A Place, A Long Time Ago

Once upon a time, on a continent in the Northern Hemisphere between Europe and Asia was a strange and wonderful country. It didn’t start out as a country, but instead had been colonized by many of the powerful nations of Europe—Spain, Portugal, France, Holland, and Great Britain. The ownership of these colonies changed hands. Sometimes this was by virtue of sale or trade, but frequently by war. The winners gradually forced everyone else to adopt their language and customs. This is far more effective than it sounds. Someone who doesn’t speak the preferred language will have a difficult time conducting business as simple as purchasing food or a place to live.

The continent was called “North America”—a name devoid of any imagination or interest.

The original occupants of the continent were deemed a nuisance.  Some were eliminated by biological warfare, being given blankets that carried diseases such as smallpox. Some were outright slaughtered while others were repeatedly forced off their land. Their children were not permitted to practice their traditional ceremonies or dress as their parents had.

Based on the infighting and removal of indigenous people, you might expect that this continent was very small but it was, in fact, large. It covers over 16 percent of Earth’s land mass and has four time zones. With one ocean to the east and another to the west, it enjoyed some degree of protection from invasion.

The continent was rich in resources and its people did well financially, although in the process they nearly destroyed the land. However, the opportunity for material success attracted peoples from all over the world. For a few years, the people on the continent claimed to be a melting pot of people from all cultures, but this was not universally practiced. At various times, Italians, Irish, Chinese, and Hispanics, were seen as undesirables and shunned. Africans (who were brought in as slaves) were marginalized longer than any other group.

Becoming accepted by the rest of the population was not easy. The people of a nearby island called Puerto Rico were viewed as outsiders, even though they were actually citizens of the largest nation on the North American continent.

Over time, there were various efforts to make the people more homogenous. Homogenization is the process used in the dairy industry to keep the cream from rising to the top. In the same way that it makes most of the milk similar (average) it often does the same with people.

One of the most effective methods was through social media. In fact, it may have been too successful. Via the internet, people were taught how they should look, how they should talk, and what they should think. Given that so much social media content was filtered or Photo Shopped, no real person could ever measure up to the images they saw. Internet influencers were able to take things a step further—now, everybody perceived themselves as below average, including those driven to suicide.

Various other practices ultimately homogenized the population until there were virtually no differences from one person to another. Conversations devolved until it died out since everybody thought the same. People from the other nations found the people so boring that no one wanted to have anything to do with them.

There may still be people in North America. Nobody knows, nobody cares, and nobody is interested in finding out.

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