All possible futures

So I’ve been wanting to write this for some time. It’s something to do with all possible futures.

We have been to Cornwall as a family over the recent Easter holidays and on the return journey we stopped in a service station. One of the children had some sort of toasted Italian penny type sandwich in a Costa coffee. There were people queueing to get burgers from some sort of burger bar. The usual shop was there with crisps, bars of chocolate and a variety of drinks and newspapers knickknacks, the usual things. And then we had a couple of lovely bean salads from Waitrose or possibly Marks & Spencer’s.

I was talking about this to my friend Afif and mentioned that the one group of people for whom there was no particular offer were the Muslim population. What struck me was that you could be somebody who wanted a cheap burger, somebody who wanted a coffee shop experience, somebody who wanted to eat organic food. The service station would support all those choices as the market for each of these forms of food commodity was sufficiently powerful that they were now well installed even in roadside service stations. Every body was served.

At the same time in my life my 2nd daughter has announced that she is transgender, transsexual, gender fluid, wishes now to be known by a boys name, referred to with the masculine pronoun and introduced as our son. This whilst we live in an area where such ideas would be anathema to many of the religious believers in our community as well as others of course.

At some point in the conversation my friend Afif said something about how when he had been young it was difficult to imagine that the future would be like this. What this made me realise was that we live in a state where all futures are possible. Each of these choices can be made and each of these choices has a sufficiently large network to support it even broadly in the public domain. You can be a Muslim and everything is there for your requirements. You can be part of a closed Christian community and have a wide support network. You can be an open racist in your life and find support. You can be a transsexual and find support. You can wish to live entirely from organic food resources and live amongst a wide and supportive network. You can wish to eat cheap burgers factory produced. All of the choices, not necessarily tolerant of each other, are possible, are available within a wide support network of similar minded people. All of the possible futures have come to be at the same time and in the same place.

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