Having a child, in my humble opinion, makes the future feel quite present. During a conversation this weekend about the son’s high-school graduation, which will occur in 2031, Mrs. TTMY and I were amazed by this fact: 2031 is totally the future.
You could with all plausibility make a sci-fi film today, set its action in 2031, and present any tech-inspired vision of the earth that one is so inclined towards. You could do this, because 2031 is the actual, distant future. So it seems today, anyway. The honest-to-goodness, make-it-what-you-will future into which my son will graduate and enter adulthood.
What will the world look like then? Who knows. I know we hope it’s still standing. Which led to an interesting list formulation: what do I hope the world does NOT look like in 2031?
So. Here are the 5 science-fiction inspired futures that I least want my son to inhabit. These are not the nightmarish hellscapes of the future in horrible war and chaos with monsters and aliense. Rather, these are the sci-fi worlds that house what living remain in socialized circumstances we’d all rather avoid.
Time travel could be pretty sweet, given its parameters are more favorable than those in Looper. I’d prefer another, less crime-lordish version of the technology, should it be established by 2031.
There are opportunities for a mostly pleasant time-passing existence in Ryan Johnson’s world, but unfortunately they start with drugs and hookers, and end with shooting your old-man self. And that’s the good life.
The vision of post-apocalyptic United States run by a fascist overlord brought down by a wandering Costner would be not only horribly dangerous but exceedingly dull. I do not, at all, wish for the fall of civilization (like some, these days), but if the world does go to hell, hopefully there’s at least more for the remaining folks to do.
cute side note: The Postman takes place in the then-distant future of 2013, and sets up the new capital in Minneapolis. (Also, the film’s not nearly as terrible as people think).
3. The Jetsons
All the dreamed-of conveniences of the future come to fruition in the Jetsons. Flying cars, food and service at the push of button. A robot maid. So what’s the problem?
Well, the world is still run by the powerful business interests, and in a fully-automated tech-savvy life, George still must go to work everyday and push a button. Over and over and over. That’s it. And for his troubles, his boss treats him like shit.
Also, it’s the whitest future anyone has ever imagined, and the most superficial, to boot.
The most complete vision of the separation of classes that science-fiction has ever seen is also perhaps the first of the genre. The wealthy live in luxury high-rises, while the poor toil mercilessly, without end, providing power and operating the machinery that permits the rich to live in splendor.
As far as I’m concerned, Metropolis is a nightmare future of the worst kind: plausible. We’ve already equated money and speech. There’s no telling where that could lead the wealthy.
I recently re-watched Robocop, the Verhoeven masterpiece. And I can think of no worse future for the son than living in the Detroit of Robocop. The economic collapse of the city (uh oh) has led to terrorizing gang and crime activity, which has led a Corporate-run police force which is equally terrorizing.
If you’re not coasting about in Delta City getting murdered by malfunctioning law-enforcement technology, you’re coked out on the streets getting murdered by gangs.
The reanimation of a dead cop with robotic technology? That’s a solution best avoided by not starting down that path. Hear me Detroit?