He cringed as he imagined the social-fabric being woven of a cross between the Party Members of 1984 and the Replicants of a Bladerunner future: a privileged upper echelon obeying any crazed order from “The Great Leader” and helping to create the rules, lording it over the gronks, the underclass of slaves who worked for little to secure less, no jet-packs, no robot servants, no new anti-biotics, just the same old same old crap and disease; at war with the Replicants, cloned robots who’d broken free of their chains, rebelling against their lowly, impoverished status and wanting desperately to be fully human, to go beyond their shelf-life, willing to kill their creators and triumphantly take their place.
He tore his gaze away from the television set, from the images of endless sports, piles of food, singing budgie talent quests, bovine home-renovation nests, serial-killer quiz shows and a thousand brands of the same toothpaste which clawed at his consciousness, attracting his thoughts like bugs to an ultra-violet sterilizer, Big Brother’s face flashing subliminal and continuous throughout.
A flood of gloomy missives beamed down upon him from the giant video monitors: young, smooth faces gazing sternly and mouthing directives: "Snitch on anyone who looks deviant or old!" The over-population of the planet was the bug-bear of the age and terrible programs had to be employed to keep the numbers down and make life in the cities somewhat bearable. The elite who ran the world could probably live past two-hundred years but nobody was telling the facts about “The Chosen Ones.” The rule for the majority of society was no one should go beyond sixty, so as to give the younger generations some space and a chance to climb up the shit-heap. At the back of every hospital was a “euthanasia room” where an oldie’s favorite music was played while a hotshot was delivered by a smiling nurse; quite humane but still something Arthur hoped to avoid for a few years yet.
Or, surviving that, as the years drifted by, he would keep to himself in his own personal freakzone, his apartment at Northcott Housing Ghetto which he had turned into a laboratory, scouring the Internet for designs, building a time-machine from discarded junk found in the Estate's dumpsters. If Big Brother was truly watching, THEY would use it and gain the knowledge that THEY couldn't fuck with the future, the great masses of people of the world would swing it their way eventually, democracy always won out.
He was also working on longevity pills for the common man, long-life non-toxic batteries and 100% efficient, cheap safe solar panels. His individuality and non-conformism were the key to innovation, new ideas and daring experimentation. Oh, he was a very clever man, but THEY wanted to stop him, his inventions put an end to THEIR private ownership of the forces of production. But he would escape, into his own head if nowhere else, like the worm Ourouberos swallowing its own tail.
He was a space-cadet in a time-machine of his own devising, a crazy anarcho-mystic wanker in his cell, contemplating it ALL. The one thing he could appreciate about being a citizen of down under Auz was that maybe he could live out his life there if he hid well enough and kept to the shadows.
Though Arthur was dirt poor and ignominious, another loser ready for the compost heap, his non-career as a renegade had made him feel real, with a purpose: a warrior in the righteous battle against tyranny, his heart worthy of his intelligence. It had been a huge buzz standing up to Big Brother and giving Him the finger, regardless of his eventual disappearance.