Where is the Life of the Future that Hollywood Promised? An Open Letter To The Scientific Community

Cruising, Jetsons style.

Dear Mr. Science Geeks,

I’ve got a bone to pick with you.

It has been 50 years and more since TV shows and movies foretold a future filled with life-altering, laborsaving devices.  But none of them have materialized.  What have you guys been doing – sitting on your hands all day?

Here are just a few of the inventions I have been waiting for:

Robots:  The Jetsons had Rosie, the perfect maid, and Star Wars had C3PO, the gay BFF.  But after all this time, there is still no Android Alice taking care of business at my house.  Why am I still scrubbing my own toilets?

Flying cars:  I really need a flying car, if for no other reason than that I would never again have to parallel park.  Not only do we NOT have flying cars yet, you can’t even figure out how to make the earth-bound variety self-maintaining.  I don’t think it should be up to ME to have to monitor gas, oil and tire pressure.

Replicators:  These have been in Star Trek, and even kid’s movies like Babes in Toyland.  I  really, really want one of these.   All you do is press a couple of brightly colored buttons on a console, and whatever you want pops right out.  This would come in handy because you can get stuff without paying for it, and it’s not stealing.  Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive explanation of how this all works, so it should be a snap for scientific-types to put one together. 

Instant food:  Pills, replicators – there have been lots of suggestions made for how to bring dinner to the table with no fuss or mess.  All you’ve come up with was Tang.  Although this was very cool at the time, it’s like drinking a water-logged orange sandbox.  I know I would have no trouble sticking to my diet if all we had to eat were pills.  This should be top priority!  (Note to scientists: ix-nay on the Soylent Green research.)

Three to beam to Hawaii, Mr. Scott.

Transporters:  Having recently experienced the hassle and expense of getting a family of 4 from Chicago to New York and back, I could definitely use this.   It would also allow us to avoid one of the few space-age devices the scientific community actually delivered on: the anal probe, deftly wielded by TSA operatives at every airport.  In Star Trek, all you have to do is say “Beam me up, Scottie” and your molecules are whizzing through the air to their destination.   How hard can that be to set up? 

Garbage fueled cars:  Back to the Future was made more than 25 years ago, so you’ve had plenty of time to get this into production.  But instead of concentrating on something useful, like recycling garbage, you guys in Detroit have been working on making fuel out of perfectly good food.   This has done nothing but jack up the price of corn and cost us taxpayers a mint!
     Meanwhile, I am still shelling out a major portion of each paycheck to fill my Escalade with fossil fuel. And both my kids are understandably confused.  They keep using their cars to store trash, no matter how often I tell them that garbage is not yet a fuel source.

Our great nation depends on a division of labor.  Your job, Mr. Science, is to come up with cheap, laborsaving inventions to make my life easier.  My job is to provide a running commentary on how you’re doing your job, along with anything else that strikes my fancy.

We can have the life of ease and convenience that Hollywood has promised, if only each of us does his job.  I don’t think that’s asking too much.



About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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30 Responses to Where is the Life of the Future that Hollywood Promised? An Open Letter To The Scientific Community

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    Now Peg, I understand your frustration, but the scientists have been very busy inventing really important stuff, like iPods, Viagra, and new plastic surgery procedures. It’s simply a matter of priorities.


  2. egills says:

    They did work out how to run a car on old cooking oil…
    I think they should stop playing with iPads and hurry up with the transformer… I long to say those four words… ( but hopefully they make a better version that they did in Timeline )


  3. Tar-Buns says:

    I can see you were cooking up this post over the weekend, since we were talking about those Sci-Fi movies. You probably created the elements while driving back to IL yesterday. Especially appreciate your reference to Soylent Green, one of my fav sci-fi movies (I won’t say that line and give away the ending). I sure wouldn’t qualify as “furniture” at this age and shape 🙂

    So good to see you and the girls at Carolyn’s party. Stay cool – it’s going to be a blister ALL week and into next week now. I’m hoping the AC keeps working in my car until I get the clacking sound fixed. Thank God for central air. MK, find some way to get cool! Ciao’!


