Where Are The Flying Cars?

Everyone’s seen a movie set in the future, right? Back To The Future II, Star Trek, Bladerunner, The Fifth Element, Total Recall, etc. These films and plenty more are set in a future where flying cars and other advanced technology (yet to be seen in reality) are a part of life. For reference, check out this article The 25 Coolest Flying Cars In TV And Movies.  Here’s my issue…

Some of these films timelines have already come and gone and we still don’t have any flying cars!  For instance, Back To The Future II is set in 2015. NO FLYING CARS.  Blade Runner’s set in 2019.  At the time of this article, its August 2018 and quickly closing in on the new year. 

I think it’s safe to say NO FLYING CARS are going to be zooming through the sky next year. I could keep going on, but I think you get the point.  Why so mad you may ask?  After all, these were all just works of art.  The creators of this content needed to pick a date to set their futuristic story in and they did. 

How were they to know 30, 40, 50 years in the future wasn’t sufficient time for this kind of tech to be invented?  But, they could have gone well beyond those limits, say 100-200 years ahead. I will explain my reasons why some movies did and some didn’t.

Dream On

Take a look at this List of films set in the future see if you can find a pattern.  Pay close attention to the “Released” and “Setting” dates.  Notice anything?  How about the fact that most of the movies released in the early 1980s set their futuristic canvas in a not too distant future (20-40 years) while most of the films released in the 1990s and beyond set their view of the future 100 years ahead.  Here’s my theory.

If you go back and watch some of the classic teen 80’s films like Risky Business, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, all had one thing in common, the main characters were optimistic about the future.  They were dreamers.  Even your average slacker in an 80’s teen movie believed that somehow everything would work out in the end. 

By the end of the movie, everything usually did or seemed like it would.  Right before the credits rolled the protagonist(s) walked into the sunset, on a high note.  “High” is an interesting choice of words here.

Was it the cocaine?

As Rick James so famously said it is, “A helluva drug”.  Cocaine infuses the mind and body with an overall feeling of euphoria, and casual cocaine use was legendary in the 1980’s.  Maybe too many screenwriter’s muses were the delectable white powder. 

Just look at the word.  Take the ‘w’ out of “powder” and you have “power”.  Hmm. Now deregulate credit cards and start giving them out like baseball cards in a Cracker Jack box and you have the perfect recipe for non-stop optimism.  So what happened?

The 1990’s came around and optimism turned into self-analysis. Don’t believe me?  Take a look at this list of The 100 Greatest Movies of the Nineties and once again tell me if you notice a pattern.  The drug of choice morphed into marijuana, ecstasy, and crystal meth

Credit cards are a little harder to get and suddenly dreams turn into nightmares. So to the question; Where are the flying cars?  I say where are the dreamers?

As of today, I’d argue that the youth in this country seems more interested in creating apps and taking selfies. Oh, and those dreamers from the 80s aren’t much better. 

Sure the Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerbergs are from that era, but what’s changed in the last 2 decades besides improved phones?  Phones.  Is this where we peak?  Flying cars, haaa!  I’m still waiting for the hoverboard Marty McFly had in 2015.

In the real world, there are no hoverboards.  We have a Segway without the handlebar.  And don’t even think about bringing up those God awful, sorry excuses for flying cars I’ve seen in the news.  Those are tiny airplanes and life-sized drones. 

If it needs a runway it ain’t a flying car. If it can’t maneuver like a car…IT AIN’T A FLYING CAR.  The moral of the story here folks?  Don’t sacrifice your imagination for acceptance in your ‘social network’. 

We don’t need mind-altering drugs and predatory loan sharks to rejuvenate our optimistic juices.  We just need to dream again. But don’t dream too long, because, ‘maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away”.

You don’t have to agree with me. Where are the flying car? You let me know. Leave a reply in the comment box below.

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