Archive for December 30th, 2010


These lines above are from the chorus of John Prine’s song Living in the Future, written well over 20 years ago.  I think of this chorus wheneverI hear people expounding on how wonderful or horrible things will be in the future.  It seems that the future seldom reaches the levels of our fears or hopes.

I’m thinking of this today because we’re nearing the official end of the first decade of this new millenium tomorrow night.  I guess we can drop the new part at that point.  The new car smell has definitely faded.  When I was a kid the idea of living in the 21st century seemed distant and alluring, with the prospect of jet packs whooshing us all over the world and teleportation flights to the amusement park on the moon being an everyday thing.  We’d all be wearing those space outfits that resembled shiny coveralls that we saw in the sci-fi flicks of the 50’s and our meals would be prepared with the touch of a button.  Disease had been eradicated and peace ruled the earth.

Okay, maybe I took it too far.  But it has been interesting living in this time that has long served as a far point in time for literature of the last century.  We have lived past the 1984 that George Orwell wrote of and the year 2000 fizzled like a wet firecracker despite the doomsayers who claimed an apocalypse was imminent at the time.  We haven’t quite seen the rise of Big Brother although it seems like we have taken strides in that direction at times.  We aren’t zipping about in rocket ships or teleporting across the universe but we are connected globally via the web in a way that I don’t think we fully saw thirty years ago.   Maybe we’re not talking with our minds, as John Prine predicted in his song, but we are talking more than ever with cell phones glued to faces and bluetooth headsets permanently jammed into ears.

 Meals are not cooked with the touch of a button.  In fact, we have went the other way.  We now celebrate the time and care of food preparation with television networks devoted to the act of cooking. 

Disease certainly hasn’t been eradicated but if you step back and really examine the strides made in medicine over the past thirty years, it is breathtaking.  Of course,  not all the breakthrough care is available to all of us but that’s a different story for a different time.

Of course, they were right about our garb.  I’m wearing my shiny silver space coveralls even as I write this.  I want to be ready when the future catches up with us.  It’s gaining…

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