See you in the future

In a couple weeks, a K-1 tournament is going to be held somewhere in Sweden, Stockholm, or the surrounding international waters. Now, the fairly new combat sport has a lot of fans, and it attracts a lot of people, and I guess it’s gaining in popularity.

On the advertising posters that you can see in the Stockholm subway cars, they run a few quotes from papers to add creditibility to the event.

One of them is by an evening paper columnist and it goes like this: “… this is the future.”

The future is fascinating, like anything that unknown is fascinating. Everything will be better in the future, except when we’re there, looking back at the good old days. But even then, we always have the future to look forward to.

Because the future will be fantastic, we all want to be a part of it – today, if possible. And who wouldn’t want to take a peek into the future, and be a prophet of our times? Jon Landau called Bruce Springsteen “the future of rock’n’roll”.

In “The Graduate”, there’s a scene where Mr. McGuire tells Ben to listen carefully, as he will reveal the secret to a great future, in one word: “Plastics.”
“Exactly how do you mean?”
“There’s a great future in plastics.”

Mr. McGuire knew.

Obviously, the K1 tournament organizers use that quote to make people hurry to the event, after all, they can be a part of the future – today! But, what we don’t know is what the columnist wrote, or more precisely, that one sentence doesn’t tell us what he meant. Maybe he’s a cynical bahstard, a doomsayer, who uses that expression to predict the demise of mankind? “Oooooh, H1N1 is coming, the end of the world is the future!”

(Of course, Google has the answer. Here is the column, with the headline “This is the future”. He’s seen the future of boxing, a dying sport.)

Future is no longer a reference to the passing of time – just like “lunch” no longer is simply a meal in Sweden, but a unit of time, as in “let’s have a meeting ‘after lunch’”, meaning, at 1 pm – but a reference to high quality and prosperity. Nowhere is this as obvious as when you’re driving from the Arlanda airport towards the City of Stockholm, and see at least three cities (and housing contractors) try to attract people with slogans like,”The future looks good” (at Arland), “Welcome to the future today” (Kista), and “City of the Future” (Solna).

But future is a slippery little thing. It keeps running away from us.

When I was a kid, this was the future: Space: 1999.

This is what I did wear in 1999.

Last night, Father-In-Law (FIL) had a birthday party and as Son and Daughter entered his house, he welcomed them with open arms. Daughter rushed to FIL who listened to her story very carefully, and then said:

“Now, that is the future.”

How does that make you feel?