2008 was a year full of surprises. And by that, I am of course referring to the huge number of unplanned pregnancies that graced those twelve calendar pages. But when we weren't busy accidentally creating human life, we were busy foiling past generations' expectations of us. From film, to books, to video games, to decorative diner placemats, every manner of media had to have their say about what the people of 2008 would be doing with their time. Well, they were all wrong, and here are the wrongest of the bunch: 8 stories set in the "futuristic" year of 2008 that completely dropped the proverbial ball.
The 1955 Isaac Asimov short story Franchise
In the futuristic year of 2008, a supercomputer named Multivac will lead our proud electronic democracy by selecting the most demographically representative U.S. citizen, asking them some questions, and using the information to select the next President.
Not so hot.
2008 saw the election of an intelligent, well-spoken black man. For Obama to accurately represent the average of all American citizens, heÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂd have to gain about fifty pounds, take a few knocks to the head, and get Mexican citizenship. Add to that the fact that we stopped naming computers ÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ(fill in the blank)-vacÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ about the time the Beatles were roaming the earth, and youÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂve proven once again that Asimov was little more than a doddering, irrelevant old codger. Besides, the idea of a voting machine asking you some vague questions and then telling you whoÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs President is so 2004. IÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂm just waiting for Diebold to stop beating around the bush and declare itself Supreme Overlord in 2012.
TheyÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂve Taken Our Freeedooom!
The post-apocalyptic box office bomb
In the futuristic year of 2008, the plot of Escape From New York
will have sex with the plot of Outbreak
and Scotland will get quarantined from the rest of the world due to a plague (or at least, thatÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs what weÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂll say). Then theyÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂll almost immediately resort to the plot of Mad Max
About as accurate as John BobbittÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs urine stream after a couple of stiff drinks (too soon?). As evidenced by the tartan and cabers that litter our nationÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs beaches and clog our storm drains, the filthy Scots still roam free. My guess is weÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂll have to wait till Connery knocks off before we can put the fences up. IÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂm not saying we canÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt take him, IÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂm just saying, do we want to risk it? Meanwhile, the only deadly viral outbreaks that gained prominence this year were Bird Flu and that bee disease. And even if they both swept the globe, whatÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs the real loss? Teaching our children about sex will become slightly more difficult (although you could easily use a donut and hot dog), and we wonÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt get stung or shat on anymore. Although if all the bees were wiped out, it could lend some credence to the next predictionÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¦
With Our Powers Combined
The forward-thinking ecological sci-fi thriller