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Future Shock

I donít know if the pantheon of Ufologists even bother to worry about the next generation taking the mantle. But I do know that, every day, as I look around at the chaos of the generation beneath me, I worry. I think to myself, ĎWhoís going to take over when Iím gone?í Because judging by the atmosphere it will be harder for the younger generation in the esoteric community to find anyone else to pass the torch to.

I doubt that everyday people are even concerned with where Ufology/Esoterica will be in fifty years, and by no means am I going to be the one to burden them with the probability. However, I do see little girls who would rather be pop stars versus scientists. I see little boys eager to be superstar athletes with multi-million dollar endorsements, versus researchers, and that should concern us all.

I am not a parent and so I am limited in my acuity on the subject, but I am a big sister and I come from a family overrun with children and the future is looking bleak. For some reason itís far more hip to be concerned with celebrities than it is to be concerned with the environment or the state of poverty or the fact that some people still cannot read, or afford an education.

What does all this have to do with Ufology? It has everything to do with Ufology, because without sharp minds in every field pertaining to science, study and understanding, there will be no room for any subject that thrives on the perspectives of people who look far deeper than the aesthetic.

I fear a day may come when there will be no more UFO conferences, no more Ghost hunts, no more paranormal radio shows. In their stead will be a community of people dressed in smart suits, sipping designer coffees and staring out at a bland landscape, at a crowded sky and not even noticing the clouds.

I am not a pessimist. But I am not an optimist either. I tend to sit in the middle ground and I call it Ďbeing a realist". As a realist I see Ufologists becoming an endangered species. For so many reasons: Hoaxs, Fame, Competition, Disenchantment...

At the dawn of Ufology, smart men tried to decipher the mysteries of the skies and when they couldnít come to a conclusion, another generation stepped forth...a generation of spiritualists who tried to reach out to their Ďspace brothersí and proclaimed to know the true agenda behind the mystery. The generation after that attempted to reclaim the mantle by taking the works of the first generation and embarking on a journey of rediscovery and respect, and then my generation caught wind of the community via books and television programs about the previous generations...and because of the climate, we learned to embrace the community because it earned respect through trial and error.

But what will the next generation be like? What will they believe? Will they believe anything at all? We are talking about a generation that will be followed by yet another generation thatís been spoonfed on cartoons resembling LCD trips. My three year old brother has seen more aliens in his three years then Iíve seen in my twenty-nine...most of them on PBS...and a few on the Cartoon Network. Will his generation be so desensitized that walking passed a yeti will be something akin to walking passed your next door neighbor in a bear suit?

Itís something to think about when people are divided on so many things that it is hard to see the forest from the trees. We are denizens of this mysterious landscape where the dark is still a mystery after thousands of years and the ocean of information is open to anyone with the insight and the intellect.

So whatís going to happen when people stop looking for answers? My generation has the internet, even though it gets harder and harder to discern fact from fiction, the swell of information is a plus to the field. The influx of theories and speculation I see everyday, coupled by the onslaught of formidable Ufologists with blogs does give me some hope.

If the day comes when even the internet is threatened; when free information is no longer "free" or "information", will there be a return to the libraries across the globe, searching through piles of yellowed pages for the annals of Ufological significance, or will there be a sense of defeat?

If I am going to consider the possibilities then maybe it is best to carry a little optimism in my back pocket.

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