The Future's Not So Bright
(April 2001)

Growing up in the 1970s the future was so bright we had to wear shades, if I recall right. The present wasn't particularly great - the 3-day week and hand-me-down flared trousers were decidedly dull - but as Tomorrow's World incessantly trumpeted and Dr Who hinted, the future was something to look forward to. Tomorrow's world would be a shrine to the self a 24/7 orgy of relaxation and recreation. Leisure would be the occupation of the majority, sensual gratification would replace an honest day's toil and space-age sofas and orange bowl-shaped television sets would ensure that our days were never uncomfortable or boring.

So I waited. And waited. And waited. And then the future arrived. Britain's teenagers start driving youngest, smoke the most fags and ingest and inject more narcotics than any in Europe. We've got the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the developed world, and the government are suggesting grants for children who've got children. Every kid's got a mobile phone, they all spend hours every day in front of a playstation, a PC or telly and this generation is the most obese since records began.

Fucking bastards.

I got a text message on my girlfriend's mobile phone the other day and I couldn’t work out how to reply to it. I was at a friend's 21st birthday party a few weeks ago. She was given a Clanger, but neither she nor her friends knew what it was. I spend all day at work only to come home aching and knackered. Space-age furniture and video games are no use to me, I need intravenous amphetamines. I still dream of the life I was promised back when Judith Hann was falling off rocket-powered roller skates but it seems that now it's arrived, it's strictly for youngsters.

The future came, but I was too old.


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