Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year

It's 2010. Wow. When I was younger, I would marvel (does anyone ever marvel anymore?) at how futuristic that sounded. The Year Two Thousand Ten. Our not-too-distant future held the promise of great technological advancements for mankind, and many of those promises have been fulfilled. But some have not. I expected that by now we'd all be jetting around in flying cars and taking vacation trips to the Moon and Mars. Just like George Jetson did.

Another view of the vineyard sky.

I knew that I'd still be relatively young in 2010, if I survived my inherited bad genes and the fickle finger of fate. But it always seemed so far away, this futuristic year. And yet here it is and I'm still going strong at fifty.

But there are no flying cars. I wonder what happened. Whatever it was, I've concluded that flying cars were not a very good idea after all. I mean, with traffic these days, can you imagine? We did get flying buses, though, and even if the actual airline traffic above our heads can resemble a freeway at rush hour, at least the people driving those things are trained professionals.

Think about trying to merge your FUV (Flying Utility Vehicle, what did you think it stood for?) into traffic at fifteen thousand feet and none of those idiot drivers will let you in; it's a long way down. Not to mention that cops would likely be hiding behind every cloud to make sure you don't go faster than 365 miles per hour. As if you could in this traffic.

As for vacations on the Moon and Mars, I haven't even seen half of this planet yet. And frankly, I don't trust the airlines to make a space flight comfortable. You know how it would be: Oxygen is complimentary, but gravity is five dollars. Your luggage either gets accidentally routed to Pluto or you wait forever because it's on it's third spin around the Van Allen belt. And racing to make those tight connections on Uranus, well, we all know what a pain in the asteroids that would be.

Still, 2010 has arrived even if flying cars and civilian space flight have not. We did get Nespresso (what else?), iEverything, and Lady Gaga. And isn't that futuristic enough for now?


  1. Just wanted to say that I loved this post. Excellent vision!

    Happy new year!

  2. Jet Packs!

    Whatever happened to jet packs and polo necked all in one knitted jumpsuits? I ain't checking out until that vision of the future is fulfilled.

    Although - I would have cut a much more dashing figure in tomorrow's clothes yesterday...

    Word verification is bulness. How did they know?

  3. Walt
    Thank you for making me laugh on this first day of the year. This reminds me of the essay I wrote about living on the moon when I was in mid-school.
    Happy New Year !

  4. Bonne Année, Walt and Ken.

  5. I did enjoy this post. :-)

    The moon doesn't look like much fun to me--there's nothing green, and there is such a thing as too much silence, although I have yet to encounter such here on Earth.

    Happy New Year!

  6. I could not imagine what 2010 would be like when I was a boy. Something like 2001 Space Odyssey.

    I can't say I am disappointed though

    I hope 2010 is tres bien for you two!

  7. syd, thanks! Happy New Year to you as well.

    simon, yes, jet packs! They promised us jet packs and all we got was Segway scooters.

    chm, :)

    beaver, happy new year!

    chris, I'm sure that once we start going to the moon regularly, we'll take our noise with us!

    michael, same to you and Someone!

  8. Excellent post. Not only do you have a very interesting perspective, but you have a delightful way of describing it. Thanks for sharing Walt-world.


  9. Considering the fuss we made in anticipation of reaching the year 2000, it is, as you state, a marvel that we have now effortlessly - and it seems in the twinkle of an eye - reached 2010.

  10. I remember imagining all of those things too as well as a lot of robots wandering around. But nobody ever really imagined the Internet as it exists today, did they?

  11. Do you remember Disney's World of Tomorrow? Cars would travel long distance on highways with an endless chain and the cars would be hooked to it so you could relax in your car and play board games with your family.

    Cities would be enclosed in huge bubbles within which their weather could be perfectly controlled (talk about greenhouse effect).

    But in the here and now, have a very happy, healthy 2010, Walt and Ken.

  12. Happy New Year WCS and Ken! 2010? Stanley Kubrick thought we'd all be lying around in space by 2001!

  13. susan, yes, Walt World is a bizarre place!

    victor, how true!

    betty, I certainly didn't!

    will, yes! And I remember Logan's Run, speaking of domed cities. Happy 2010 to you and Fritz!

    evol, thanks!

    larry, back atcha!

  14. Food would be a thing of the past, we would get our nutrional needs from small pills that came out of dispenser. We would enjoy the pill while wearing our uni-sex metalic jumsuits.


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