Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What Happened to the Future? - Again

I've put this one up a couple of times, now. But I suppose it's a bit apropos today since I keep hearing about all this "Back to the Future" stuff and what did and didn't come true. Some version of it might have, but most of it didn't.  Plus, I've never been satisfied with my hover board and I still haven't paid off my credit card bill from 1985.... 

Here from the past, 10/5/2011, into the future, 10/21/2015....


What happened to the future?

 I mean the future everyone was talking about when I was a kid back in the 60’s.

The one where we all lived propped up on mile high towers in near-space where the stars shone all the time. We drove, or flew rather, on skyways in tiny little space cars enclosed with synthetic see through bubble tops. 

Hi-tech machines and robots took care of all of our menial chores, including bathing, brushing our teeth and even dressing ourselves.  All you need do was push a few buttons and off you went down a conveyor belt and into some sort of electronic phone booth where, within seconds, you emerged from the other side fully clothed and ready for your day at the sprocket factory…but not before saying goodbye to Jane your wife…daughter Judy and your boy Elroy.

What happened to that future with all the cool toys that were promised, like wall size 3D holographic interactive TVs, indoor dog walkers and robots named Rosie to keep your sky pad up and running in tip top button pushing shape? 

When I was a kid I couldn’t wait for that future. It might have been the cool, high collared stretchy outfits, but I think it was more the idea that anything imagined was possible or within reach of possible, through technology...although I had never heard or used the word technology back then.  Back then, the most technology I came in contact with was the transistor radio I could sneak into the classroom to listen to the World Series through a tiny earphone that used to belong to Marconi. And I guess there were my glow in the dark monster toys.  But they only glowed for about 10 seconds and I think sent radioactive ions into my frontal lobe…I think.

So certain and anxious was I for this brave new world, that I actually counted off the years until we reached this utopian space age, which I associated with the year 2000.  I was about 8 at the time, in 1962, so 38 more years to go was the magic number. But my anticipatory enthusiasm was a little bittersweet because I also calculated that I would be all of 46 by then, pretty old to fully enjoy it all.

But hey, maybe in the future 46 wouldn’t be all that old. Maybe 46 would be the new 18! 

The NY World’s Fair came along in 1964 and reinforced all my expectations.  Futuristic towers and buildings as far as the eye could see.  Gleaming monorails streaking overhead. Cars that drove on streets AND water. Moving sidewalks and huge waffles with strawberries and whip cream…the food of the 21st century, right there for the taking.

At the Bell Telephone pavilion they said we would all be using picture phones by 1970, and while that that was slightly more than half a lifetime for an overly imaginative 10 year old, it seemed doable…but just barely.

The GM pavilion had it all.  Tall space needle buildings, flying cars…even underwater cities.  

They even had this scary round machine that we all gathered around and watched as they split an atom, creating this loud intense boom.  This I assumed, in my decade old brain, was the boom that would jettison us up into our little space apartments and cars. It was all making sense…at least to me.

Vacationing on the moon…hiking on Mars….

This was happening people!

Only it didn’t….

Oh sure…we do have microwave ovens that can cook a chicken in about 10 seconds. But did you ever eat a microwaved chicken?

We have a lifetime of collected music on devices the size of a stick of gum.

Mobile phones and computers that can tell us anything we need to know…except how to get to grandma’s house without going over the river and through the woods.

Flat screen TV’s that can fill an entire wall.

Medical imaging that can spot a pin hole on your liver.

Digital space pictures of Uranus as clear as…well, let’s leave that to the imagination.

We have all that and more, but it doesn’t seem like enough.

I guess the future loses some of its shine when it becomes the present.

We still have all the bad stuff that we had hoped would disappear.  And in some cases the bad stuff seems worse than ever.  Far from the Utopia we were lead to believe was on the way.

On top of all that….no flying cars, no spaceways, no robots to clean the toilet…not even the cool high collared stretchy suits.

Basically, I’m still wearing the same old clothes I wore in the 60’s….

Even my cool futuristic World’s Fair hat.

Just try taking that away from me….


Have you picked up my new book “The Kingdom of Keys” yet?
No....what's up with that???
Better hurry before they're ALL GONE...which is a lie because they'll never be all gone...never....

So why not buy one just to reward my forthrightness..ness...ness?

You might even enjoy it.

And spread the word...cuz nobody else is....

Just sayin....
Available now at -  Click Here

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1 comment:

  1. Are there any phone booths left? I still have my transister radio, used for listening to Howie Carr weekdays. Does anyone remember the late morning man Jess Cain? I used to take my radio to bed to hear late night host, Larry Glick. King of them all was Renaissance Man Jonathan Schwartz, late afternoons, commenting on just about anything.


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