To Live in a Different Future
The 1960s must have been some time! As a late 80’s-early-90’s kid, I always a bit envied those who got to live their best years through one of the most golden ages of humanity ever. I remember watching The Wonder Years as a kid (and experiencing my first celebrity crush on Winnie) and thinking how boring my semi-rural European childhood was against the American suburbs of the Apollo era. Those were the boomer kids I learned about much later — the generation of my parents.
The situation in Europe, especially here in the Eastern block, wasn’t as golden as in Texas or California, but still, it was hopeful, and there was a sense of being pushed forward. Sci-fi of that time was predominately utopian, and only when history showed its teeth in the late 1980s, with the Balkan wars and many needlessly dead, did the moods of the era (and consequently Sci-Fi writing) start to shift into darker tones. The future we’re inhabiting now is not what they imagined.
For a brief moment, humanity indeed had its golden time. It was just developed enough to crawl out of the dark age of scientific ignorance and not yet as fucked as it is today. Sure, there are some perks of living in the 2000s, but generally, I think we’ve gone too far.
The simplicity and normalcy of growing up in a pre-computerized world seems almost a price too high to be paid for all the advancement we’ve made since.
Yesterday, unbeknown to the anniversary of the first Moon landing, I rolled Apollo 10 1⁄2: A Space Age Childhood movie and watched it with tears in my eyes. If it is possible to be nostalgic for a time you haven’t even experienced, then this was it.
It is a beautifully crafted movie, collecting all the big and tiny sparks of the world that are now gone. I love how Richard Linklater manages to utilize the rotoscope technique to enhance the moods of the storyline. It was perfect for Waking Life, reasonably good for A Scanner Darkly, and brilliant now.
I can’t recommend it enough.