Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Speaking of the future...

My last post got me thinking about the future and how disappointed people must be with the present. Which coincidentally was the future back then.
You see, everyone's lives were built on the hope that one day, they'd be zipping to the space-port diner a la The Jetsons. Granted, there is similarities- Lots of dads these days work part time in factories, but the difference is that their kids don't get looked after by Ruby Robot; they get left in the car with the windows up and occasionally fed by Rosa, the Hispanic alien from next door.

End digression...

Now here's some edu-ma-cation for all you non-Australians.
Back when I was a wee little tacker, there used to be this awesome show on TV called 'Beyond 2000'.
To an eight year old boy, the name alone was the most exciting thing ever since that time dad left his special cup too close to the high-chair.
The show provided an insight into current developments in science and technology and how they would make the lives of those living in the year 2000 so much more luxurious/simpler/exciting/less baby-vomit-green ridden.
So there was concept cars which had magical future things like electric windows, robot co-drivers and digital speedometers.
There was calculators that FIT INTO THE PALM OF YOUR HAND and could do all kinds of crazy things like addition.
There was laser guided kitchen utensils, jet powered steam irons, anaerobic dust projectors, gaseous plasma heaters and televisions that you didn't have to get up off your orange and green couch to change the channels on.
Fucking sweet.
To me, a dumb eight year old that once got so excited by a tv show about crocodiles that he jumped on the couch and fell onto the coffee table splitting his head open thusly getting himself rushed to hospital and receiving a fuck-tonne of stitches down his forehead, this show was like grown-ups had stolen all my Lego ideas and turned them into awesome, actual, radical things.
If I could have had a wet dream, I would have had one, probably. Instead I think I just wet the bed a few times.
Anyways, my head was filled with these wondrous devices and I longed for the years to pass so one day, in the years after the year 2000, I could fly to school with a jet pack and do my homework on this magical computing device which only needed TWO WHOLE ROOMS to operate and maybe even use electrical wiring to talk to people that also had dedicated computing device rooms in their homes.
I thought the future held alot.

Here I am, almost ten years 'beyond 2000' and I can't even get bullet-points to work properly in Word, I still have to tie my own shoelaces, I can't fucking hover/jet/teleport anywhere and to top it all off, the false prophets that came up with this programme of lies and fraudulent dreams have gone and re-made the TV programme under a new heading.

Now fair play, back in '81 they probably thought they were pretty safe with going with the 'Beyond 2000' name. I mean, 20 years or so is a long time in science. Unless your talking about evolutionary biology, in which case 20 years is fuck all. But in the 'science' that this show referred to 20 years was a long time and I can't fault them for expecting some of the things they showcased to have developed into usable technologies come the big 2-0 (0-0).

My problem's not with 'Beyond 2000', it is with the producers who decided that rather than risk the embarrassment of hazarding a guess and going with 'Beyond 2020', they decided to go with the title 'Beyond Tomorrow' for the new show.


Beyond 2000 was about things that may come to fruition in the (kind of but not really) distant future. Sure they made some calls that look stupid now, but dammit, in the 80's they put their spandex-clad asses on the line and I respect that.

Beyond Tomorrow is a cop out. Going from the title, Beyond Tomorrow could be a show about Thursday. And anyone can guess which technologies will exist on Thursday.
"Oh look honey, they're doing a special on electric kettles."

The least they could have done is gone for 'Beyond 3000', at least then we wouldn't be alive to ridicule them when their isotopic fusion hats never come to be mass-produced or when the anti-gravity super car fails to be developed or when they fail to stop global warming using a series of mirrors, some gaffa tape and a bucket of liquid nitrogen.

But no, we get Beyond Tomorrow.
I predict that beyond tomorrow, I'll be a disillusioned 23 year old who wastes all his time working, complaining about working, writing drivel on a blog and hating on meaningless tv shows.

You can call me Nostradamus.


Fever Dog said...

I look forward to calling you on it on Thursday when you are wrong about your prediction, and find instead you're a damn cool motherfucker.

Dune said...

Oh man, you are so right. Where the hell are my flying cars?! This is the 21st century, damnit!!

I loved Beyond2000. It was so, so, so awesome. I remember reading a 80's student sci-fi/Beyond 2000 style book that basically tried to predict how we'd live, on a decade-by-decade breakdown until the 2050's. If my memory serves, by 2005 we were supposed to have a colony on the moon and robot helpers. (and Tivo doesn't count!!). We're wayyyy behind schedule. *cries*

Amanda said...

Didn't one of the commercial channels (I forget which) do something like this in the lead up to 2000? A modernised version of Beyond 2000, but only looking a couple of years into the future. I have a vague recollection of it, I can *almost* see the girl who hosted it... but I don't remember any more.

The Beyond 2000 crew did a pretty good job of predicting some stuff though, that's impressive. So often they say "You'll be able to do THIS!!!!", and then it's so far from reality that it all seems like a waste of time.

jiminycricket said...

FD: Ha! I win- I'm still not cool! Which I guess means I lose when it comes to the bigger picture.

Dune: Yes, where are my robot helpers!?

Amanda: Yeah it was called Beyond Tomorrow. Matt Shirvington was hosting as well... It was uber lame.