|Copyright Hanna-Barbera, via fanpop.com|
Isn't it amazing how so many tools we use today were figments of sci-fi imaginations? That's the great thing about the genre: it has to be based in current science knowledge and then extrapolated onward. You don't have to look too far into the past to see what was once fantasy has already become reality. Just look at old, original Star Trek episodes. "Communicators" became flip cell phones. "On-screen" conversations--even in The Jetsons-- have now become routine with Skype. Computers, microwaves, The Internet...all these ideas have become staples of our present. It's fantastic!
Yes, one could argue that the negatives have also become reality with Orwellian corporations, "Big Brother is watching" surveillance [Good morning, NSA! *waves madly*], and the general populace of the US dumbed-down into mindless sheep happy to feed on a diet of stupid reality television and politicos who tell them what to think, but that's rather depressing. Yet this is also part of fantasy's legacy, realizing the negatives of the present and creating hope for a better world. As another example, in the late 1960s Star Trek depicted a future in which a black woman would not only be an officer but so intelligent and adept in her field that she more than occasionally had to enlighten the men. Two stereotypes combated in one fell swoop! And while we are nowhere near a prejudice-free society, laws prohibiting racial discrimination have made definite headway and laws banning interracial marriage are gone. Attitudes take longer, true, but we can continue to work on that.
Neil Gaiman posted a lovely New Year's wish on Facebook the other day with which I will leave off. Magic and what is considered madness in the present can indeed become reality. We have seen it made so.