In a shameless effort to increase sales of tinned food and lengths of lead pipe by its holding companies, The Definitive Indefinite Article’s Institute for The Advancement of Regression has released the following statement:


How can we prepare for the uncertain future?  How will we know what to do?  Most of the time the future is just the pretend future from the past made flesh.  Cell phones?  Look at Star Trek communicators from the time of Captain Kirk and Spock.  Riot police all kevlared and black visored?  Anyone remember Judge Dredd comics? 


Where are we now?  Probably on the edge of the New Dark Ages.  What are we to do?  Watch Blade Runner and Running Man again.  They will give you a fair idea of how the unimaginative will structure the future.  Of course in fairness to them, they are really only applying an accepted principle of marketing.  In the same way that Star Trek created a beachhead of conceptual acceptance for implausibly small telephone devices, so too did Blade Runner preposition the idea of the fascist media superstate, if you will, in our minds.  When we are all standing around massive TV screens watching Limited-Over Uber-Death Cricket on MurdochVision and rioting about rice hitting $400 a pound, we will all be able to look at the flaming oil drums that are keeping us warm, the rich people and the forces of Law and Order flying overhead and feel little real shock of how awful it all is.  We have already seen these images on TV and accepted them as looking like “The Future.”


Once the fascist media superstate bit is done, we can look to the real New Dark Ages as the empires collapse into parochialism, superstition and suspicion. 


We are beyond superstition?  Not at all.  We are already surrounded by things we do not understand but take on faith.  Any idea how to fix your cell phone or your DVD player?  No.  Me neither and that qualifies as superstition.  We have little understanding of our surroundings and for the most part don’t care to inquire.  We pay homage to things we do not understand much like the befuddled peasant flinching at the sight of a gargoyle.


So when you find yourself with sacking wrapped around your feet, your teeth falling out and you are expected to kneel and repent before some asshole wearing a spandex bikini and ferret’s pelt on his head playing “Flashdance” on the one working gramophone for hundreds of miles, you won’t feel too surprised.  You’ve already seen the bad sci-fi flick, so the society modeled on it will be no real surprise.