Tuesday, January 29, 2008

On monkey butlers, and the lack thereof

On monkey butlers, and the lack thereof

Pic courtesy Adam Koford // www.hobotopia.comAs we near the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, one can only sit and marvel at man's achievement in the field of technology.

Look at one of those 1960s TV documentaries on 'Where we'll be in a couple of generations time' and you'll be amazed on how much has come true.

A computer in every home.

Television programmes and Hollywood movies on demand.

Mobile telephones.

Cameras on street corners watching your every move.

But then you notice - we haven't come that far at all.

Cars are still cars.

Banks still take a week to clear a cheque.

Spurs haven't won a league title since 1961 and their supporters are - to a man - the missing link back to the cavemen.

The cure for the common cold remains locked up in a safe 100 metres below Porton Down.

Where, I ask, is my jet pack and monkey butler?

Nowhere, that's where.

I still remember the late Raymond Baxter promising me one black-and-white Thursday night on Tomorrow's World a future of jet packs, monkey butlers and holidays on the moon by 2010, and now I want my money back.

It's not as if the technology isn't out there. A jet pack would be a doddle these days, if THE MAN wasn't suppressing the technology to keep us addicted to the motor car. And technological advances in cloning and animal cruelty mean that we should all have simian servants catering to our every need.

Only Richard Branson seems to care about the holidays-on-the-moon thing, committed as he is to his Virgin Galactic project. A scheme designed solely to relieve incredibly rich people of all their money and fuck up the upper atmosphere with needless powered space-flight.

For this, he has my full support, for he has pushed the envelope of innovative travel, and has been rescued from certain death on many, many occasions.

And then, I saw the design for his commercial space craft SpaceShip Two.

It is clearly made out of cardboard, sticky-back plastic and a large quantity of cheese that passed its sell-by date several months ago, and will spend - if his train business is anything to go by - weeks at a time stuck at signals just outside Birmingham New Street station whilst some drunken Scot spills his ninth can of Special Brew all over your second best jacket.

It's also a fair bet the passengers won't even be waited on by monkey space butlers. The whole affair is doomed - DOOMED - I tell you.

I look forward to writing Branson's obituary in the very near future.

Monkey butler pic by the very excellent Adam Koford, who has a book out. Wants it

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