Wednesday, April 11, 2007

They Wouldn’t Believe Me™: Volume 1

Sometimes, I try to think about how people from the past would respond to living in the modern world. How would Frederic Chopin react to riding in the passenger seat of a car on a freeway? (My assumption: mind numbing terror.) Would Ben Franklin do any better? (Yes, at least according to the TV show Bewitched.) For reasons I cannot completely explain, I used to entertain these sorts of daydreams fairly regularly.

My grandma was born before the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk and lived to see the moon landing. I’m now slightly past fifty years old, and while I can’t point to that drastic a technological change in my lifetime, there are still facts about the modern world, technological, political and cultural, that would have been completely unbelievable if I could a message back to people living forty years ago. Here’s a quick ten of what I hope will be a continuing series, given in no particular order.

1. A friendly international soccer match between Mexico and Ecuador will sell-out a 47,000 seat stadium. In Oakland California. On a Wednesday night.

2. Cancer will be part of the national conversation.

3. The sitting president and vice-president will both have criminal records. Their strongest supporters will think of them as good Christians.

4. Teenage girls will use high-speed wireless computer technology to pass notes in class.

5. The Soviet Union will collapse without a shot being fired.

6. The United States will be the world’s largest debtor nation, and much of that debt will be owed to Communist China.

7. There will be openly gay movie stars, athletes and politicians.

8. Half of the Beatles will be dead, one of them assassinated. Most of the Rolling Stones will still be alive, and they still tour and sell out huge stadiums around the world.

9. A nationally syndicated radio personality will be in danger of losing his job over comments made about women’s college basketball.

10. The last two Secretaries of State will both be African American and Republican. The amount of goodwill this will engender in the African-American community will be close to zero.

Note: I do not know the identity of the surprised baby at the top of the page. He (or she) is one of those model babies found on the Internets, taking food out of the mouths of adorable and deserving children and grandchildren of your friends and neighbors.


Padre Mickey said...

Thank God it's not one of the Monster model babies that are all over the intertoobs. Like dem monster model doggies what takes food from the mouths of the Central American puppy models.

Ha! The word verification is "hablo"

Karla said...

How about these - from your childhood and mine:

Ronald Reagan will become the president of the Screen Actors Guild and the United States, in that order. Strangely, mass suicides will not follow.

There will be TVs in cars and on phones - which will be tiny and fully portable. But there will still be nothing on.

Case in point: People will watch a TV show where other people eat live bugs and horse rectums. And it will be a massive hit.

Karla said...


Computers will be available to (pretty much) everyone, and will look surprisingly like computers on Star Trek.

The full implications of universal Darwinism will finally be understood, and religion will gracefully fade away so that the next phase of human intellectual evolution will be possible....


Matty Boy said...

One of these commenters is a dear friend of mine for more than twenty years. The other is a beloved sibling.

Does this explain the confused mind that produces this blog? Well, not fully, but it's a good start.