines too, flying cars..better than that biplane, real flying machines that carried hundreds of people all around the, there were no pirates, not in those days. No, the entire country- the whole United States- was one country. What about the Baron? He didn't exist. We were all Americans, it was like we were all in the same territory. No, no, it wasn't God's vengeance. We had these machines, computers we called them. Mechanical brains. And we got dependent on them- we let them think about the Electricity, and the water, and everything else. And then one day, they stopped. They stopped working. And everyone died. Everybody starved. Some people expected it to come. I did. So did your mother. So did some of the people around here. But others didn't... No, it wasn't that they didn't know. They didn't care, until it was too late. And then there was no Electricity and no food, and everyone was killing each other, and there were diseases, there were no Antibiotics..they were a thing you took when you had a cold, and you wouldn't die like your little sister did last year. They weren't used to it, they were used to the Golden Age, and they died by the millions, by gunfire and starvation because they couldn't get food, and by disease, and by violence...yes, but that kind of thing wasn't normal then.

Was walking around Sydney today, in the city center. This IS a golden age. We've got power, computers, telecommunications, brilliant medical tech, all kinds of great stuff. Has it occurred to anyone else that we could be living at the end of a period of time that could become legendary for the next several hundred years, maybe longer?

-- Leo (, December 01, 1998


Great post, Leo. Says exactly what I, and I'm sure others, think about a great deal.

-- Jack (, December 01, 1998.

People will always be the same no matter what gizmos we invent to make life easier. When it comes down to it the accumulated knowledge comes from just 1% of 1% of the pop. There will always be conflicts of interest leading to conflicts.

-- Richard Dale (, December 01, 1998.

Surely we're living in the "Plastic Age".

-- Richard Dale (, December 01, 1998.

Leo, you mirror our thoughts. How can we preserve info and history of this age for our children and their children and their children.....?

I am writing a sort of journal of our times. The idea is to document what our life is like now, what we do day to day, the nifty "things" we have to make our lives easier. I don't plan on publishing it. I just want to write it all down for people to read some day, so they will know what it was like from a *normal person's* perspective.

I have this weird thought that comes to me all the time lately. I even joke about it to family and close friends: "The Legend of Teotwawki". You know how we often get legends from truth? The truth is passed along generation to generation, until finally it evolves into a story that is really not the full truth, but embellished upon person after person, until it becomes a legend.

Well, I have this scenario in my mind that 100 years from now there's this family sitting around the campfire telling stories and the father tells a story of "Teotwawki" and how Teotwawki came and disbanded the government, killed a bunch of the people, razed the cities to the ground, wrecked all the machines, and isolated most of the people into small splinter groups. This Teotwawki was all- powerful and showed no mercy. The people don't dare to build up great cities with electricity and powerful machines again; because if they do they will anger Teotwawki and he might come back again and wreak havoc on their world. The people even give gifts to Teotwawki, so that he won't come back and kill them. Technology is banned as being too dangerous.

Nuts huh? LOL heheh

Well, anyway, great post! And lots to think about here that's for sure.....

-- Bobbi (, December 01, 1998.

Good writing job, Leo!

-- Diane J. Squire (, December 01, 1998.


(Are you SURE you aren't RAH in a new Howard incarnation?????) (Which around my house is HIGH praise!!)


-- Chuck a night driver (, December 01, 1998.

Hi Leo: You mentioned on another thread something about writing (a novel, I think). Based on this post and the answers you have received, I think you can look forward to getting the old account past three digits, and build up enough interest for that venture cap we talked about. LOL.

-- Rob Michaels (, December 01, 1998.

Leo, you've hit upon what I think about at night as I watch my son sleeping.

Sometimes I get angry because of all the shortsightedness that has taken place in this world of ours from about the 1950s until present day. Then, I realize that this just isn't productive.

I want my son to sleep at night in a Golden Age. I think his Golden Age will be one of light. That age may not include electricity but it will be luminous. There wont be any more me, me, me! Individual freedom will have more worth than what kind of BMW he can afford so he can keep up with his neighbors or what kind of deal he can close to beat his opponent.

I'm a capitalist, an entrepreneur, a believer in democracy and personal freedoms but I understand there is a deeper meaning to life.

Anyway, sorry to rant. I think there is hope in your post Leo. After all, it's a dialogue between a father and a son that in and of itself is really refreshing.

Great post. Thank you.


-- Michael Taylor (, December 01, 1998.

Thanks for all the compliments, guys. I might extend this into a longer version, perhaps a short story (short in my definition is anything less than 40,000 words); if I do, I'll post a link to it here.

Chuck, what do you mean by "a Howard incarnation" of RAH?

Bobbi, I think you're right. I don't think TEOTWAWKI would be the word they use (y2k, maybe "Why Tookay", perhaps? TEOTWAWKI sounds a bit too generic, don't you think, when you realise what it stands for?), but I definitely agree with you.

Again, thanks for all the nice words ;)


-- Leo (, December 01, 1998.

RAH=Robert A. Heinlein,...writer sublime. The Howard families were used in many of his short stories and novels,...generations of long-lived human beings. The most famous of the Howards was Lazarus Long. On a thread, probably in archives now, is a collection of quotations that pertain to Y2K,...among them, ords of Heinlein.

-- Donna Barthuley (, December 01, 1998.

