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Do you remember yourself at 14-years old? If someone asked you then what you thought you'd be like in 10 years, you'd probably say something like, "I bet I'm gonna grow a sick beard and work out and get super strong and never stop fucking!" Well look at you now: Single, unemployed, and the closest thing you have to a 'sick beard' is that diseased-looking splotchy collection of neck hair you keep forgetting to shave. In short, you are a massive disappointment to your younger, more idealistic self.

That's sort of how the world is, too. With the first decade of the 2000s out of the way, we decided to find a bunch of predictions people of the past had about life in the 2000s. We wish we didn't, because, cousin, we fucked up. For almost every prediction our ancestors made for us, we not only dropped the ball, but we stomped on it, spit on it, poured syrup on and ate the shit out of the ball. The only thing more depressing than how awesome the predictions were? They're all totally doable...

The Natural World: Man Goes Nuts on Nature

What They Predicted:

People at the turn of the century fully expected that mankind would have utterly devastated the natural world by now. They envisioned an Earth with no wildlife whatsoever remaining, save for what we specifically bred and protected. And they had a word to describe this barren, lifeless wasteland:


Apparently the people in the past were pretty sure we would've finally gotten our shit together and won the war against Mother Nature that we all forgot we were waging. They saw a future where there were literally "no Mosquitoes nor Flies. Insect screens will be unnecessary. Boards of health will have destroyed all mosquito haunts and breeding-grounds, drained all stagnant pools, filled in all swamp-lands, and chemically treated all still-water streams. The extermination of the horse and its stable will reduce the house-fly." They not only thought we would have intentionally burned, paved over, and chemically sterilized all the world's marshland, but look at how they thought we'd reduce the house-fly problem: "The extermination of the horse." The horse. As in, the collective horse. The entire species.

And they fucking loved horses!

But the second the animals ceased to be useful, turn-of-the-century man fully expected our race to rise up and terminate all horse-kind, and then mount their mournful heads on pikes in our yards as a warning to the rest of the natural world: This is what we do to our friends, motherfucker, what chance do you have?

"Look at the wondrous variety of fish, Harold! ...Fire up the lasers!"

The 1900s did accurately predict Genetically Modified foods, stating that we'd all "be eating strawberries the size of apples" regardless of season, which was spot-on. However, they also expected that "figs will be cultivated over the entire United States." And man, we really dropped the ball on that one. To the extent that--unless a fig is a rectangular pad of dirt and grapes whose primary function is turning perfectly good Newtons into filth-pastries--most Americans don't even know what an actual fig looks like.


What We Have Instead:

Not only do we still have squirrels in the modern world, we actually have organizations solely dedicated to protecting them. We didn't just forget about the war on nature; we completely switched sides. Sure, there are still some hold-outs--people with McRib tattoos who think a "vegan" is something from Dragonball Z--but even those people aren't in favor of completely wiping out every single species of animal on the planet. Turn-of-the-century man had a scorched-earth policy for the Earth itself; the fact that you're not stabbing a raccoon right now absolutely sickens them.

The Future of War: Road Warrior

What They Predicted:

Men of the 1900s generally thought people of the future would be flitting about in Wile E. Coyote-style ad-hoc contraptions slapped together from balloons, steam and top hats. They didn't really see a place for the car...outside of using them to kill the shit out of each other in epic steel machine-jousts that put Robot Jox to shame.

In the past, men envisioned the modern world as a dark dystopia where "war cars will be used for all modern ground combat" and "giant guns will shoot twenty-five miles or more, with shells that explode entire cities." And that isn't terribly far off from the scale of artillery we have now. However, they thought the only logical counter-measure to these god-bullets were gargantuan "bomb-proof forts, protected by great steel plates over their tops as well as sides. Huge forts on wheels that will dash across open spaces at the speed of express trains." Roving death forts dashing across the devastated landscape to destroy city-sized gun emplacements? Literally every man on Earth has experienced a moment of pure, simple joy and immediately thought "This is pretty good, I guess. But I wish it was a little more like The Road Warrior." The fact that our highways are not mostly paved with corpses can be considered nothing less than a vast disappointment to our ancestors.

