Weekly Whack: Flying Cars
Flying Cars
August 17, 1997

You know, unlike most people, I'm not really looking forward to the possibility of having flying cars in the future. In all those images they spoon feed us about what the future is going to look like, there are always a bunch of flying cars buzzing around the sky. A classic example would have to be in The Jetsons. There were always flying cars buzzing around in the Jetson's world of the future. I always thought that George Jetson drove a rather plain flying car. I mean all it had was the base of the car that had the seats, steering wheel, and apparently the engine that made the thing fly, and then just some clear glass bubble covering it. I'm sure he could have done something to spruce the thing up. Like I bet if they ever showed you the Hispanic neighborhoods of the future in The Jetsons you'd see some souped-up flying cars. Yeah, Jorge would be cruising around in his flying car with the tinted bubble, the chrome steering wheel, the white fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view mirrors, and let's not forget the Pope crown in the back window. Then again, he might not be able to have the fuzzy dice because, unless I am grossly mistaken, there weren't any rear view mirrors in the flying cars in The Jetsons. I wonder why. I mean if I was driving a flying car I would sure as hell like to know what was behind me. What if you got rear-ended? You would fall to the ground and die. What if a cop was trying to pull you over? And I definitely remember there be flying cop cars in The Jetsons. You wouldn't be able to see them behind you. Then again, even if you did see them, how the hell do you pull over in the sky? There isn't exactly a curb or something. What do you just stop right there in the middle of the sky? Even if you did stop, how could the cop get out of his car to write you a ticket? He's in the middle of the freaking sky!

When a flying car stalls, what happens? They never showed that episode of The Jetsons. I would imagine that it just falls straight to the ground and everybody dies. And talking about the ground, I don't think I ever saw the ground in The Jetsons. Everything seems to take place in the sky. All the buildings are like these huge poles with the main living component way on top in the sky. They can't even walk Astro, they have to put him on some treadmill outside that has to be a couple hundred stories from the ground. How come everything has to be in the sky? Did something happen to the ground in the future? Maybe it was erosion. My theory is that there was a whole other world on the ground. Yeah, the ground is where all the minorities lived. Think about it, everybody in The Jetsons was pretty much white. You never saw some Asian zipping around in his flying Toyota. There weren't any black guys cruising around in their flying cars loaded with amps and sub-woofers pounding out mad bass while hopping up and down with their hydraulic system. It was all white. So where did all the minorities go? You can't just write them out of the future. What kind of messed up racist lesson is that teaching our kids. Some little black kid watches The Jetsons thinking that this is what the future is going to be like, and sees that he won't be a part of it. That's just screwy. So my theory is that all the white people lived in the sky, and all the minorities lived in the ground. I'm sure there were some minorities that lived in the sky that popped up in a couple episodes, but they were apparently just Uncle Tom's.

Talking about The Jetsons, I always wondered about George Jetson's job. He works for Spacely Sprockets, which makes these gear type things called sprockets. In addition, their major competitor is Cogwell Cogs, which also makes these gear type thing, but they are called cogs. So here you have these two major corporations of the future and all they do is make gear type things. What's up with that? I mean they have machines there that can wash, shave, and feed you in the matter of seconds; but it takes an entire freaking corporation to make a sprocket. Something is definitely wrong with that picture. I guarantee you that the minorities living on the ground run things a whole hell of a lot more efficiently than that.

Anyhoo, another place where you see the same image of the future with the flying cars is in the Back to the Future trilogy, especially the second one. But what angered me about the trilogy was the whole concept behind Back to the Future Three. I mean first they go to the fifties so Marty can fix his parent's past, then they go to the future so he can fix things there, and then as a grand finale they decide to go to the frigging Wild West. Now what the hell is up with that? If I had a time machine I think the last place I would go to is the Wild West. Who gives a shit about the Wild West? I mean go back to the age of dinosaurs and have Doc Brown get eaten by some Tyrannosaurus. Then technically all the other Back to The Futures would never have happened, and Michael J. Fox would still just be that geek from Family Ties. Hey, that works with me.

But anyway, the image that The Jetsons and Back to the Future gives us of the future is pretty much the same one that is in everybody's head when they think of the future. When people think about the future, the same image comes up: flying cars, shiny buildings, and a huge transparent bubble covering everything. The only thing is that the date that goes with this image keeps changing. At the turn of the century people could have thought that the future was going to be like that in the 1980's. Then as time moved on, around the 50's and 60's, that date got changed to the year 2000. That's always a big date when thinking about the future, the year 2000. The world is going to be this whole different place in the year 2000. Unfortunately I don't think that it really will be. I mean it's already halfway through 1997 and I'm still driving my beat up Plymouth Reliant, and it's not about to fly anywhere. I don't mean to be such a party pooper, but I have a feeling that the new millennium will be one of the biggest disappointments in history. Once all the celebrating is over, people are going to look around and realize that the world is that same old place that it always was. No colonies on Mars, no underwater cities, no flying cars, no nothing. Same shit, different day; same shit, different year; same shit, different decade; same shit, different century; same shit, different MILLENNIUM. It's just the same old shit. That image of the future that we all have, and are waiting for, will once again have to be postponed until a later date. We won't get that fantasy, we'll just have what we always had- reality. And that's perfectly all right with me. Reality is comfortable. Reality is like an old friend. Reality is always with you, during good times and bad. Fantasy may seem more appealing. Fantasy may seem like a good place to go. But is you spend too much time with your fantasy, you're going to lose your reality, and if you lose your reality, you lose yourself. So even if your reality is nothing compared to your fantasy, be grateful for what you have and try to make it the best reality that you possibly can. Then maybe fantasies will become obsolete. Then again, if fantasies became obsolete, what would guys like Steve Stanlick do on a Friday night?

Ok, where was I? I think I was talking about why I don't want flying cars. Well the main reason why I don't want flying cars is that I don't ever want to have to take a driving test again. I mean a flying car will be a whole lot different to operate than a normal car, so I'm sure that we all will have to take another driving test before we can get a license to drive one. And I want no part of that. I failed my driving test three times before I finally got my license, and I never want to go through that again. It's not like I couldn't operate a car, it's just that I tend to get nervous when there's some guy next to me with a clipboard watching my every move. And it's tough enough to parallel park a normal car, I could just imagine doing it in a flying car. It's just something I don't want a part of, and you know what they say, you can't teach an old Doug new tricks. And besides driving tests, could you just imagine the insurance rate for a flying car? It would be unbelievable. Well I'm about to end this Whack, there won't be any top ten list or poem, I'll just leave you with this: FLYING CARS SUCK!!!