Those born in 1984 will be 18 this year (2002)

Kate Hoolu

It’s a bit of simple mathematics, and not even Cabbala or anything similarly esoteric: 1984 + 18 = 2002: so those born in 1984 will be 18 this year. The world described by Orwell in his infamous novel didn’t quite happen by 1984, but it’s a lot closer NOW for those who were born in that year. They have grown up in a world with surveillance cameras, mobile communications, continual war, police with great powers of meaningless arrest, a huge variety of drugs that can control moods (whether you want to take them, or are forced to by the state), aerobic exercise on TV in the mornings for all to join in (ha! No chance in this household…) and of course the ‘Big Brother’ reality TV phenomenon….

In a similar vein, “2001” has come and gone, so where was Arthur C. Clarke’s imposing and vitally important monolith and what about the alien contact? Those paranoids who connect the monolith with the Twin Towers event are way off beam, and Aleister Crowley’s “hail ye twin warriors about the pillars of the world” from the Book of the Law (a free PDF version coming soon to this site, by the way) has been widely quoted out of context also regarding this. Horus loves the whole thing, it’s true, He’s a God of War, that’s what He DOES, after all…. but it’s very hard to find any kind of prophetic statements in TBOTL about New York…

Ramsey Dukes has written a lovely piece about all those rosy, but erroneous visions of the future, where everyone has a personal jet bike and computers are instantly networked into eachother etc. However I do recall as a kid watching ‘The Men From U.N.C.L.E.’ (which was filmed in the 1960s) and they had very small mobile phones, just like we have now. And I’m not a trekkie (Editor's note: shame on you Kate!!), but someone has pointed out to me that Star Trek predicted (or influenced) the floppy disk, laptop computers, medical beds that diagnostically scan the patient automatically and half a dozen other innovations that I don’t recall right now. In any case, they all happened… but, thankfully, not the fashions. Again, memory fails me as to the source, but someone has proposed that sci-fi writers are not producing fiction, but that some of them are actually doing factual reverse-history; and that they are receiving impressions from the future and they are able to translate them into words on paper. Which is itself a pretty wacky sci-fi concept. And how do we tell which ones are the reverse-historians and which are the fantasy writers?

Anyway, with surveillance cameras, and the possibility of future humans being able to remotely scan us, just remember you are being watched all the time nowadays- and as it says in the mighty Thundersqueak - “do not confuse the eyeball peering through the net curtain with my ideals”.

So, a welcome to the world of ‘legal’, or at least “voting” adults, all ye of 1984 birth, and a toast: “to optimistic visions of the future!” And these few that turn out to be right, too…

KH

Read my review of Thundersqueak