THE BLOG
12/12/2013 12:59 pm ET Updated Feb 11, 2014

Drone Delivery: A Perfect Symbol of Our Untroubled Times

Pencil-neck geeks of the world, put down your slide-rules and rejoice. We've finally entered the world of science-fiction. Actually, we've been there for some time now--even pocket protectors are a thing of the past -- but what I'm referring to is the latest development in drone technology, that is, Amazon's proposed use of the little mechanical gremlins to deliver packages straight to our doors. What convenience!

The great thing about drone delivery is that it combines invasion of privacy with job elimination. Now, to a Central Data Bank including your social security number and credit card information, can be added a map to your house, along with a photo of you answering the door in your bunny slippers and bathrobe -- and hopefully with your hair in curlers. If you don't answer the door, the drone will be able to circle around to the back of your house to deliver it to you in your Jacuzzi. And maybe they can even fix it to where the drone can shoot your package straight down your chimney! -- kind of like those smart bombs they used in Iraq, only it'll be a package of yummy peppermint bark instead of Death from Above.

Besides which, those union delivery men are making way too much money. And just because they had the good sense to get together and demand a living wage. This wonderful new drone technology will dump them right back on the same sinking ship with the rest of us. The "human touch" is overrated anyway; but if that's your thing, I'm sure the drones can be programmed to give you the number of a customer service representative in India. With any luck, they'll even be able to drone it at you in a suitably lifelike computer-synthesized voice.

Right about now you're probably thinking: "Well, the hell with this dystopian nightmare you've cooked up, you bastard; we'll just be like those union guys and organize!" Unfortunately, even without drones in the sky, there are surveillance cameras everywhere. Not that you need to worry if you're not doing anything wrong -- such as attending a demonstration or a union meeting -- but I'd still get rid of that old dog-eared copy of Nabokov's Lolita if I were you.

Which brings me to the main point of this extended joke I've been passing off as an essay: drone delivery, combining, as it does, the elimination of the middle class and the stifling of protest, is the perfect symbol for our times. The ever-expanding surveillance and data-collection technology of the state and corporation is what's given the so-called 1 percent the confidence to reduce the wages of a vast swath of formerly middle class workers, all while giving themselves billion-dollar taxpayer bailouts. They were afraid of mass resistance before; now they're not.

On the other hand, I'm sure I'm just being paranoid. Maybe I should take a stress pill and relax. I wonder how long it will be before some survivalist in Montana shoots down one of these delivery drones, or the mailman next door bashes one to pieces with a baseball bat. Though I certainly haven't stopped caring about the Kardashians, I, for one, would welcome the distraction of a nice Branch Davidian type standoff. Hey, maybe the F.B.I. can even attack with drones this time! After all, why should the Afghans and the Yemenis have all the fun? Bring on the Brave New World of Drone Delivery!