"Was walking around Sydney today, in the city center. This IS a golden age. We've got power, computers, telecommunications, brilliant medical tech, all kinds of great stuff. Has it occurred to anyone else that we could be living at the end of a period of time that could become legendary for the next several hundred years, maybe longer? "

Leo, you have talent as a writer. But surely you don't intend to extend the worst case scenario to hundreds of years? I think we have a better chance than that.

-- Buddy (DC) (, December 01, 1998.

Hey Leo - good writing, you have talent, no question - hope you make it to Harvard (go go go if u can) and I get to spend the rest of my life the way *I* want to.

We'll find out soon enough.

In the meantime I've heard so much about Heinlein, I checked out some of his books at City Lights here in San Fancisco.

Problem is there are so many - Donna or anyone - are there any recommendations for RAH - I also hear he has some very TEOTWAWKI-type plots. They sound interesting!

I hate missing the first 10 minutes of a film - same with books, I'd like to read them in order if possible...

Yes, I am a sad bugger!!! :o)

-- Andy (, December 01, 1998.

Not too shabby of a tale. Here is a part about Deedah's house, taken from one of your earlier chapters. (I hope it's OK to print it, please don't sue me)

"It's Deedah, lemme in, the hordes are right behind me, I'm outta ammo!"

Deedah's not here man, goway

"No it's me, Deedah, lemme in!"

I told you man, he's not here, goway

-- Uncle Deedah (, December 01, 1998.

For Donna, whose sheet hasn't been flapping much lately.... hope this helps!

-- Gayla Dunbar (, December 01, 1998.

Yeah, I know who Heinlein is.. the local libraries don't seem to have any of his stuff, but I saw the movie Starship Troopers. It looks as though they based it on something good, even though I could see exactly what was going to happen in the end, halfway through.. (Although *any* army in which you can join as a recruit straight out of high school, and be a senior colonel within six months, is the kind of army I want to be in!!!)

What the hell, writing about African guerillas (Mister Blue) is getting boring, I don't see why not...

Coming soon, TEOTWAWKI. Better than that tedious right-wing/religious Triple Ought book (if you haven't read it, don't bother), this one's coming from a guy who's never touched a gun in his life but would like to pretend that he knows how to write.


Oh, and Deedah, you should try the back door. There's an explosive trap there, and I don't want it going to waste ;)

-- Leo (, December 01, 1998.


Rocky H

-- Rocky H (, December 01, 1998.

Leo wrote:

>Bobbi, I think you're right. I don't think TEOTWAWKI would be the >word they use (y2k, maybe "Why Tookay", perhaps? TEOTWAWKI sounds a >bit too generic, don't you think, when you realise what it stands >for?), but I definitely agree with you.

Well, in my mind, it's pronounced "Tee-oht-wawkee" with the accent on the second syllable and the o pronounced long as O versus ah.

But, Why Tookay is good too....hmmmmmm.

Guess my imagination runs away with me sometimes. :-)

Anyway, write more for us please. You are a very good writer and your musings are enjoyable to read.

After all, post-Why Tookay we will need new stories won't we?

Bobbi (who has been a frustrated writer for eons and eons)

-- Bobbi (, December 02, 1998.

Eye Tookay, the novella, is being written. Since you guys like my writing, and since I'm getting bored with Mr Blue (to make it good, I need ready access to research data that I simply don't have), I'm putting it on hold to give you something that you'll find at

From the fact that I don't know how to do a hotlink to that page, you can guess how bad the page is. I intend to learn html someday, but as it is I used a totally incorrect template to put the page on. Unless you have a Mac, I strongly urge you NOT to use the html version. I'll add chapters as I finish them.. and I'll even try to make the page more presentable. Please put all your flames on this thread; I need and enjoy the feedback ;)


-- Leo (, December 02, 1998.

Oops, that should be

(Tripod doesn't seem to like "htm"s.

-- Leo (, December 02, 1998.


thanks. I keep forgetting that my shared experiences with my wife and a few friends are not general.......

Andy, Start with "Expanded Worlds of RAH", wherein is a list of his other writings, as well as a collection of much of his short stuff, well,...... SOME of his short stuff. He was SO prolific. Something about not wanting to work for a living, or something.

LEO: Also start with Expanded Worlds, (esp "First you Catch the Rabbit...") and go from there. If you saw ST, you haven't been introduced to RAH at all!!! The two shared a title and a couple of characters, period. Go read the real thing and then you will appreciate him much more.


BTW The promotion rate was solely due to the incompetence and death rate of the ranking ratings. Not a good place to be if you work for any of them because they tend to spend fodder at a rate well beyond the more competent officers. Ask any of the local combat vets lurking hereabouts, and they will tell you that __one__ of the major measures of the quality of an officer is how freely he(she) spends his/her combat effectives, and what he/she gets back for the expenditure. The more competent are still willing to spend their effectives, but only to win something back for them. The less competent tend to throw them away without any effective gain.

While I haven't even gotten close to combat, I HAVE managed emergency medical services in some "Interesting" situations, and have had to look at my people's safety, against what we were trying to do, and have KNOWINGLY put my people in harm's way. (usually with them following me in!).


-- Chuck a night driver (, December 02, 1998.

Hey Chuck,

Thanks for the info. on RAH - I will do as u suggest.

Later, Andy

-- Andy (, December 02, 1998.

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