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September 2013 Blog Chain: Tomorrowland


Tweet of the Day: The Island with a Past

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Another month, another Blog Chain. This time I decided to simply talk about the subject at hand instead of writing a story because…well I really could not come up with anything at the moment.  And now for the instruction booklet:

Starting Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Open to all forum members, even after it starts!

This month’s prompt:
Steampunk/Retro-Future

Steampunk and Retro-Futurism are genres that take the aesthetics and technology of the past (the Victorian era, interwar Art Deco era, etc.) and add futuristic technology. Examples include The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, the Downey Sherlock Holmes films, and (or so I’m told) some wacky Japanese animes like Fullmetal Alchemist, Steamboy, and a bunch of the Miyazakis.

As always, your entry can be prose, poetry, play, fiction, nonfiction.

Instructions:
Simply post your blog’s URL in this thread to join. I’ll let you know in this thread when it’s your turn. Once your turn comes up, you have two days to complete a blog post using the prompt. When you are finished, please add a link to your post on the thread.

If you signed up but find yourself unable to participate or need to be moved around in the schedule, please PM me or post in the thread. If you fail to post on your blog and on the thread within two days, I’ll bump you down to the end of the line on the third day; you’ll get a second chance at the end of the month.

Each post should be less than 1000 words if possible. Read and comment on other participants’ posts if you possibly can–they’ll be doing the same for you! Please include a list of all participants’ blogs (not necessarily their actual posts for the month) in your blog post.

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The picture above is from Tomorrowland, at Disneyland, Disney first amusement park in Anaheim, California and it illustrates perfectly the theme of retro-futurism.  The gears, rivets, neon lights and globes evoke a collage of retro-futurist visions, from the steam powered dreams of Jules Vernes to the synthesizer fulled electro-pop of the 1980s.  I had the good fortune of visiting the Orlando park multiple times and in doing so observed how once far reaching predictions of our future became, in a few years, quaint reminders of our own hopes and dreams.

Just take a look at the way the Carousel of Progress predicted the far away future of 1980:

Not bad, if a bit dark. At the least fashion sense was in the ballpark. Then you have the theme song to the ride:

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow’s just a dream away

Man has a dream and that’s the start
He follows his dream with mind and heart
And when it becomes a reality
It’s a dream come true for you and me

So there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
Just a dream away

That is the spirit that drives futurism (and many a science fiction work) of the past in general. A relentless optimism that technology would be humanity’s great emancipator, freeing us from hard labor, stress and making all our dreams come true.  Yet it is also a reminder that we fail as much as we succeed in putting those dreams into practice.

For example, no Moon Base yet:

Or that technology does not evolve in ways we can easily predict. There is a good chance that you have no one, but several videophones in your room, right now. From the video camera function on your smartphone, to Skype/Webcam combo on your computer and that annoying motion sensor system you bought so that your kids could play Dance, Dance, Revolution! on the 360. Nor did anyone predict humanity would discover a score of solar systems with powerful orbital telescopes.

So who knows, maybe our dreams will come true.

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Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – https://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
meowzbark – http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post)
BBBurke – http://awritersprogression.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
ishtar’sgate – http://chickenscratchbc.blogspot.ca/ [after 9/5]
asnys – http://atomic-skies.blogspot.com/ [after 9/15]
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ [after everyone else]

Bumped:

Archive of Past Blog Chains

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12 comments on “September 2013 Blog Chain: Tomorrowland

  1. Everyone focus on the big technology when predicting the future but it’s the little things we don’t see coming that often lead to the biggest changes. Like digital watches 🙂

    Like

  2. My dreams came true with Roomba 🙂

    Like

  3. I remember learning that Spaceship Earth in Epcot was funded by Eastern Airlines–how funny that the company that was sponsoring a look into tomorrow couldn’t foresee its own demise! Kind of like seeing Pan Am in Blade Runner and 2001.

    And I agree with Blair–people have been predicting flying cars since the 1890s, but who foresaw the internet or wireless smart phones? Marty McFly’s future house had a *fax machine* in every room, for chrissakes.

    Like

  4. oh! Hey this is great. I had a hard time figuring out futurism. It’s making me laugh now…

    Like

  5. […] (link to post) Ralph Pines – https://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post) BBBurke – http://awritersprogression.blogspot.com/ (link to post) ishtar’sgate – […]

    Like

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