I was shaking and weeping by the end of the advert for Microsoft’s new HoloLens technology.
Maybe you don’t like Microsoft? Or galloping consumerism? Or corporatism, or the wealth of the elite, or whatever. You’re a jaded cynic and such things serve to feed your rage.
Put that aside for two minutes and twelve seconds and remember what it was like being five years old, when the world was new, and watch this:
Good, thank you. Now put it back in context and think about all the things that have dominated the news cycle over the last 12 months. The massacres in Syria and Iraq, the terrorist attacks in Paris, Ebola in West Africa, Russia at war in Ukraine, the NSA and obliviation of personal privacy, massive hacking and theft of personal financial information.
Think about the bloodshed and the hatred and the xenophobia and the intolerance for difference and ideas.
Then watch that video again.
That vision – of a world filled with bright colours and relaxed people collaborating, working harmoniously, exploring the universe – that is what life should be.
All that delight and wonder and enthusiasm and compassion. We could live that every day.
So, yes, that’s just a corporate video promoting a product. But in the competition of ideas where on the one side we have people like Vladimir Putin and his vision of a world filled with paranoia and state-led brutality, and on the other we have exuberant optimism and – yes – delight … I’m with Microsoft.
As I wept, I understood why. Relief.
Because now, when someone says, “It’s all shit, really.” I can say, no. Certainly, there are many people who seem to work harder to make life worse every day.
And there are others who do go to work, even for large corporations, because their vision of the future is a happy one.
I’m with them. Because, for one aching moment, I was a kid again with all the wonder, anticipation and expectation that being a kid carries. Because the HoloLens is utterly unimportant and yet thousands of people worked together, struggled together – because creating something like that is fucking difficult – and believed it was possible.
Those two minutes twelve seconds of corporate communication carry more hope and joy than all the dictators and despots of the world in all of history have ever produced.
And that little vision is the world I prefer to live in, no matter how threatened on all sides.
It took a big company trying to sell me something to remind me that it still exists.