P.J. O'Rourke on Disney's Home of the Future
A while back we wrote about Disney's New Dream Home: Worse Than We Dreamed, the new stupid and ugly electronic McMansion that is the idiocratic update of the Monsanto House of the Future, and noted that Walt must be spinning in his cryogenic cylinder to see this failure of vision.
Now P.K. O'Rourke tours it with his children Poppet, Buster and Muffin. He doesn't think much of it either, and describes it brilliantly in the Atlanticarticle titled "Future Schlock". But it his his conclusion that resonated.
Denigration of the future has become an intellectual prop over the past 40 years. Looking forward went out of fashion about the time that Buckminster Fuller's audacious geodesic domes, meant to cover entire cities, wound up as hippie-height, wobbling, tent-sized structures on Mendocino County pot communes.
Bruce Handy, writing in Time about Disney's reopening of a deliberately out-of-date Tomorrowland in 1998, began his essay with the sentence, "The future isn't what it used to be." He went on, "It's not a novel observation to point out that our culture has become increasingly backward looking."
Well, given the future envisioned in Disney's House of the Future, who can blame us for looking the other way?
Disney's Tomorrowland is deeply, thoroughly, almost furiously unimaginative. This isn't the fault of the "Disney culture"; it is the fault of our culture. We seem to have entered a deeply unimaginative era.
More on Houses of the Future in TreeHugger:
It Was Fifty Years Ago Today: Monsanto House of the Future
Disney's New Dream Home: Worse Than We Dreamed
New House of the Future Coming to Disneyland
Monsanto House of the Future