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All of us older than, say 35, remember the terrific Hanna Barbera cartoon, “The Jetsons,” which told the story of a family of futuristic space dwellers who pushed buttons to get what they wanted and zoomed around in awesome-looking spaceships to get everywhere.
The Jetsons also had a robot maid to take care of house cleaning, although it didn’t require a whole lot of work.
The family patriarch, George Jetson, had a not-too-taxing job—working three hours a day, three days a week, according to the show’s official history—for his boss, a little Napoleonic freak named “Mr. Spacely.”
For some reason, even this job made him complain, although his life was filled with an inordinate number of high-tech, laborsaving devices.
George’s wife, Jane, liked to shop a lot, while the kids, Judy and Elroy lived carefree lives of futuristic children. Their dog, Astro, even talked.
Didn’t you all assume that by the year 2008, we’d all be living like the Jetsons? Wasn’t technology supposed to do all the hard jobs for us so we could have time to be creative?
Instead, it seems to have turned us all into slaves to our iPhones, BlackBerries, cell phones and the like and in constant need of more electronic communication, bigger televisions, faster computers and more DVDs. (OK. Maybe the lack of good television shows has given rise to the DVD phenomenon. But you get my point.)
The other night I couldn’t believe my eyes when I came across a commercial for a new iPhone feature that would identify a song for you when you held your phone next to a speaker. That’s just weird.
Why can’t we take some of this unbelievable technology and turn it into something other than a neat time waster—something like space cars and movable houses in the sky? A space skateboard that can go 100 miles per hour?
OK, then. How about non-polluting fuel made out of recycled garbage? A banking system that won’t go bust? Now I’m just being silly.
It just seems a little ridiculous that, with all this modernism that the post-war bigwigs said was supposed to save America from depressed times, we’re in the midst of another depression.
Many who have lost their jobs now have time to be creative, but they don’t have the money to keep up with the escalating cost of living in Best-Buy America.
Why didn’t technology save us? Why aren’t we scooting around in space cars and living comfortably while working three days a week, three hours a day?
Maybe someday. Maybe the next generation of techno-geniuses will get it right.
Or maybe, we just have to rely on our spiritual faith and the kindness of one another to get by.