AVNONLINE COLUMN 200511 - Where's the Future When You Really Need It?

"We are all interested in the future—for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.”

--The Amazing Criswell

Back in the 1960s, when I was a kid, there seemed to be no limit to the number of visionaries who foresaw a not-too-distant future that now seems exquisitely naïve: Man would live on the moon. All diseases would be cured. Cheese would come in aerosol cans.

I guess one out of three ain’t bad, unless you’ve actually tasted Easy Cheese.

One of the most alluring prognostications about life at the dawn of the 21st century was the ubiquitous “flying car.” Lush drawings depicted Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont look-alikes as they puttered around the skies of a gleaming metropolis in tiny aircraft that resembled a Fiat 500 with wings. Sadly, what no one ever imagined was that the flying cars of the future would come in the form of Ford Explorers with defective tires. Not even a Jet Blue pilot can land one of those babies safely.

For every bogus prediction like the flying car, there are a hundred realities we live with every day that no one even dreamt of. Who would have envisioned the banjo boy from Deliverance sitting in The White House? Or gansta rap? Or affordable cosmetic surgery that would literally put big perfect titties within anyone’s grasp?

Okay, I’ll cop to the latter.

Something else no one predicted was that through a medium called the Internet, porn would flood unabated into our homes like Lake Pontchartrain into the 9th Ward. Sure, some Masters of the Obvious made the call on whiz-bang technology like the flat-screen TV and video wristwatch, but no one ever told us that an unimaginable universe of perversion would be virtually puked into our laps through these devices—and that kids would be able to watch it with ease as long as they knew how to read the phrase “Yes, I am 18 or Older: ENTER.”

No one short of de Sade – who was long dead by 1965 – could have imagined the tremendous leaps and bounds that pornography would take. In lockstep with the accelerating advances in science of the last four decades, porn has boldly gone where no man’s penis has gone before—sometimes taking technology with it. After all, the home video player found its footing with smut, and no one could figure out how to make a buck on the Internet until porn came along. And within years, many even found a way to make an honest buck.

Now we have the bright and shiny promise of receiving an equally overwhelming deluge of smut on our cell phones and handhelds. Finally, there will be an answer to the prayers of all those who’ve longed to beat off at work without sneaking a porn rag into the stall. The frustration of sitting in rush-hour traffic will be transformed into hours of wanton joy. The endless lines at Costco, the DMV, and ski lifts will now be veritable conga lines of chicken-choking delight for experts at the subtle art of pocket pool.

Accordingly, this mobile porn revolution will in turn create bold new innovations in all aspects of our lives. If necessity is the mother of invention, then it will only be a matter of time before pants designers begin incorporating convenient zippers into pocket linings to allow effortless access to the groin. Mumus, burkas, and kaftans will come into fashion as people seek to hide what’s really going on under their apparel.

I predict billion-dollar profits for a product called “Hand-i-Wheel:” fake arms with rubber hands that grip the steering wheel for you, making it appear to other motorists that you have your mind on the road when your attentions (and hands) are actually elsewhere. This invention alone – and the plethora of accidents it will cause – will then accelerate advances in auto-pilot guidance systems for automobiles, thus bringing a viable device to market years earlier than anticipated. Nanotechnology will generate the first self-dispensing, self-propelled, moisture-seeking tissue. And so on, and so on.

If these predictions seem somehow farfetched, keep in mind that even The Amazing Criswell – the late 1950s TV psychic and Ed Wood protégé – was sometimes chillingly on the mark, as when he predicted that Las Vegas would one day host an interplanetary convention of visiting aliens.

Without true psychic powers, how could he have possibly foreseen the convergence of Internext and Adult Erotic Expo in the year 2006?

It’s downright spooky.