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Entries in america (3)

Wednesday
Jul252007

Picturesque America (1909)

After recently reading about how devoid the paleo-future is of advertising I thought it'd be a good time to pull out a cartoon Harry Grant Dart drew for a 1909 issue of Life magazine.


This image can be found in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection.

See also:
Futuristic Air Travel (circa 1900)

Tuesday
Mar202007

Feminine Beauty (New York Times, 1909)

"Most interesting of [Jules Bois's] predictions, perhaps, is that the present ideal of feminine beauty will have ceased to be held by the majority of the Caucasian race. Physical weakness, extreme delicacy of physiognomy, and acquiescence in a mere secondary position in the social organization will have given palce to a type in which beauty and muscular development will be combined."

"Strange to say, the Paris press has not yet pointed its arrows of ridicule at the prophet. Perhaps it is because the average Frenchman has no deep-seated objection to woman doing a large share of the world's work, such as the American man appears to have."

If you have a TimeSelect subscription you can read the entire article here.

See also:
A Hundred Years From Now. (New York Times, 1909) 14 March 2007

Monday
Jan222007

Hello and Welcome


I first came across the word "Paleo-Future" in a Flickr group of the same name. However, the topic first sparked my interest when I visited Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center, (now Epcot), and realized that Disney's version of the future was based upon what they thought the future would look like in the 1980s. As is important when depicting the future, your opinions must change with the times, unless you happen to be omnipotent, which means you have no need to revise your vision of the future and have probably used your powers for such noble endeavors as guessing my weight at the local carnival or writing horoscopes that tell me, "you should find time for yourself tonight."

While I might poke fun at the outlandish ideas of 1950s America, corporate puffery, or Jules Verne I do it with an admiration for the idealism we seem to be losing in our post-modern society. The belief that technology has the potential to improve the lives of everyone on Earth seems rare. Just remember that an optimism for the future and the attempt to better the world for all humanity is hidden somewhere within each sarcastic comment about flying cars and space farms. In that same vein, I will always remember that the dystopian societies depicted by George Orwell or Alan Moore are just as plausible if we surrender freedom in the name of security. Here's to a "great big beautiful tomorrow."

Thanks for reading,
Matt

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