t’s pretty interesting how people can rally around certain prophetic works of literature and relish in how accurate they are. I’m, of course, speaking of the scary futuristic glimpses such as Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s Brave New World, and who knows whose Biblical book of Revelation.

People brought these books to school to educate their fine youngsters about how the miracle of technology can go terribly astray. You know, they must have really cared.

So what happened? Why are these books now beginning to be censored from schools? (Let’s not even get into Fahrenheit 451...) Is there some shift in thinking taking place in the world where we just stopped caring about how Big Brother influences us, or caring about becoming like the mindless hedonists in Brave New World, or being stamped with symbols?

It has to do with institutions in society which really seem like a good idea in the beginning, but have the potential to be warped into evil.

Like the ‘Check Engine Soon’ light in your car. Do you know what that little light means? Not many people do. According to Tom McNair, a professor of management information systems at the University of Central Florida, that light is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pollution preventer. It’s called On-Board Diagnostics (OBD.) If your car is polluting too much, your ‘Check Engine Soon’ light comes on. OBD system one was mandated in all 1974 model cars. OBD system two was an improvement on the first, and was released in 1984. Get ready for OBD three. Slated for release in 1998, OBD three will allow the EPA to deactivate your vehicle by satellite.

You don’t have to be Aldous Huxley to foresee how this system can be twisted for other dark purposes. Not just by government... by hackers, assassins, you name it. But there’s more...

Like hidden corporate break room cameras. When did the thoughts of employees on their off-hours become of interest to upper management? Having a camera in a break room resounds in my mind the scene from 1984 where the couple was caught bumping uglies by a telescreen behind a picture on the wall. The only reason I can think of for this base invasion of privacy is fear. Corporations are afraid that people are finally going to wake up and realize how badly they’re being cornholed in the ass by “the man.” They feel the proletarian revolution is at hand and they want more than a moment’s notice to get into their bunkers.

If I had break room cameras at my job, I’d have been fired long ago. As I’m sure most of you would have. But wait— There’s more...

Like bar codes. I’ve written about bar codes before, as has Al Franken in his book Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot. Al was upset about the bar code being placed on the back of the book. The people at Delacorte Press explained to him that every largely distributed book has to have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN,) and a bar code. At which point, Al produced the passage in the book of Revelation about not being able to buy or sell anything without the mark of the Beast. And they pretended to not know what he was talking about.

I’m not just scared of bar codes for being on everything. Yeah, it sucks that we have to use them, but there’s something more insidious happening. Grab a product which has a ‘6’ in the last five numbers of the UPC, or a book with a ‘6’ in the last six of the ISBN. You will note that two thin lines designate a six. Now look at the beginning, exact middle, and end of the bar code. See anything interesting? The ‘666’?

This has been attributed to the management of Proctor & Gamble, who helped develop the bar code, practicing Satanism. Neat-o, huh? But what if that’s just part of the apocalypse?

Religion or not, bar codes suck. Evil evil evil.

The next time someone thinks up something like this, tell them to shut the hell up. Because that’s how these things start. People think them up. Just tell them to go stick their head in a pig. Stop the ideas before they manifest their ugly selves. Just hope it’s not too late...