The Future Isn't What It Used To Be

P.J. O'Rourke tours Walt Disney's 'Innoventions Dream Home', and concludes that we've descended into a deeply unimaginative period in history. The dream home is the successor to 1957's House of the Future, built entirely of plastic.
December 12, 2008, 5am PST | Tim Halbur
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"Denigration of the future has become an intellectual prop over the past 40 years. Looking forward went out of fashion about the time that Buckminster Fuller's audacious geodesic domes, meant to cover entire cities, wound up as hippie-height, wobbling, tent-sized structures on Mendocino County pot communes.

Bruce Handy, writing in Time about Disney's reopening of a deliberately out-of-date Tomorrowland in 1998, began his essay with the sentence, "The future isn't what it used to be." He went on, 'It's not a novel observation to point out that our culture has become increasingly backward looking.'

Well, given the future envisioned in Disney's House of the Future, who can blame us for looking the other way?

Disney's Tomorrowland is deeply, thoroughly, almost furiously unimaginative. This isn't the fault of the 'Disney culture'; it is the fault of our culture. We seem to have entered a deeply unimaginative era."

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 in The Atlantic
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email