Most people just referred to it as ‘e-day’ – seemed simpler somehow than the full title.
It had been a long time coming but now the day was here, and the world would watch on and wonder just how they had managed to get to this point.
It had taken a different generation from my own to put all the laws in place, but hey – it was their world now and they ran to a different beat of the drum.
But I have to ask myself, as an old man, how this could have happened – did my society make so much of a mess of things that it had come to this?
Technology had overtaken the world during my lifetime and only the young seemed to be able to keep pace with it all.
Two institutions failed. I mean really failed – and they were probably responsible in their own way as to why it all happened in the manner it did.
The first to crash and burn were the newspapers – they spread the news – old news – with ink and paper inside a world which was changing every second, and so found it difficult to hold on. What they did however, was to use their papers to spread lies, gossip and misjudgments. It was done to keep their sales up – and folks got used to this skewered thinking which allowed people to make instant judgements on those who were not like them.
The other institution which failed was the legal system. It was run by old men and women who controlled new technologies with laws made hundreds of years before. Social Networks baffled them all and the laws failed to keep pace with the changing morals and the changing attitudes.
New Law, as it was called, had its origins in the reality shows once so popular on television. The old talent shows which allowed the young and the bored to judge others by paying money and texting (as they called it back then).
New Law became a phenomenon of the Western World and folks were judged by others – (others who sat on their sofas and watched the world pass by).
And when James McDonald of New Glasgow (the overspill city built in the west highlands) allegedly murdered his wife and hid her body under the floor – it was selected as the first New Law trial.
The old law makers had been shunted off and the laws of the land were now under the control of the mass media conglomerates. Their philosophy was ‘entertain the masses and they will do what you ask’.
This was reality entertainment at its peak. The trial would begin every evening at 8pm and last for several hours. It was all anyone could talk about the next day.
On the final day of the trial the viewers were asked to vote on whether James McDonald was guilty or not guilty.
The votes were Guilty 78% and Not Guilty 22%.
So now we are here, at e-day when those who judged get free-viewing, and those people overseas pay a fee to watch his execution.
How the world moves on.
bobby stevenson 2017