We’re 15 years into a whole new millennia, and I’m more than a little disappointed that we’re not cruising around in cool space cars or using domestic robots to load our dishwashers.
I grew up watching the Jetsons and Blade Runner; I bought stock in Spacely Sprockets and ordered my Daryl Hannah replica years ago so you can imagine my disappointment with the reality of 2015.
When I was an 8- yea- old kid in 1965 we lived in a very simple world. We had a black and white TV that usually got three channels if the rabbit ears were lined up just right, and our rotary phone was on a “party line.” Mom cooked on the stove, dad’s 1958 De Soto didn’t have any seat belts, and we got our news from a local newspaper and Walter Cronkite … if the rabbit ears were lined up just right.
Our world was simple, but after school we watched Lost in Space and Get Smart and learned that the future would bring wonders like family space travel, robots with attitude and convenient shoe phones. I couldn’t wait for the future and all of the cool marvels it would bring!
By the time I turned 18 in 1975 things had changed a bit. We were watching basic cable on our color TVs and listening to Led Zeppelin on huge boom boxes. We still had rotary phones but there weren’t any party lines and we had really long cords on the phone so we could walk around while we were on the phone … theoretically (it’s a historical fact that the vast majority of people actually sat closer to their phone because those long cords were perpetually tangled.)
There had been some minor technology advances since 1965 but we had all seen Star Trek and the Stepford Wives. Why didn’t we all have personal communicators or surgically enhanced trophy wives? The future couldn’t come fast enough for me!
By 1985 I was 28 years old, complaining about paying over a dollar a gallon to put gas in my car and still waiting on my solar powered hovercraft. We had MTV and HBO on TV and you could buy a VHS player to watch movies whenever you wanted to. The old rotary phones had been replaced by fancy push button models but we were still using those danged tangled cords.
Of course, by then I had seen Star Wars and Blade Runner, so I was impatient for X-Wing fighters and good looking replicas to hit the market … I pre-ordered the replica from an Australian guy I met in Hong Kong or maybe that was a Beta Max; I’m not sure because I had been drinking and he was speaking Australian.
When 1995 rolled around, we had video games and personal computers in our homes. If you hooked the computer up to your phone and were real lucky you could send something called an “email” to anyone in the world … who also had a personal computer hooked to a phone and was real lucky. I had lost the ability to watch TV without a remote control and noticed that more and more people were walking around with brick-sized cellular phones strapped to their belts. I considered these people nerds because any Maxwell Smart fan knew that mobile phones looked like shoes, not bricks.
When I was 48 years old in 2005, I was very disappointed that we had passed into a new century and even another millennia but I was still driving a car, watching a TV and carrying a 15-pound laptop computer. What the heck; where were the jet-packs?
So here we are on the second day of 2015 and the future I looked forward to all those years ago is here. While it’s true I still don’t have a space car, I think that 8-year-old kid from 1965 would be pretty blown away by the stuff we do have here in the future.
We all carry personal communicators and we can use them as computers, magic navigation devices, TVs, phones or even as TV phones if we want to. We put our food in a box and a minute later it’s cooked then we put our dishes in another box and they are washed! We have those surgically enhanced wives now too; they’re called “Real Housewives” but like Stepford Wives they are best avoided.
Welcome to the future my friends; I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist. He may be reached at email@example.com.