Science fiction is a ripoff. I want the future I was promised, dammit!
Where are jet packs and teleportation devices? Gleaming Art Deco time machines? Flying DeLoreans?
Futuristic predictions from my youth feel like a cruel hoax. The Internet has been around since the 1970s, and yet I can still only interact with Google via keyboard and mouse. Where’s my neural jack? Since the late nineties I’ve faithfully kept the back of my neck shaved and pristine and ready to be fitted with a socket. Plug me in, already. I want to know Kung Fu.
Sigh. Massively disappointing. Hey scientists, can I at least get a laser gun, for Christ sake? Just once I’d like to yank a sleek, menacing firearm out of my jumpsuit and set it to “stun.”
Lasers are by far the number one sci-fi letdown. They were supposed to be everywhere by now, bursting willy nilly from ray guns, helping burglars carve into bank vaults. What did we get instead? The laser pointer. A high-tech tool for amusing your cat.
All of the cryptic deadlines offered by science fiction have passed without incident. 1984 was uneventful. 2010 was space odyssey free. Here it is 2011, and I’ve yet to engage Warp Drive or fire a phaser beam. (Beams are almost as big a disappointment as lasers. Tractor beams, particle beams—these were sci fi staples. And yet science has developed, to my knowledge, no useful beams of any kind.)
When are the machines going to rebel? Bracing for a computer uprising has always been the cornerstone of my future-preparedness plan. Every few minutes I peer suspiciously at my laptop, primed for battle, alert for the slightest indication of imminent sentience. Bring it on, you binary bitch. So far: nada. Not a twitch.
But I’m not giving up my dream of a dystopian future chock full of deliciously advanced and nefarious technology. I’m keeping the faith. I invested too much of my childhood in these fantasies to let go without a fight.
The machines will rise, some day. Big Brother will be watching. And I’ll be ready.