Suggested Audio Jukebox ♬
 Timbuk 3 “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”
 Neil Young “Computer Age”
 Huey Lewis & The News “Back In Time”
Have you ever wondered what the world will look like twenty years from now? How about a hundred? Whilst the more pessimistic among us will already have their bets placed on the planet no longer being under mankind’s jurisdiction, the rest of us are likely attempting to fathom what the iPhone 106 would look like. Perhaps, after a full century of tweaking its technology, we might actually be able to make calls on the damned things. Just a suggestion. I know it isn’t as enjoyable a pastime as Candy Crush Saga but I’m sure I read somewhere that mobile phones were a form of telecommunication first and foremost and it would be a glorious homage to all things retro to bring it back for the sheer novelty. Of course, by 2116, heaven knows the other features it will boast. Perhaps it could perform electrolysis, vaporize anyone in front of you in the post office queue with its built-in photon blast function, and spoon you while you sleep in your statis chamber. With a little luck, charging will then be a thing of the past, and it could be wired directly to your aortic valves. That way, it never has to end up as a morbid hand me down.
Surely by that time we will have found a far less ozone sapping manner in which to commute to work and gas guzzlers will be confined solely to museums. Now I don’t want to skip too far ahead in the evolutionary chain but it seems a waste of precious time and resources to focus too much on hover technology when we could just as easily move straight to the telepods. Granted, it didn’t work out too well for Seth Brundle but you can’t make a plate of chili con carne that serves two without liquidizing a few lab gibbons after all. His mistakes are there to learn from and, should we just get the hang of the whole DNA transference deal, then rush-hour traffic will no longer need be a constant headache. Long distance relationships will be able to flourish, games of hide and seek will become far more exciting, and scantily clad nightclubbers will no longer run the risk of catching hypothermia while they wait for their cab to arrive at the end of a hard night’s ultra-realistic dance simulation.
3D will no longer be quite the innovation it once was as 5D technology will have long since taken its place and James Cameron will be leading from the forefront, despite the fact that he’ll be well over a hundred years old. You see, once a filmmaker has made enough trillions in box office returns, they will be afforded the opportunity of having their brains cryogenic frozen before dementia pays them a visit. Speaking of which, a cool million will likely be little more than pocket change by then and there will no longer be bank notes to denote each amount. Let’s face it, money is just as culpable as that monkey from Outbreak for spreading contagion, and we never truly know whether that dollar bill once found its way between a rambler’s ass crack as they got caught short in the wild. I’m not altogether sure what will replace currency but would hazard a guess at thinly sliced perspex that is machine washable and available in any color you so wish. Boys could use blue currency, girls could use pink, and Caitlyn Jenner would always have Amex to fall back on if he/she spotted a pair of cork wedges that simply couldn’t be passed up.
Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian’s ass would finally have be able to boast its own atmosphere and gravitational pull, while earning recognition as the solar system’s very first fully fledged dual-planetoid, and Donald Trump’s hairpiece will have its own daytime quiz show called The Mane Game, leaving its host no longer applicable. Betty White will still be fighting fit and planning a cybernetic Golden Girls reunion, in 5D no less, and Justin Bieber should have bagged himself his very first chest hair and already be planning for his second. Lady Gaga’s meat dress will no doubt stink to high heaven by the turn of the next century and the rest of her future savvy wardrobe will populate flea markets and antique emporiums. Elizabeth Taylor’s landmark thirtieth wedding to Haley Joel Osmont III will be watched by over 17 billion, in China alone, and Hugh Hefner will finally have succumbed to erectile dysfunction. Never mind Hughie, you had a good run son.
Video gamers will no longer be required pay extortionate prices for joysticks and power gloves as their brain waves alone will control the action, which will play out in full HD on the reverse of their eyelids. The new rage will entail feeling every last authentic gun shot and kidney punch, while the strip club in Grand Theft Auto will have changed its name to Nerd Heaven and be run by none other than Lindsey Lohan. Stephen Hawking will be smiling down on us all from outer space where he will be scouting around in his mech suit for other potentially inhabitable planets, just in case Kim Jong-un gets drunk on sushi again and presses the big red button instead of the little red one that pours him a glass of tepid tap water and pumps his stomach. And all the while, Bill Cosby’s court case will still rage on and we’ll still be attempting to figure out The Architect’s rant from The Matrix Reloaded.
So what does this mean to a self-confessed retro head like myself? Well I’m all for technological advancement so long as we don’t go forgetting our roots. Much as I would tip my hat to the glorious Blu-Ray transfer of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I’d still just as mirthfully slide it into my trusty VHS toploader and get down and dirty for old time’s sake. And while it’s certainly an audio advancement when you can download virtually any song at the simple press of a button, it just doesn’t sound the same without that vinyl crackle. That said, don’t go throwing away those old 45 players yet as I hear it’s making a spirited comeback. Let’s hope reinvention catches on as I’m pretty sure I’ve got an old vintage wood wireless knocking about in the attic and I’ve never been quite the same since Nintendo scrapped their Game & Watch hand consoles. Bring it all back I say, there seems no valid reason why old and new can’t coexist relatively peacefully and I’ve been itching to finish off my collection of Garbage Pail Kids trading cards for far too long to be considered healthy. Surely Adam Bomb can’t be that hard to track down dagnabbit.
I do hope the whole of mankind doesn’t become too pre-disposed bidding for the perfect body. Where’s the sense of achievement in sporting a six-pack you don’t have to earn through a strict diet of raw eggs? What fun are breasts if they can’t be tucked under your armpits on public beaches? And where do alpha’s call it a day when artificially enhancing their penis length out of one-upmanship? Besides, dating is already a laborious affair, but even more so when every last suitor looks exactly like Mila Kunis. Don’t even get me started on how utterly confusing speed dating would be. Meanwhile the real Mila Kunis will feel all unspecial and, as a caring race of Homo sapiens, we can’t allow that to happen. Fuck perfection and its perfectly straight teeth and symmetrical areolae, think how much we’d miss acne if it was banished from the programme. You know that really satisfying feeling when you run your thumb nail along a row of primed black heads? Or the unparalleled glee of catching its white compatriot at its prime point for poppage and watching it spray across the bathroom mirror? Gone in a second.
I have no idea what the future will bring but won’t be resisting the inevitable out of spite alone. I may enjoy a dash of retro here and there but you don’t see me cancelling my fiber-optic broadband just to give dial-up another crack do you? That said, I’ll still be flying the flag for those oldie but goodies, as they ushered me through my childhood without complaint and I never felt like I was missing out on anything. Indeed I still recall taking a look at Goldeneye on the N64 and thinking “it’s never going to get any better than this”. Call it ignorance but there was a fair amount of bliss that came with not knowing what was waiting around the very next corner. I guess I’ll just take it one iPhone at a time and see where that leads us. A brave new world awaits us all, but I’m more than happy to be a yellow-bellied bastard if it means Donald Trump’s dastardly copper hair helmet never reaching prime time. I don’t need a crystal ball or tarot cards to know how that one will turn out.
Click here to read Retro vs. Hereafter