Everyone has their particular reference point for a movie or TV show that took place in the future, but for which that fictional date has now past. Two thousand and one was supposed to feature malicious robots and manned deep space travel. Nineteen ninety-seven was supposed to have New York City turn into a walled-off prison where eyepatches make you look cool. And we were supposed to have flying cars and near-sentient robots, along with portable plutonium-makers by two thousand fifteen! The Cubs had to wait one year longer than predicted to end their century-plus-long World Series drought, but that’s at least one prediction that was close. Although I’m personally happy that Back to the Future Two was wrong about there being easily-acquired portable dirty bomb components sold at Target next to the Mr. Coffees. Still, it is becoming more and more common, regardless of the source, to see the predictions authors and movie-makers and the crazed ramblings of Mr. Sheeples the urine-smelling guy wearing cat ears made of tin foil who claims he’s from the future, and is running for president, to be underwhelmingly inaccurate.
And this is all the more disappointing in such a pivotal date as the year 2020. For me, this rings truest in an old cartoon called Phantom: 2020. It was really a terrible superhero cartoon, but it was based in that mythical year in the future. I’m sure it was only called that because the title sounded cool, and it does. 2020 could make anything cool. Made in 2020 sounds way better than made in 1919 or even 1010. I struggle to think of a better combination of years for sheer awesome aesthetics, despite what monks from 999 try to tell you. Don’t listen to them, they’re just jealous, and probably have the plague. But what do we have in the actual year 2020? More plague. (I’ll give you that one, monks from 999)
But is it really all that disappointing? Sure, we don’t have flying cars, although after thinking about it, that’s not for lack of technology but for lack of ability to stop people from turning said flying cars into missiles filled with terrible ideas. But we do have portable devices containing infinite knowledge, including this little contribution! And this year we’re putting together a rocket that will take people to Mars! There’s even several robots there now. They just don’t feel sexy to us because we lack the other things Steven Spielberg and company promised us. But let’s imagine that they did. All you have to do is put the words 2020 to current events, and imagine it being something you saw in 1995, and all the sudden it’s sexy again!
Let’s imagine: Mars Rover: 2020. Ooh! What secrets of the red planet shall we discover this summer in a theatre near you?
Portal to Infinite Knowledge: 2020. What Faustian bargain might this be, airing Fridays on CBS?
Plague: 2020. Read your heart out, Monks of 999!
So let’s bring the sexy of 2020 back. We do live in the future. It’s just not the future we were promised. And that’s fine. I don’t think I’d look good with an eyepatch.