    • pegoleg says:

      I must give science all proper credit for AC. It is a marvelous, wonderful invention!

      Soylent Green, Omega Man, Logan’s Run – those were all great Sci Fi movies from the 70s. Great to see you, too, Sis!


  4. Big Al says:

    The transporter is number one on my list. But I’d like to see them tweak it a bit more so we could be in two places at the same time. That way I could be at home tending to my sweet wife’s every need and still be out playing 18 holes of golf.


  5. I see where you are coming from but on a positive note, I would dispute ‘It has been 50 years and more …..’ as H.G.Wells was up to this a long time ago, and up until now we do not seem to have to have been involved in wars on an intergalactic level nor even invaded by Martians though I do have some doubts about the creatures who work in customer service centres . . . . . .



    • pegoleg says:

      You’re right. I was thinking about good stuff we don’t have, but it’s also true that the intergalactic bad stuff didn’t happen, either. Looks like we haven’t been very accurate at predicting the future all the way around.

      How’s Gort?


  6. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    Yesterday I was carrying my cell phone around watching The Walking Dead (via Jetflicks) while doing chores. I said to Ba.D., “Sometimes it amazes me that this tiny cordless device can not only be used to hold conversation, but grant me access to my favorite TV shows . . . while I do chores!” He replied that we are living in the future, which is still keen even if it doesn’t involve flying cars. Yet.

    I second you. I want more of the future, now!


    • pegoleg says:

      I didn’t know you could watch TV on phones. I’ve got to get with it.

      The older I get, the better the technology gets, the worse my eyesight gets, the smaller the technology gets. Sigh.


  7. Is that a sideways trucker cap on Spock’s head?? HA!
    I just watched two episodes of the original Star Trek series last night, one of the episodes featured television’s first interracial kiss — at least they got that part of the future happening!


    • pegoleg says:

      It was supposed to be a baseball cap, but all I have to work with is the Paint program that came with this ancient computer.

      I always liked that Star Trek episode where a planet had civil war and they got two representatives together. Each had half of their faces painted white and half painted black. Kirk said you both look exactly the same, and they said “are you kidding – he’s black on the LEFT side, and I’m black on the RIGHT!” So petty, and so true.


  8. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    I want a transporter, too. But I’ll wait for one. Till then, I’ll use my fallback – a dry, Vodka martini.


  9. Sandy Sue says:

    Remember that animated movie a few years back called “Wall-ee”? All I remember is that the space ship he stumbled into was full of obese, winded, humans with atrophied *everything* because technology did everything for them. I remember thinking, “Oh, sh*t! Welcome to the Future!”


  10. marcialoyd says:

    Oh how I would love a life with transporters and replicators. I’ve been dreaming of that life since watching Star Trek TNG as a little girl. Someday.


  11. Tammy says:

    Good post. I know Logan’s Run as well. We’re showing our age! They would solve so many of our problems if they would make us cars that used garbage for fuel all the time. Just think. we could get rid of the garbage…..so no garbage bill and stop paying through the nose for gas. We may even have a bit of spending money at the end of pay week. How great would that be. I would love a transporter. I have had too many weekends of trying to get family from three areas to one area without using up half our weekend just driving back and forth to get there.
    I love your writing style. Gives me a laugh for the day.


    • pegoleg says:

      I feel your pain. Last weekend’s experience going from Illinois to Michigan gave me new appreciation for the “road-rage” phenomenon. Honestly, if I had a gun in the car, I think I would have used it on somebody.


  12. I’ve been wondering all of these things myself. Thanks for writing this letter. I think it should be a petition. Where do I sign? Too funny!


  13. OMG, it is so fantastic not to feel like the only person who thinks C3PO was gay. AND, BIL 2 and I were talking yesterday during our Amazing Race trip home from vacation about whether teleporters should be an option by now. He asked, if you had the choice between a teleportation that was painful as hell during the teleport, with residual effects resembling a hangover for two days… and our way of getting home… which would you choose? I couldn’t decide. Most excellent post.


    • pegoleg says:

      Thanks! My whining about transporters was also inspired by a lengthy visit to our nation’s roadways. That’s an interesting question – not sure which I’d choose.


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