When I was a child I had the dreams that a lot of kids probably have: the future is going to be freakin’ awesome.
In the future we were going to fly around in airships or with jetpacks, have day-to-day interaction with robots and we’d all vacation in space. The mere concept of moving from 19-something-or-other into the 2000’s was freakish and exciting. I’m sure that steady diet of Apple Jacks and Jetsons cartoons did nothing but set up unreasonable expectations, and Summers whiled away reading Tom Swift books set my hopes up to be toppled like an un-fixed carnival game.
Luckily, I’m not alone. Not a month goes by where I don’t see some reference to our disappointing “future.”
Somewhere in the past fifteen years, however, I’ve noticed that our expectations have shrunk considerably. Maybe it’s just another thing the Internet ruined for us, but I just don’t see people dreaming about flying to work (aside from the random Quaker oatmeal commercial), and the thought of getting a day’s nutrition from a pill is seen as anathema to the “American Way.”
I’d say that grounding ourselves in such stark reality is good for us, but I don’t believe that for a second. Maybe too many installments of the Terminator and Matrix franchises have made us fear the possibilities of a future run amok where those happy robots who were going to occupy our lives turn on us and take over. Hell, it’s been 67 years since Issac Asimov introduced his Three Laws of Roboticsand we still don’t have anything remotely sentient enough to apply the damn things to. Despite the advent of microwave milkshakes, Napster and the Fleshlight, the only thing I’m worried about watching me through my computer and potentially taking over my life is the government.
In the immortal words of Tallahassee, it’s time to “nut up or shut up.” We need that fire back, that grasp of living in a condo with artificial weather. I want a robot housekeeper (don’t even get me started on how bullshit the Roomba is) and a food synthesizer. I want holographic entertainment and a freakin’ Nerf steak (and I don’t mean the football).
I was promised a jetpack.