Friday, January 2, 2009

They Promised Us Hover Cars...

Another year, another broken promise...

Remember the 80s, dear reader? Perhaps some of you are too young. Those of us fortunate enough to be born in the early- to mid-seventies have such fond memories. Blade Runner had us easting sushi while technological pyramids stood stark against the smog-filled sky and hover cars flitted about with all manner of life. Robocop had crime-ridden streets and half-dead cops running around unable to overcome their programming but still able to stand for truth and justice. Back the the Future gave us the ability to make a better future for ourselves with time machines that looked like cool cars, skate boards that hovered, and televisions that changed channel on command... There was Running Man, Demolition Man, Total Recall, Terminator, Alien, The Fifth Element... Okay, some of those are verging into the 90s, but you get the idea...

I still can't afford that robot that fetches the paper for you in the morning--and I don't even get the paper! Yet the movies promised me hover cars...

A trip to Disneyland at Epcot in Tomorrowland had giant arms slowly moving up and down rows upon rows of corn fields, testing the soil, maintaining the crops and feeding the world. A purple dragon named Figment extolled the virtuous land of tomorrow where disease was extinct, Earth was the breadbasket feeding the colonies of Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn, and wars were played out in a virtual reality where no death occurred. (Granted, I was maybe seven or eight at the time, and the ride probably didn't extol near this much virtue, but that's what makes reminiscing so wonderful--it's as glorious as you remember it being, not as cheesy as it probably was...). Did I mention Tomorrowland had hover cars in the near future...?

Science fiction has always held a special place in my heart. I grew up reading Isaac Asimov's Foundation series and many other titles of various authors, and I always had imagined my first car would be a hover-stang that could change color every day if I so desired, talk to me like Kit, and shoot torpedoes out of the headlights... (Okay, that last one I added after I started driving--I never realized how many idiots pass the drivers exam every year until that point...)

I remember one year in seventh grade, the teacher, Mrs. Sassaman of the blond-hair-so-bleached-it-was-greenish, caught one of my classmates drawing a picture of a snowman. Mrs. Sassaman held up the drawing to show the class and proclaimed: "You see this? Good, cause in the near future there won't be any snow, or snowmen!" (I wish...) Did I mention that, even as early as 1988, we were learning about climate change and global warming and man's impact on that? (Perhaps that's why it seems so odd to me that people still don't face the reality of climate change when it seemed scientifically proven enough to be taught in 1987...)

Even though most times our fears show the future as pretty damn bleak, I can't help but believing in humanity and our ability to make the future better than our fears imagine it to be. I can't but believe that we will find ways to cure the common cold (not to mention cancer), that we will end world hunger and that no person should ever starve, that we will learn to cope with the population issues by colonizing other worlds, that we will make contact and eventually coexist with other intelligent life (not to mention with one another!). It will all just take time...

And a facing of our fears...

Hell, I may even get a hover car out of the arrangement...

4 comments:

Sylvia said...

Ya know, you can get married through a drive-thru, but you still can't fly in your car...
The things that make you go hmmm.
Anyway, thanks for interesting reading.
I love ya!
Love, Red

elj377 said...

I too love Science Fiction and I totally wanted a Hovercar! Disneyland totally overpromised!

Back to the Future is still on my top 25 list of awesome movies!

FCSuper said...

The year was 1995. I was talking to an acquaintance who started going on about how great the year 2000 will be with all the hover cars and everything. I almost burst out in hysterical laughter, but was able to hold it back to just a snicker.

mom said...

hello jason! i don't think we need hover cars. its bad enough we can have airplane crashes now we will have aircar crashes. i will take my chances and stay on the ground. i don't like things that run above ground level and with me in them. :) the drive thru windows will be on the roof i guess. :) well, i vote for horse and buggy for everyone. it will slow everyone down a bit. and i would think it would be a bit safer and won't cost as much to fix. and we won't even talk about living out in space. that is like a nightmare to me!! i think i would raise teenagers all over again before i would live in space. i just watched a movie with people living in space. it is find in the movies or for you young people. well, have fun dreaming about hovering but i think your better off with all 4 tires on the ground. :) love and prayers