What We Have Instead:

For some reason about 20 years ago, we started making all of our cars out of plastic and fairy wishes. As recently as the '60s, America seemed to be on the right path to commuting in war machines. With a few basic, bazooka-centric modifications and perhaps some liberal barbwire accessorizing, an Impala or a Charger could easily have doubled as a death chariot on a moment's notice. Now we have things like the KIA Rio and the Prius; vehicles more likely to lose a game of chicken with an actual chicken than to strike fear into the hearts of our enemies.

The only thing keeping 1900s man from turning the entire world into a game of Twisted Metal was the impracticality of mounting a flamethrower on a horse. We have the method and means to turn our daily commute into a deathmatch, but are reluctant to do so much as lay on the horn for fear of roadrage. They would weep if they could see the potential we are wasting. And when they were finished weeping, they'd probably slaughter us with their fire-horses (We said it was impractical, not impossible).

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Global Relations: USA! USA! USA!

What They Predicted:

We don't know what, exactly, people were smoking back in the 1900s, but boy did it make them love America. The 1900s man loved America so much he believed that other countries would be begging to join us by now. They honestly believed that "Nicaragua will ask for admission to our Union ... Mexico will be next," followed shortly thereafter by the majority of Europe. According to their predictions, everyone was supposed to be just lining up to join us, and it was only a matter of time before the entire world just became Planet America.

"Hey, you hear America just straight killed all the horses? I want in."

What We Have Instead:

Hey, remember the last time a country asked for admission to the United States? No? According to the 1900s, we should be up to our assholes in European countries right now.

Do you see Belgium lodged firmly in America's anus? No?! What the--!

Instead, in the last 10 years alone we've lost the majority of our international allies, started up a few wars that didn't go so well, and with our unemployment so high and our dollar value so low, any other country would be stupid for even thinking about hopping aboard. Hell, even Texas is considering secession(although to be fair, getting Texans to threaten secession is like convincing sorority girls to take shots).

Physical Fitness: We Will Be Breeding Super Children

What They Predicted:

1900s American Man assumed that, by this time, we'd be teaching gymnastics and starting weight training for babies. Babies. Honestly: They looked at a babies, with their tiny hands and soft skin and eyes full of wonder and thought, "Man, what a pussy." These horse-massacring bastards were not fucking around: They imagined gymnastics starting in the nursery, "where all toys and games will be designed to strengthen the muscles." Maybe they're just trying to breed cheap, reliable labor to make up for all the horses they planned on murdering.

Or maybe they just wanted our children to be the strongest, toughest, most Spartanest badasses this side of Planet America.

What We Have Instead:

Obesity is one of the biggest killers in America and babies are at an all time fat, a trend that doesn't seem to be reversing anytime soon. In fact, our bodies are actually evolving to fight how flabby and lazy we are. It's called Brown Fat, and the body produces it naturally (now more than ever,) in an effort to burn off the fat that we refuse to burn off ourselves. Think about that. We got so fat that our bodies surrendered. Or, as the esteemed Professor of Fatness, Michael Swaim, so eloquently put it last year: "WE'RE SUCH FATASSES THAT OUR BODIES ARE EVOLVING TO COMPENSATE FOR IT." Can you fathom that? Evolution takes thousands and thousands of years, but it's still not nearly as sluggish and lazy as we are.

But hell, "Toys and games designed to strengthen muscles?" To be fair, we've just been training our children with the skills that will be necessary to survive in our future; a future that is more about the mind than the biceps. Twenty minutes of Scrabulous is more intellectually stimulating than an hour of riding a penny farthing or practicing pugilism. While we can't predict exactly what mankind will need in the future, it is almost definitely more beneficial for a child to know how to work computers than it is for him to know how to till the soil and work the land at this point. Still, as far as raising an army of super strong master babies goes, we're falling majorly short (unless Pokemon-catching is somehow good for your cardio). Nursery Gymnastics? Jesus, we're too busy coming up with new and innovative ways to deep fry soda.

Oh, and just so you don't think it's just our lazy, shitty, selfish babies disappointing our ancestors, there is one more physical fitness prediction they had for us:

"A man or woman unable to walk ten miles at a stretch will be regarded as a weakling."

We don't want to make any assumptions here: Maybe you're a very active and fit person-about-town. Maybe you walked ten miles just this morning. Maybe you meet that criteria easily. On the other hand, you're spending the day sitting in front of your computer reading an article on Cracked about how fat you are...

