What Future Generations Will Think of Us
Based solely on the titles of the New York Times Best Selling Nonfiction Books of 2017
Someday, years from now, if we have successfully avoided mass extinction, future people will wonder what their distant ancestors who lived in 2017 were like.
Let’s say almost every trace of our existence is lost except the New York Times Best Selling Nonfiction Lists. (I know that sounds unlikely, but work with me here.)
All these future citizens of Earth will know of us are the incomplete mysteries behind these book titles. Scary, huh?
But, relax, it’s not all bad.
Here is my estimation of what they will think of us based on these cultural artifacts.
Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
For some reason, the people of 2017 wanted to “kill” the sun as it rose? They must have been really tired of being burned, wearing ridiculous sun hats and hearing roosters.Thank God they were unsuccessful! Clearly their knowledge of the sun’s importance for human life was vastly inaccurate which makes one wonder if they were all complete idiots or if only Misters O’Reilly and Dugard were that dumb.
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Clearly, in the early 21st century, there was only one princess on Earth who was allowed to publish a diary unlike now where the princess diary industry is flooded with hundreds and hundreds of princesses wanting to tell their sob stories. The competition back then, among rivalling princesses for this honour — to be the diarist — must have been fierce and (potentially) gruesome.
Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance
Unclear is exactly what or whom a hillbilly was. Our best guess is some sort of being, possibly hairy, possibly smelly, who resided on, under or next to a hill enjoying its life and, if it was anything like the current hill tribes, creating music lacking mass appeal. This sad, poetic story of the unfortunate death of this hill person leads us to wonder if all of our ancestors were hairy and/or smelly.
Portraits of Courage by George W. Bush
A picture book! How quaint! Were the ancient humans mostly illiterate? Were books of portraits all the rage? Or maybe George was a simple man who just loved drawing the faces of the courageous people in his neighbourhood as he wandered aimlessly around town.
The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
This story probably told the heroic and sacrificial life of this trailblazing and slightly-crazy woman who bucked the trends, ignored the naysayers, risked it all and married a zookeeper, whom we all know are degenerates.
Old School: Life in the Sane Lane by Bill O’Reilly and Bruce Feirstein
Clearly, Mr. O’Reilly, whose name appears twice on this short list, was the preeminent author of his time and must have been loved and adored by all, especially women, as we all know how women love to read. We are left to wonder if our ancestors divided schools up not by age or ability, but instead, by levels or lanes, as it were, of sanity. Or the authors were just big fans of rhyming.
Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes
What or who was shattered? Why was it shattered and did it lead to a revolution in the glass industry to make their product more shatter-proof? And why did many books in 2017 require two authors? Obviously, this is a sign that our ancestors needed two minds (and probably lots of hand-holding and nap times) to tell one story which, by today’s standards, is ridiculous.
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
The second in what was, at least, a two part series and, at most, a 26 part series, describing all of the options available to some subsection of the population. Why option B was the best selling option makes one wonder why it wasn’t option A to start with or maybe the original option A seemed like a good idea at the time, but turned out to be a horrible miscalculation like not using birth control or electing a horribly unqualified person as president.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Contrary to popular belief, our ancestors were aware of astrophysics and seemed to be openly sharing these advanced ideas with the potentially uneducated masses. Great! But why were the people in such a hurry to pick up some astrophysics? Were they planning on sending large numbers of people (possibly the uneducated masses) off into space? Part of an elaborate hoax to hide the really and ghastly truth from the populace? Or maybe “People in a Hurry” were just the guinea pigs in a massive social experiment?
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken
And finally, an easy title to decipher! This man, Al Franken, must have been the giant of the senate which brings a tear to my eye, as the governing bodies of Earth in the past didn’t stop large, often grotesque, completely unfunny and constantly hungry giants from elected positions.