Friday fluff: The Future Soon

I’ll probably be some kind of scientist
Building inventions in my space lab in space
I’ll end world hunger, I’ll make dolphins speak
Work through the daytime, spend my nights and weekends
Perfecting my warrior robot race
Building them one laser gun at a time
I will do my best to teach them
About life and what it’s worth
I just hope that I can keep them from destroying the Earth

Jonathan Coulton, “The Future Soon

H.G. Wells and Oliver Curry imagined Morlocks and Eloi. Ray Bradbury gave us dystopian book-burners. Orson Scott Card dreamed up aliens and child warriors. People have been picturing the future — for better or worse — since way back in the past. We know Dr. Curry is a fucking loon, but futurism is at best an inexact science, with plenty of room for flights of fancy. All we’ve got to go on is our best guesses, but (and I’m sure Dr. Curry, with his hydraulic-bosomed goddesses, would be the first to say so), the guesswork is awfully fun.

So lay it on me, Shapelers: what’s the future going to look like? Cyborg companions? Food in pill form? Big-breasted Barbarellas with glossy hair and cold wet noses? Do you have a vision all your own, or do you subscribe to someone else’s sci-fi scenario? Did the Jetsons get it right, or did Asimov? Or Orwell? What technological advances are going to turn our way of life on its head? Who would win a battle between the Predator and the Hypnotoad? And — the iconic lament of dissatisfied Gen-Xers — where’s my flying car?

Still need a costume?

Some people like to go as characters for Hallowe’en. I always seem to go as inanimate objects (a tree, a My Little Pony). But by far the most classic Hallowe’en costume is a fabricated but nonetheless menacing creature that induces feelings of horror and panic. Think zombie, vampire, ghost — they don’t exist, but they’re calculated to prey on our fears.

Thus, I will personally give a prize to any member of the commentariat who goes as the Obesity Epidemic for Hallowe’en. Especially if you let us post the photo on the blog. The more overblown and fantastical the better — think reductio ad absurdum.

Quick hit: Prudie gets it right, I think

I’m of two minds about advice columns. I’m highly suspicious of them because they’re often dripping with bad advice (except Ask the Blondes, of course), but I totally love to read them. I love to hear about people’s problems, boring or bizarre, and I love the nutjob answers that most columnists give to their distressed letter writers (see Tennis, Cary). Dear Prudence, while having an excellent name, is often hit or miss, IMHO; she’s fairly pragmatic, but I’ve seen some columns where she just gets everything wrong.

Which is why I’m pleasantly surprised at Prudie’s advice to this woman who met a fantastic guy who’s — steel yourselves — “overweight.” The woman writes, “I am not completely attracted to him. I am on some levels, but I am not sure it would be enough to transition our friendship into a relationship.” Prudie wins points with me by addressing potential fatphobia in her first sentence: “It’s a good sign that you’re not asking how to get your new friend to lose weight so you can be attracted to him.” Bingo! (In a good way for once.)

Check out the whole column,* if you will, and then weigh in (har har): what do you think? Did Prudence get it right? Should she have said something else? Have you had a similar dating experience — and if so, how did it go?

(*Here is where I want to use a clever word for our readers, like “Shakers” or “Pandagonians,” but I can’t quite figure out what sounds best. Shapers? Shapeliers? Shapelies? Prosies? Kate Harding Worshipers? Weigh in on this, too!)