Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The World of Tomorrow

Remember those old scifi pulp magazines with the garish "World of Tomorrow" covers? Remember 2001:A Space Odyssey with its promise of a technocratic utopia? Well, it's 2008 now and where is that wonderful future we were promised? Well, it's here.

In Dubai.

The top photo shows Dubai in 1990, the middle is the same street in 2003 and the bottom photo was taken last year. The media will tell you about a "Clash of Civilizations" between Islam and the West, or "The War on Terror," but just as with post-war Germany it's the "good guys" that seem to be losing. While America runs itself into the ground, we're seeing the Cities of Tomorrow pop up like mushrooms after a rainstorm in Dubai, or Malaysia or Indonesia. Never mind the mind-blowing landscapes taking shape in "Communist" China.

If you're an American who tends to find himself in arguments with rednecks ranting on about Communism or Islam, simply keep photos of Dubai or Kowloon or Malaysia's "Super Corridor" on your IPhone and show them to these benighted souls. Explain to them that the entire apparatus of Western Capitalism is bankrolling these metropolises while they pay four dollars a gallon for gas and feed their families Hamburger Helper every night.

If you're living in a country that finds itself at odds with America, get out into the streets and demand that your leaders declare war and then immediately sue for peace. You will find yourself the recipient of trillions of American tax dollars, just as the Germans did in the late 1940s while the English and the Russians faced food and fuel rationing for almost two decades.


  1. "If you're living in a country that finds itself at odds with America, get out into the streets and demand that your leaders declare war and then immediately sue for peace."

    I can't tell from your post-have you read or seen TMTR?


  2. It is amazing how backwards the US has become and how far behind we are technologically as compared to other countries. I was looking at this very topic a couple of months ago and was a bit angered by the whole thing.

    It got me to thinking about a whole slew of things, but primarily of how most Americans (including myself) really have no idea what is going on in other parts of the world.

    The sad thing is that we become complicit in our ignorance.

    As always, thank you for the work you do.

  3. Loved your world of tomorrow post.

    is there any limit to how much shit the american public can take? $4 a
    gallon for gas? You have got to be kidding me -- I filled up my car
    yesterday and it cost $38, and my little Echo gets great millage. What
    must it cost to fill up a Hummer? And will americans switch back to
    economy cars like they did in the 70's?


    I think that there are secret things going on behind the curtain, so to
    say, but the really tragic thing about America right now is that all of
    this evil shit is going on right in front of our eyes. Halliburton moving
    to Dubai. Are you fucking kidding me????

    It is things like that which convince me that 9/11 was a passive
    conspiracy. All the Bush people had to do was sit back and let it happen.
    They knew it was a possibility, and figured that they might get a war out
    of it if it happened. And if it didn't happen, oh well, they'd find some
    other way to get a war started. In the aftermath, all they had to do to
    wash the blood off of their hands was say "we didn't think it was that
    serious of a threat." ...And that ends that.

    A New World Order. Wipe out the old World Trade Center, and build a new
    one in Dubai or asia or wherever people will work for 35 cents a day.

    I am really not sure i am proud to be an american. Looking at the
    evidence, being an american means you are either an evil fuck, or dumb as
    a doorknob.

  4. Have read The Mouse That Roared? About a tiny European country on the verge of bankruptcy that concocts a plan to declare ware on the USA in order to get financial aid after the inevitable loss. The trouble was that the country's scientist actually invented a doomsday weapon, so they unintentionally won the war.

    Anyway, you description of Americans as wage slaves to the rest of the world reminded me of the Israelites in Egypt, which makes the sudden appearance of Moses/Akhenaten/Obama on the stage very interesting indeed.

  5. I actually only saw the movie of The Mouse That Roared, but I see the wisdom in it more and more every day.

    Great insights, Daria, Joe and Michael. We're living in very interesting times, to be sure.

  6. Hi
    I have been reading your blog in England for the last couple of months . This is good stuff . Lots of strange stuff going on over here as well . In our latest Doctor Who it is announced that the old world of conflict is to end on the date of 24/7/6012.I think in the US your date would be 7/24/6012 - very interesting when you know that the Masonic calendar starts at 4000 BC . This is three days before the start of the London Olympics . Predictive programming or precognition.

    Re Daria's comment -from over here the US does seem to have become detached from the rest of the world . My brother moved to New York just before 9/11 and it is surprising how insular in his outlook he has become .Maybe it is just the size of the country . In spiritual terms I would say the US has become ungrounded , but maybe this is because your roots are elsewhere.

    Whatever the reasons for 9/11 I felt it was a chance for the US to join the rest of the world , but sadly the invitation hasn't been taken up as yet .

    With regard to your Cure blog , Robert Smith is like Keith Richard . He will probably die with his lipstick on . As to your musical tastes are you sure you were born in the right country !

    Anyway , keep up the good work.

  7. The future is already here. And it ain't got nothin' to with 'Merica. However you may feel about that- it's a fact.

    Driving home today I saw another one of those "United We Stand" bumperstickers, presumably displayed without the slightest tinge of irony.

    Proud to be an American? When non-Americans think about America what do you suppose comes to mind?

    That's right. Abu Graib & Gitmo. The fact that we have a free wheeling comedy about two stoners who escape from Guantanamo Bay- is that progress or decadence to the nth power? I'm not sure.

  8. Yes the future is finally here it seems ;p

    Yesterday in "Shoot 'em up" I saw a film in a contemporary setting that used video phones, yes!

    I used to joke as a kid that in the year 2000 I'd be going 'haha' at technology in the sense of "we're not freaking there yet", bring on the future! (by design (jacque fresco))

  9. Z, If you were Neo in the Matrix, would your solution be to kill everyone so that no more Agent Smiths appear? The hard thing about being smart is that you want to kill everyone, but the easy part is that you're smart enough not to.

    I live in America and I don't eat Hamburger Helper or buy gasoline. I'm a Vegan and a Skateboarder. My greatness is my own and can not be tarnished by my friends and family, we all call Americans.

    Hey Daria, please name for me one country in the world that isn't technologically backwards.

  10. I'm thinking about a city in Hong Kong which was destroyed because two goverments agreed that its lawlessness (inspite of getting rid of the Triads) was ungovernable and needed to be torn down.. If it were not for Second Life I think I would have never known its story "Kowloon the walled City"... It mentally puts me into a place where one does not need technology but rather the will of people to create something..

    It was evactuated and destroyed under the years of 1991-93..before Hong Kong was handed over to mainland China under a British agreement set about 100 years previously.

    I think about any city only being the sum of all its parts and hearts and has nothing to do with planning... but then again I am a bit biased.

  11. That's the thing though - there's no such thing as 'Islam vs'. What there is are at least two very different factions, and two tiers - there's the impoverished Islamic nations, and then there's the other type that are the wealthiest in the world.

    The same 'Americans' that hate on any way of generating power that doesn't destroy the environment are the same ones hating on the fact that they are addicted to the rich Islamic nations oil. Total schizos.

    Those kinds of cities, and the likes of Shanghai (uh, world's fastest rail link, very uber-looking futuristic architecture) are going to become like the Blade Runner movie in terms of the language mixes and the focus of the economy, and of course the looks...