“I can Imagine the Next World…”
A letter written by new generation artist: Scott Knier in response to the implications of pandemics.
Dear [Name Redacted],
I can imagine the next world. One ruled by pestilence and fear, fear above all. I imagine this world with orchestras playing to empty concert halls. Athletic champions sparring to silenced stadiums. Streets revved with cars and delivery trucks. Not one person strolling in a park or on a city street, no museums, no zoos, no pranks from the reckless youth, the virtual world in full swing: the escapism, isolating us from the values our native form once fought and died for–community, a rejection of tribalism–togetherness; the virtual one looking upon the earth with dull taciturn eyes. Virtual gods with eyes that stare deeply into screens and stadiums and concert halls, museums and zoos, desperately searching for that which they can no longer grasp onto. The process of meaning creation reduced to a 32 megabyte hard drive of 1’s and 0’s.
I imagine the middle class, the glorious middle class reduced to data servants because of their newfounded uselessness. Small corporations that once built this country reduced to global online markets and conglomerated delivery services.
I imagine the fear as much as I can a winter warzone. Fear of any person who walks among the natural world. “They are not men”, the onlookers say, “..they are infected and they are sick…I fear them as I fear any anti-Semite, homophobe, misogynist, or racist. I do not talk with them. I merely see the unknown as fear and dread. I see them as the sickness that they will pass unto me.”
My imagination surges today. I imagine myself as a cellmate to Epstein, if there was such a poor fool in that position. I can see two guards leaving their watch. I fear the noises from beyond my cell and I put my head down. I hang it low because the yelling of pain drowns out my guilt. I look up not to see a man justly punished for his crimes but punished for hundreds crimes committed by other men as well. These memories have an off switch in the virtual world. I can believe the stories that I feed on. I can believe that jet fuel can’t melt skyscrapers and thermite powder travels on airplanes. I can believe that this world is not as cruel as people say it is so long as we end each sentence with sarcasm. I can believe that planes can cause CIA buildings to collapse, that incriminating evidence can be destroyed, that a fugitive with incriminating secrets can be evil. I believe that news must be entertainment, otherwise it does not interest me. I believe that soon there will be no more use for streetlights, that finally stars will be seen in the sky by the trees and deserted streets of cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. I believe in the objectivity of science and a world that will comfort me like a pill when I am in pain, when I am lonesome, or when I’m depressed, or when I am tired, or when I am angry.
I can imagine a world like this.
I am not an anti-semite, nor homophobe, nor misogynist, nor am I a racist,
but in this world that I can imagine,
every person is to be hated equally.
With love and hope from a world not yet defeated,
©Scott Knier, 2020
Read more at Scott Knier’s Blog page: “scottknier.com/authorship-and-artistry/”.
For more information about COVID-19 and how to stop the spread of misinformation, please visit CDC’s website: