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Katie Klass

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Where is my jet car?

Tales of Future PastI remember Slash answering that to a question in a lads magazine a few years ago.

It must have been coming up to 2000 and there was a spate of "what did we think it would be like" articles and programmes. This article asked an eclectic bunch of celebs, "Is the future as you imagined it?" - Slash answered, "No, nothing like it" and then came out with the line I use a lot myself:
I mean, where is my jet car?
When I was growing up all the magazines promised we'd have jet cars in the year 2000"


As you're probably aware I am subscribed to a cracking blog called Modern Mechanix and through its blogroll (how that word seems so dated now) I found myself at the doors of Tales of Future Past.

I won't explain them is as they do it so much better than I:
It wasn't that long ago that we had a future. I mean, we have one now; the world isn't going to crash into the Sun or anything like that. What I mean is that we had a future that we could clearly imagine. The future wasn't tomorrow, next week, next year, or next century. It was a place with a form, a structure, a style. True, we didn't know exactly what the future would be like, but we knew that it had to be one of a few alternatives; some good, some very bad. The future was a world with a distinct architecture. It had its own way of speaking. It had its own technology. It was for all intents and purposes a different land where people dressed differently, talked differently, ate differently, and even thought differently. It was where scientists were wizards, where machines were magically effective and efficient, where tyrants were at least romantically evil rather than banal, and where the heavens were fairyland where dreams could literally come true.

Um... Yeah. A few years ago, people talked about building a bridge to the 21st century. Now that we're there, the phrase seems as odd as building a causeway to five o'clock. As Midnight brought in the year 2000 (or 2001 if you prefer), something odd began to sink in. For people of my generation, who had lived through the tarnished promises of the Atomic Age, the Space Age, the Computer Age, and the This That and Another Age, the year 2001 was a gateway. We waited twenty, thirty, forty years and some longer to pass though that gate into a time when spaceships the size of ocean liners plied between colonised planets, where cities were colourful collections of brand new towers without a single old building or blade of grass, where people wore jumpsuits like they were the togas of a technocratic Rome, where robots were our powerful and obedient servants, and where jetpacks were as common as galoshes.

Enjoy the goodies within Tales of Future Past ...

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