Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Daze of Future Past"

One of the interesting things about being 348 years old is that you've lived past the "Future". Ya know that future where everybody wears aluminium underwear, and has their own rocket pack.

That, and a vacation home on the moon. I recall talk back when I was a lad in the 1960's that said 'the' social problem of the 21st century would be what to do with all our leisure time.

Good lord what were they thinking.

Futurists indeed. These jerks couldn't predict their own bowel movements much less the next century.

Ha! Not 'one' of them saw the cyber revolution or the climatic changes that was banging it's way towards us in history's pipeline.

Speaking of outliving the future. Anyone still read "Transmetropolitan" out there. It was a neat surrealist comix book of the early 1990's. It depicted a strange hyper-culture of the then "near future".

Well the cultural mutations, and techno chaos it foretold all came true. Indeed reality surpassed what was going on in that comix. I stopped reading it in the early 2000's. It took me a while to realize why.

It just wasn't interesting anymore. It read like the Post or the Times. The future had caught up, passed it by, and no amount of re-writes or infusions of younger artists can save it.

I wish I had a time tunnel so I could go back to the 1964 New York World's Fair, and set up a 'real' 21st Century Pavillion.

Yeah there'd be the expected amazing high tech crap, but cheek to cheek with incurable plagues, and profound planetary poverty. That, and the U.S.A. devolving into a third world theocratic police state, violent cults, terrorist wars, and 1000 channels, and absolutely NOTHING! to watch.

The "2001" poster above, with the happy space guys wandering around. Well okay they was all white, and the space women was all making coffee or being receptionists at cosmic hotels, but still.

Anyway it hung in my bed room in my boyhood home. I later brought it with me to University. I still had it into the 90's.

It was such a hopeful though somewhat segregated dream.

Yeah, then there was that Pan Am space plane. It was seriously cool! Well Pan Am died a few recession ago. What we got were the spaces shuttles.

Swell they're now 35 years out of date, and too dangerous to fly anymore. How many more crews is NASA going to burn to death before there's a replacement conveyor.

Did I mention our not going back to the moon for over 40 years?!

All this scary, gawdless, deranged future stuff might upset the gleeful Fair goer's.

I see these early 1960's innocents foaming at the mouth, crapping their shorts, and hurling themselves off the Futurama's streamlined roof.

Though perhaps not in that order.

Well the rubes would be freaked, but the beatniks, and science fiction writers'n fans would get it at once. I'd love to read Philip K. Dick's or Ben Bova's take on the 'real' future.

As for me everyday of this Bizarro World 21st century is like living in one of Hieronymus Bosch's more hellish paintings.

Clearly I must have died back in 1998 or so, and have been existing in this ironic hell ever since.

If anyone out there has a better explanation for all this weird shit I'm all ears.

Look comrades sorry 'bout being so nasty, and grumpy. I'm still the sweet'n lovable sort I always was deep, deep down under miles, and miles of pissed off cynical shit.



Anonymous said...

Also that we would do without your brilliant phrase

John said...

Sid, Sid Happy New Year !

When my Gray Haired Irish Mother
was still alive at home in her hospital bed suffering in silence
she look at me and say "Don`t grow old" Huh? What?

I think thats are curse Sid, we live to long, know to much, see to much and well we`re still here but who cares? We`re no longer relevent.

So be it. Be Happy with your/our selfs fuck it sit back dream those dreams we old farts dream of Good Times Past !

Sorta like watching the that Dog of mine dreaming that she`s a pup again gray wiskers on her chin got alimp but in her sleep she was a pup again legs thrasing crying out in a howl as she chased the ghost of cats and bunnies in her sleep
much like we do I guess !

What a wonderful thing it is that we have these found dreams, indeed.

Zaek said...

My impression is that many sci-fi writers back then were engineering types who were more imaginative about rocket ships and interstellar gizmos than about possible societal rearrangements, and who imagined that in remote star systems priests would be Catholic or Protestant and the goyim wouldn't wear too many blings.

My favorite bit of Hieronymous Bosch by far is the Garden of Earthly Delights, but for some inscrutable reason people seem to prefer focusing on the negative shit. Go figure.