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The International Writers Magazine
: Futures

A brief history: Why must the future always be so glum?
Michael Barakat

Since his early days Man has longed to know what the future holds. And many have sought to foretell our fate as a race. Often speaking of doom and certain destruction, these heralds of our fate became the obvious champions of their day. In their times of prosperity, figures ranging from Nostradamus to Edgar Cayce predicted the obscured bleakness that people needed to hear. All promised hell on earth.

Unfortunately, the deplorable advent of the printing press and the infectious mass standardization of education caused a subsequent disbelief toward the rantings of the lunatics we formerly trusted. It’s really quite a shame.

Thank god then for a later horrific fear of technology instilled by many 20th century authors like George Orwell, Aldus Huxley, Philip K Dick, James Cameron and a handful of others. These patron saints - with an influx of literature - wrote of future wastelands driven by technology and despair – haven for none. A bleak future existence was back on the map. Still, a small number promoting a future of peace and plenty slipped through the cracks to poison the minds of our unruly populous. The lowly Asimov: preacher of friendly technology and the innate good within machines. Bradbury the shameful: daring to tempt his audience with the chance of a hopeful existence beyond the post-apocalyptic age. Fools. We all laughed once, but their incessant proliferation eventually paid off.

Aside from the occasional protesting by hoodlums, people of today are relatively content. George W has a strong political hold. Most of our undereducated Americans view the future positively. They see no need to improve or to work for a better tomorrow. They assume things will be "OK," and that the "sun will come out tomorrow." With this attitude we have failed. We have all failed. With this attitude the future will be glum. With this attitude evil pink giant robots will enslave us all, force us to dig our own graves, and drink our blood as fuel.
But, why not? Soma anyone?

© Michael Barakat (RIT Student)
<msb2512@rit.edu>


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