Friday, June 21, 2024

The Same Old Future

     The run of too-hot-to-stay-outside weather -- along with current trends -- has reminded me of LA 2017, a brilliant (at the time) science-fictional episode of the TV series The Name of the Game.  From the stifling orange smog that has forced survivors underground to inept corporatized government to advanced technology delivered in barely-useful crappified forms, the broad outlines are a little too familiar even as the details are hopelessly dated.

     Our modern times may have more in common with the world of John Brunner's Stand On Zanzibar, in which an overheated, over-hyped media environment makes reality a thing only distantly glimpsed and despair an epidemic.  His world, another late '60s - early '70s look at the future, had too many people in too little space; ours still has room to stretch out but too often, we're standing knee-deep in bullshit and being told it smells like roses.

     It doesn't.  It never did -- you've got to manure the roses to make 'em grow, but that's not the scent anyone pursues.

     Those were lousy futures.  We should stop trying quite so hard to make them real.

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