The New York Herald: Sunday Edition Op-Ed, March 27th, 2033

The First Generation iRis

Staff Writer:  James Montgomery – When we are faced with a crisis of any kind, it is easy to try to refocus our faith on something that we believe to be indomitable. We can reaffirm our conviction that the American Spirit will overcome anything. We remind ourselves that there have been many crises in the past and none have destroyed us yet. We could say a lot of things.

I say we should first see how we got here.

By here, of course, I mean the demographic crisis that is crushing the first world. For two generations in a row, the population has shrunk. With fewer and fewer young people caring for more and more elderly (who are living longer and longer), we simply do not have the resources to keep the engine of commerce running. Health Care costs as a portion of GDP continue to spike and there is no end in sight.

Normally, this is the part of the article where I blame poor planning, greedy corporations, negligent adult children, corrupt politicians, etc. But today, I would like to explore a different cause.

Back in the 1990s the internet revolutionized the adult industry. It allowed easy access to adult materials and adult websites grew rapidly. This continued into the 2000s and grew considerably with the advent of smart phones that allowed viewing anywhere. The consequences to the culture were negligible and it was all in good fun. In the year 2014, Google came out with the Google Glass and a pivot point was reached. Now any kind of adult material could be viewed on a bus full of people in absolute privacy. Around this time, the first hints what was to come had begun in Japan. A considerable part of the younger generation were not interested in parenthood and a small but growing portion weren’t interested in sex at all.

Through the 2010s the iterations of Google Glass sold well until 2018. Apple, which had been marginalized somewhat by Google, Microsoft, and the upstart Pi Corp, developed the iRis. The advent of contact lens computing took the world by storm. Google eventually developed the Google Vision two years later and Pi Corp developed a much cheaper version in 2021 called the See Pi. The world had changed.

Along with the increased ease of viewing adult film, the quality of the experience was improving as well. In 2017 the website Second Life released Real Life, a visually stunning second life that was almost indistinguishable from a photograph. There was already an existing community of adult entertainment within Second Life and they quickly began Virtual Films, the first completely web based film company. Virtual Films exploded in popularity and within five years there was almost no real world adult filmmakers left. It was simply cheaper to have digital actors and actresses than the hire real live humans.

It was during this same stretch of the early 2020s that a new gender preference began to assert itself: monosexuality. The monosexual can be either gay or straight, but they so strongly prefer the digital to the physical that they never have sexual contact in the real world.

The next leap forward was in 2028 with Pi Corp’s Touch Technology. By applying a the “Touch Pads” correctly, the user could experience all manner of sensation. Combined with the iRis, See Pi, or Google Vision, the whole sexual experience could be fully digitally simulated. Monosexuality went from a small fringe group to a dominant sexual preference. Today over 25% of adults describe themselves as monosexual and when combined with the 10% of the population who are asexual, a whopping third of the population isn’t having sex at all.

Now we live in a free country, so I don’t want to imply that we should obligate sex, But this has been a major contributor to this crisis. With over a third of the population at no risk of having children and there simply aren’t enough children to support the elderly as they age. The solutions to this problem have been debated and all of the options seem completely unpalatable. Lab grown children won’t have parents. Terminating the elderly is agism. Making abortion illegal again is to violate a woman’s rights. There are simply no good option.

Ironically, the only segments of the population that are not suffering from this decline are the hard-core religious types. The Christian and Islamic fundamentalists who refuse the adult industry for religious reasons are, well, breeding like rabbits. As sickening as it is for me to hold them up, we need them. They are a small percentage of the population but they represent a large percentage of the kids being born.

In a world where now a shrinking population is causing serious problems (to think, a century ago the fear was an unsustainable population explosion), maybe it is time to explore the old school solutions. Sometimes newer isn’t better. Maybe it is better to stop using adult materials than it is to manufacture children or prematurely terminate the elderly (which I can’t believe we are considering).

Now, obviously the decision to view adult materials is a very personal one and no one (except the fundamentalists) is arguing that everyone should stop looking. But in a world of very unpalatable solutions, maybe their solution is the least unpalatable. It sure sounds better than all of us going hungry in our old age. -Jim Mongomery


The Greatest!

I had always been the smallest in my family and the youngest. Three big brothers and a big sister. Jacob, they called me. I think it is a compliment from papa, but a name that means laughter is not a kind thing to do to a runt.

Uncle Benjamin had invited us to come into town to see if we could meet that traveling evangelist everyone was talking about. Mama really just wanted to see something spectacular. Uncle Benjamin had always been odd, so I didn’t expect much. But when you live in the country, you never miss an opportunity to go into town.

It was a hot day and we couldn’t afford sandals, so my feet felt hot on the ground. It would be worse when the sun got to its highest later in the afternoon. There were some clouds in the East, maybe some merciful shade or, Adonai willing, rain. The crops could use it. 

As we entered town, I started looking for other kids my age. The adults were all distracted so I could maybe have some fun. There was a crowd over by the gate, but I didn’t care. I normally would have left it alone except I heard Uncle Benjamin talking loudly (he was often loud). I walked over to see what he was saying.

“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” he yelled.

Oh, adult stuff. Not for me. I walked past the crowd looking for some fun. 

A man in the crowd looked right at me.

“Son, come over here.”

He had a kind look in his eyes. It was like the look that mama gets when I’ve done something she thinks is funny. It was like laughter mixed with sadness. I got the feeling he was laughing about something and sad about something too. 

I walked over to him. He squatted on the ground and pulled me onto his knee. A hand mussed my hair and a smile, a deep and genuine smile, broke his face. I giggled. He was nice. I like this man. 

It was funny too because he leaned and whispered in my ear, “Now watch all those grownups have to lean down to see us.”

He was right. There were several Teachers of the Law there and they were having a difficult time seeing him and they had to yell at the people in front of the crowd to get down. It really was funny to see them in all their pomp having to make grownups kneel to see and hear the man. 

I looked into his eyes. it was mostly laughter now. Like a joke that only he and I were in on. I didn’t even know his name and I really wished he would stay with me. What a nice man.

The man spoke softly, the sadness in his face returning. 

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Wow, drowned in the sea. That’s scary. I snuggled in close to him. It was safe there. No one would drown if they staying with him. I looked into his eyes again and the happiness was returning. He leaned in one more time, “See the looks in their eyes. You taught them an important lesson today. Jacob is a good name for you. You make me laugh.”

He then put me down and kissed my forehead.

Wait, how did he know my name is Jacob? I never told him my name. 

Since then, I have really liked being called Jacob.