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.