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The Future Is Here! Is It 1950?

By Andrei Codrescu | NPR
Friday, May 3, 2013

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Commentator Andrei Codrescu says he knew the future was back when he saw a headline in Smithsonian Magazine. In his mind he imagines a sinister-something that does everything we want for us. He has been against this faux device since he was born.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The cover of the latest Smithsonian Magazine proclaims the future is here. Well, commentator Andrei Codrescu agrees and says it feels like the 1950s all over again.

ANDREI CODRESCU, BYLINE: That was the last time the future was really big. Back then, it arrived in your house with washing machines and television sets. And ever since, it's been either going away with a market bust here, an assassinated president there, a couple of useless wars and then trying to make a comeback with princess phones, television remotes, the Dyson vacuum cleaner and Wal-Mart, heaven on Earth, made in china.

But now, it's really, really here. It's a tracking device. It's making you friends with everyone on Earth. It's a drone disguised like a house fly that can shoot you down if you talk back to your dad. It's a newly discovered planet of microbes in your gut. It's a 3-D printer that can reproduce you, should you wish to outlive yourself. And it's not even as far as the TV remote. It's in your pocket.

The future is really truly here. It has consumed all your time and all the time credits it gave you for your future. Please buy the Smithsonian app and call me in the morning. I know this future. I've been working for it since I was born and against it as soon as I could talk. Happily, the 1960s will be back soon.

BLOCK: Andrei Codrescu is author of "So Recently Rent a World: New and Selected Poems, 1968-2013." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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