2004 SHINY and NEW

Looking back on the history of the future, two tendencies stand out the most.  We were either hurtling forwards to worse times, in 1984 or Blade Runner, where the sun would never shine and we’d choke on the toxic air.  Or, the future was most definitely brighter, whiter, cleaner and happier.  In both scenarios, mechanization firmly took command.  Shiny-new cars!  Cheap plastic cutlery!  And chrome toasters!  The imaginary surface of the real future was cold to the touch and narcissistically reflective.   And today?  In an age faced with dizzying numbers of facial creams, TV channels, architectural styles and real fake designerwear, are we still seduced by upgrades?  Due to faster speeds of technological obsolescence and renewal, the generation gap diminishes from a few decaedes to a few months.  Blink and you might miss today’s fifteen minutes of need.  Everything, you’re told, exists as part of an infinite chain of successive betterment.  Will we remember yesterday?  Do we really care if the future is bright or dull, as long as today is Shiny and New?

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