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  Humor stories > Funny stories : Meek new world

Meek new world


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I miss the future that we were supposed to have. In the twenty first century, among other fabulous promises, we were all going to fly around in hover cars while wearing silver jump suits with big shoulders. The last time I looked in my garage my car had four wheels and never left the ground (well, not on purpose) and in my closet there is not one shiny silver outfit.


When I was a kid there was a show on called The Twenty First Century which was sort of a science fiction type genre with predictions about what the future of the next generation would look like. I don`t recall too much about it, but I remember one episode where they talked about how everyone would have computers and how useful they would be - and I just didn`t see it.


I have a lot of fun watching old Science Fiction movies. The one that I just watched that inspired me to write today was ... one of the Planet of the Apes movies. I think it was Return to the Planet of the Apes. The movie opens up with a futuristic cityscape, like about 1980, with chained monkeys in orange cover-alls being led by sadistic, fascist overseers (with whips). They show you a little bit of this, then underneath they put up the words: "Los Angeles. 1991." Beautiful! Does everybody remember just fourteen years ago when we had monkey slaves in California? Whatever happened to them?


Among other things that were supposed to happen in the 1990s, we had the launch of the Robinson family in Lost in Space, the launch of Khan`s renegade ship after the Third World War (the Eugenics War), and the moon being launched out of orbit in Space 1999. Also, Atlantis was finally supposed to rise from the sea and the Antichrist was supposed to come to power and launch Armageddon. And the world was scheduled to end by any other number of doom-sayers.


An earlier and better example of the future that never wasn`t is the novel1984. It`s pretty dated now, but the novel was written by George Orwell in 1948 and was about a dystopian future under a totalitarian system much like we believed Communism was at the time. When the year 1984 did come, all the news magazines and TV shows went nuts with articles and shows about how close we really were to 1984. Not really. There were some handy comparisons between the technology that Orwell speculated about and emerging technology for keeping track of other humans. But that was about it. In America. Elsewhere in the world in more totalitarian countries the comparisons were closer.


When I was a kid I used to love Star Trek, the original Star Trek. God, when I watch it now, though, I almost want to cringe. For one thing, the special effects are so dated. It was cutting edge back then, I know, but these days even crappy Sci Fi can do so much better. And then its almost hilarious how little they imagined for the future. I keep thinking about their picture phones, each with a huge cathode ray tube in back.


Perhaps my favorite episode for silliness is Spock`s Brain, which is a rather infamous one with fans - they don`t like it - but I find it hilarious. In Spock`s Brain, Spock`s Brain is stolen, and the crew of theEnterprise (their space ship) track it down to a planet where women rule everything. These women dress in mini-skirts, go-go boots, bouffant hair-dos and long fake eye-lashes.


Yes. If women could run their own planet this is exactly how they would dress.


Now, I started out originally with Planet of the Apes and I`m a fan. Not of the sequels but of the original. Charlton Heston really did some ofhis finest acting in that movie and I still have some lines memorized wordfor word. Ie, "Take your stinking paws off of me, you damned, dirty ape!"It`s a madhouse! A madhouse!" and "You maniacs! You finally did it. You blew it up. You blew it all up. Ahhh, damn you! Damn you all to Hell!" That last line is delivered in the shadow of the ruins of the statueof Liberty and sent a chill up my spine when I first saw it, but it`s still there as is most of the world which was supposed to have ended already.


Steve Sommers is the author of Breakfast with the Antichrist. Visit his Website at http://www.breakfastwiththeantichrist.com

 


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