The future is tired. It had a long flight.
*the following is my (almost) verbatim reply to a coworker in response to an article in Wired magazine about the new breed of DHS drones.
When I was in the 5th grade, I couldn’t wait to read Popular Science each month.
Not only for the articles, but for the “What’s New” feature, usually located near the center of the magazine. And typically the item was exciting on its own, but sometimes my space-bound imagination would turn the “thing” into a moon cruiser, or a spaceship, or a robot suit, or whatever. This was the era of coffee table books featuring sci-fi pulp covers and *good album art.
What I’m getting at is that one had to LOOK for futuristic inspiration. In the 9th grade, I started an apprenticeship in our school’s graphic arts program where I studied to be a printer. (Three years of paper cuts, darkroom work and getting bombed on developer/fixer to the lush sounds of Black Sabbath, scrubbing ink out from under my nails every day, and obsessive font worship made instantly Dinosaur by the desktop publishing revolution just one year later!) There were stacks of art books just lying around the shop, and I’d flip through them looking for glimpses of the future. I used to tear out the pages and hoard them away. I was searching for something tangible.
(Insert 20 years of sci-fi movies, books, television shows, comics, toys, and mirroring advancements in science, technology and communications)
It’s now 2013. I have often said that the future will be here in five minutes, but fuck it – the future is here. It’s sitting across from me sipping a f*cking latte and judging my Twitter feed. I don’t think 5th-grade me had any idea what the future would really hold. I don’t care that law-enforcement drones are flying overhead, or swimming around in our ports, or crawling through the earth looking for pot tunnels. Because I don’t do anything (*anymore) that would warrant their attention. And while I’m still mystified and in awe of technology, I expect it. I almost ignore it.
Because reality has caught up with my imagination. And that SUCKS.