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Friday, May 9, 2014

The Future: A Musical to Believe In

"Cheetah on my head! Cheetah on my head!"


Back when I was watching cartoons in the mid-eighties it was completely understood that Japan would rule the world by the time I was an adult. Kids in Kansas took Japanese in school so that they would be prepared for the New World Order. To a certain extent, Japanese art and commerce were already infecting us with shows like Astro Boy and the He-Man/ She-Ra / ThunderCats trifecta. I had an action figure with blue hair and a distant relation asked me vexingly if I would have blue hair too. I remember looking at her and being completely aware that she was old and that blue hair wasn’t a big deal at all, so much so that I have never gotten around to dyeing my hair blue. Hang on a minute… *makes hair appointment*

When I was a kid we were taught rudimentary computer programming skills like Turing and word processing. It’s hard to believe now, but just learning to type was a whole class. Of course, Russian kids were building program systems and their even their own games. When guys took games like Doom off “shareware” and uploaded it during the class, it should have been clear that we would be the computer programmers of the future, but all I can remember are blue-haired kindergarten teachers warning us about the coming future computer apocalypse. They were certain they were right because their own stupid children, having followed in their parents footsteps, were having trouble getting jobs in the closed house that is Teacher’s College and being “re-trained” to use Excel. Excel has upwards of 100,000 commands. If I could go back in time, I would advise them not to start there.

Speaking of which, when I was a kid, we were warned that there would not be any jobs for people my age because the Boomers would all have them and never, ever let go.

When I was a kid, I thought I would have a hover-car by now. Also, quicksand. I would have expected to be trapped at least once by quicksand by now.

I was lucky enough to go to Africa when I was 18. While there, I saw lions and antelope and gazelles, also elephants, monkeys and hippos in a river. Out of all the animals I just listed, would you believe that hippos are the most dangerous to man? Then I went to a restaurant called the Carnivore Restaurant and ate all of these animals, as well as crocodiles. I mostly drank my weight in alcohol whilst in Kenya, which is odd given it’s a strictly devout muslim country. Then I went out in the parking lot and visited with the safari vehicle drivers who were smoking what smelled like marijuana. They told me that women were not “strong enough” to drive mini-vans. I asked them if they had ever heard of a “soccer mom”, but they hadn’t. They asked me when I was getting married and when I said that university was next on the To-Do List they cocked their heads like dogs listening to a high-pitched whistle. Later in life I went to a clothing optional resort in Cancun with my mother (as one does) and a man tried to impress me with his travels. He started saying “There is a restaurant in Kenya called the Carnivore-”. “I’ve been there” I stated shortly.

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