Maybe There’ll Be Soylent Bacon

August 14, 2009

Well, the future’s here and somehow we’re expected to handle it without the guidance of Charlton Heston. This is disconcerting.

I realized from watching The Planet Of The Apes as a child that no one was more at ease in dealing with the future than Heston. It wasn’t just maladjusted monkeys. An after-school viewing The Omega Man in the mid-‘70s made it clear that the man was equally as capable of keeping a horde of psychotic, Luddite cultists at bay.

And, with The Omega Man, it’s almost as though the filmmaker had peered thirty-five years into the future and been inspired by a glimpse of a town-hall meeting on health care.

(of course, that flick ended badly for Heston – it would seem that you can only keep a horde of psychotic, Luddite cultists at bay for so long)

Each time I read of the folks who believe that passing a health care program would be like smothering old folks with a pillow, I can’t help but think of another Heston movie – Soylent Green.

I think I was eight or nine, sometime in the late ‘70s, when CBS showed Soylent Green on the Tuesday Night Movie (or whatever night it happened to be). It had one of those “mature audiences” announcements beforehand.

Of course, I watched it.

And it freaked me out.

Soylent Green was set in the future – from an early ’70s perspective – with most of the human population unemployed and sleeping in the crumbling stairways of roach motels.

The small handful of uber wealthy live in high-rise apartment buildings playing video games and eating steaks and strawberries. The poor have never seen a steak, a strawberry, or a Pop-Tart as pollution and global warming has ravaged the environment.

So, the future is playing out pretty much according to that script.

(why couldn’t it have been talking monkeys running the planet?)

And, if the rantings of the misinformed and Sarah Palin are to be believed regarding old people and the health care debate, you’d think Soylent Green – the foodstuff – might be in stores by Thanksgiving.

A Girl Called Eddy – People Used To Dream About The Future
from A Girl Called Eddy

I received a promo of this album; the debut for an American ex-pat in London named Erin Moran who goes by the less Happy Days-centric A Girl Called Eddy. Her 2004 debut was one of those deals where I checked it out, thought enough of it to move it into another pile of discs, and it promptly got lost in the shuffle.

Hearing this song was a fortunate rediscovery. I’m not sure how the rest of the album sounds, but People Who Used To Dream… is gorgeous. If you’re a fan of Burt Bacharach, it’s an excellent use of five-and-a-half minutes.

Leonard Cohen – The Future
from The Future

There are outtakes of stuff I’ve never posted where Leonard Cohen has popped up. And I keep thinking I need to write about him. I mean, the man has lived a full-grown life.

If I were Canadian, I’d want Mr. Cohen to be prime minister.

Timbuk3 – The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades
from Greetings from Timbuk3

This song’s simply more fun than killin’ drifters.

Matthew Sweet – Future Shock
from In Reverse

Paloma does not find The Heston to be as endearing as I do. Fortunately, I have studied his work and should we have to address talking monkeys, a horde of psychotic, Luddite cultists, or Soylent Green in the future, I will be prepared with a dramatic, over-the-top solution.

Paloma is extremely fond of the work of Matthew Sweet and, after hearing Future Shock, it’s not difficult to understand why.