(So fat.)

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Education: A Brilliant and Generous Future

What They Predicted:

Even in the 1900s - when they were stuffing children down the toilet to clear out clogs - they still thought we'd be sending poor kids around the world on vacation by now. They believed university education would be free to everyone, and that poor students would be given free board, clothing, books, and during vacation time "poor children will be taken on trips to various parts of the world." Man, for a generation of people who thought horses were an affront to God and hated babies for being weaklings, folks in 1900s seem to really care about their poor people. They even went so far as to predict that they'd be given free dentistry and eyeglasses, and when was the last time you brushed a homeless guy's teeth? Never? Typical '00s me-first mentality.

What We Have Instead:

Sure, we have some financial assistance programs for low income families, but that's a far cry from a free university education to everyone. On the contrary, education costs are rising each and every year and students that do go to college graduate directly into an assload of debt.

Turn-of-the-century man was also sure we'd be teaching "etiquette and housecleaning" regularly, which is sort of laughable when you realize that the internet and reality TV have long since viciously murdered etiquette, fucked its corpse, and didn't even say "thank you" after.

Personal Transportation; Awesome, Yet Goatshit Crazy

What They Predicted: (#1)

What We Have Instead:

There's only one person in this image that reminds us of modern transportation, and it's the idiot on the ground, eating shit and scrambling after his stupid hat.

Look at how people of the past pictured a busy street - all those other, well-dressed people gliding with rocket-powered skates on a road paved with what looks like solid gold? Those people would be rage-stabbed by a frustrated office-worker twenty minutes late for a project report in today's traffic.

What They Predicted: (#2)

Like everybody else, turn-of-the-century man was absolutely certain we'd all be flying by now. They didn't imagine flying cars or jetpacks or anything implausible like that - they just thought bi-planes (before we'd even officially made the first flight!) and balloons would be enough to keep modern man airborne constantly. Obviously we don't all have jetpacks or even measly personal hovercrafts, so obviously all of human technological achievement is a huge fucking letdown. Even in the most simple of transportation matters we have disappointed them tremendously. Take their version of a future drive-thru:

Look at that! They fully expected that modern man would have made such great strides in awesomology that a "drive-thru" was a place you'd just swoop by to pick up your Flyin' Wine without even slowing down. Not only do we have bullshit open container laws for our pathetically ground-based vehicles, but we as a people are also nowhere near that level of moustachioed.

What We Have Instead:

Slow, earthbound food distributors. And we're too retarded to even work those right. Good job, society; just ram that Taco Bell until burritos pop out. You're a champ.

What They Predicted: (#3)

Shut up. Who cares? Look at that. Look at that fucking picture. Really look at it. That is an uncharacteristically non-murdered horse walking on the water. That is where our ancestors thought we'd be right now, and all we're saying is why the fuck aren't we?! Look at their projected date on that painting: 2000. 9 years ago our ancestors thought we'd just be straight chilling on water, hanging out with mad balloon bitches and talkin' about mustaches or whatever all fucking day.

This gets distinction because, for the most part, the predictions made by the past were boring and, like, totally hard to do. Practical, sure, but boring. But transportation? Hell, look at that picture. Do you know what this means? Turn-of-the-century man has given us carte blanche on retarded transportation innovations. These are the guys who helped build and shape this country; salt of the earth folks who were up at dawn, plowing the land and hammering steel into locomotives, and they are totally okay with us blowing billions of dollars and countless hours of manpower inventing a bunch of stupid crap just to make travelling more hilarious. They gave us the complete greenlight to blow all of our resources building water wheels and foot-boats, or whatever the hell that stuff is. Every single moment you spend not strapping mini rocket-bikes to a camel's feet and riding it around the park is like spitting in the face of history .

What We Have Instead:

We want to stress right now that the only retarded transportation innovation that's reached the mainstream and is actually in use right now is the Segway. The fucking Segway.

Our ancestors would be having seizures from all the disappointment; their moustaches curling with rage, barely able to stab a horse through the tears in their eyes.

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For more badass predictions that never came to fruition, check out The 6 Best 2012 Apocalypse Theories (Are All Bullshit) and 2001 to Timecop: 8 Movie Futures Already Proven Wrong.

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