Saturday, September 18, 2010

Futureworld Revisited: Fifty Years On

Fifty years on, I'd say we're situated somewhere between The Flintstones (1960-1966) and The Jetsons (1962-1963).  How about you?

This 1959 advertisement promises a future as easy and lazy as the one depicted on The Jetsons. We're not exactly there yet half a century later.  (The Jetsons takes place around 2062, so we still have time to catch up). 

Except in dreams, this part of the ad is nowhere near right: "YOUR PERSONAL 'FLYING CARPET' . . . Take off and land anywhere; no parking problems."  As if.  But we do have the internet, so kids can indeed "dial a library book, a lecture or a classroom demonstration right into your home -- with sound." As if they would, the ingrates!  

At least there have been no more atomic or nuclear attacks since the Hiroshima-Nagasaki nightmares of sixty-five years ago, just underground and above ground atomic tests and nuclear accidents, such as at Chernobyl, chemical accidents like the one at Bhopal and petroleum diasasters such as in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Despite the Cuban Missile Crisis specifically (1962) and the Cold War umbrella in general (Холо́дная война́ circa 1944-1991), despite nuclear-tipped saber rattling over Iran and North Korea today, the "whole shithouse" has not gone "up in flames" yet, as Jim Morrison once put it (-- mulling over civilization's chances from the vantage point of forty years ago.)  At the very least, that's fortunate; or as Martha Stewart would say, "it's a good thing." Almost anything is still possible, good and bad.

So we've got central air conditioning, big TVs, sensors everywhere, mobile phones, internet, digital pictures and music downloads, fast-paced social networks and scanners.  What next?  What would you like to see come next?

Today's Rune: Wholeness.  


the walking man said...

2012 and the revelation of the Hopi and Mayan prophecies might be interesting if your a star gazer.

jodi said...

Erik, the Jetsons rock! It was one of my favorite shows ever. All the modern convieniences appealed to me, especiall when Judy did her hair in two seconds!!

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm still hopeing for space colonies and moon and Mars settlements.

Electric Blue said...

I had no idea the Jetsons took place so far into the future. That blows me away. As for what I would like to see in the future... clean air! I'd love to see what the world looked like "pre-pollution." Can you imagine how glorious that would be?