One of my favorite commercials from years ago featured Avery Brooks – of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and A Man Called Hawk fame – walking down a street ranting, “It is the year 2000, but I don’t see any flying cars! Where are my flying cars? We were promised flying cars!” There is just something delightful about a man as imposing and dignified as Brooks going off about something as frivolous as a cartoon-inspired sci-fi mode of transportation. But, at the same time, I loved that commercial because deep down I also agreed with him. It was the year 2000. It was the future. Where were the flying cars?
When the future happened, it did not look like the Jetsons. Now that it is here, I often find myself yearning to go back just a few years, to a time when our biggest concern was that we might not have all the trappings we were promised by science fiction in as timely a manner as was suggested. Instead, we find ourselves in 2017 in America, a place an time in which half the country believes their own personal wealth is more important than making sure their fellow citizens don’t die because they can’t afford a doctor; where shooting sprees happen with numbing regularity, but nothing will be done to stop them because half the country insists a questionable interpretation of an archaic line-item in the Constitution makes their right to own military-grade weapons more important than the lives of school children; where we have to march and protest to get the message across, not that black lives are equal, but that they even matter at all.
There is no going back. Fighting to keep our country from sliding into a full-on dystopia means pushing forward. I no longer care about flying cars, but I hope to care about them again, one day.