Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween in SPAAAAAACE!

You have to go backward if you want to go forward.  (With apologies to Gene Wilder)

The future is a wonderful place, or so we think it will be.  Or we hope it will be.  Regardless the future is a place you have not been but will be one day only by then it won't be the future it will be the present and then the past and life keeps going.  Yoda once said, "Always in motion is the future."  He wasn't wrong in the sense that the future is always the time to come from the point where you are now.  You will never get to the future because when you do, it won't be the future anymore.
Which means that any prediction of the future is simultaneously completely possible and impossible.  It's the Future State Duality Theory that I just made up.
A good example of what I mean is Tomorrowland at the Disney parks.  When Disneyland opened in 1955 Tomorrowland was a blueprint for the future.  It was a wonderful Space Age world of the future.  Time moves pretty fast and technology is not far behind it.  Tomorrowland aged and things came to pass, or didn't as history shows.
You can't keep a place like that futuristic for too long.
Since the future is a great unknown the best we can do is extrapolate what we want to be from what we have available and hope for the best.  For this reason I say that in order to fully appreciate the Sci-Fi future Halloween fun we need to look not to the future but what we once thought the future would be today, tomorrow and onward.
To that end, meet George Jetson.
This guy is waaaaayyyy too happy to be wearing that wig.

His boy Elroy.
This might be the worst costume I have seen this season.

Jane his wife.
I'm not sure that those boots are authentically future.

Daughter Judy.
Look, I don't mean to be pedantic, but Judy was a platinum blonde.
Ummm; and their robot?
I take back what I said about Elroy...this is the worst effing costume I have ever seen.
Jazz solo!
The Jetsons appeared on television screens in 1962 during the exciting years of the Space Race.  It was a time of vehicles with fins (nothing looks more futuristic and spacey to the drivers of the late 50s and early 60s than fins, bullet tail lights and shrouded headlamps, I assure you), televised science fiction programs, and comic books.
okay, technically this is a model of a 1957 Nomad, but my example stands.
The Jetsons live in Orbit City in 2062, which is still quite a bit in the future from where I am sitting, in a wonderful example of Googie architecture.

Despite living in a luxurious lifestyle by the standards of 1962 America when it premiered (and even by our own to some degree) the Jetsons have all of the problems we do. Or at least they complain that they do. They have traffic, health issues, boredom, mean bosses, problem kids-you know, life stuff.  Which just goes to show you that no matter how bright you think the future is going to be, when you get there the bulb is going to be pretty dim, daddy-o.

As far as the costumes go, let me assure you that there are worse examples than I provided.  There are variations of Jane and Judy that are simply indecent because nothing says HALLOWEEN like slutting up a childhood memory, n'est-ce pas?  If you compare the pictures of the costumes to the cartoon art at the top of the article you can see there was a decent attempt made to capture the Jetsons, George is particularly easy and Jane and Judy are not bad.  Elroy is a crying bloody shame, though.  Why any adult would want to dress up as a six year old boy is beyond me.  It doesn't even bear thinking about.  I find the Rosie costume particularly disturbing, although I can't say what I dislike the most about it.  Is it the tarting up of the robot?  Is it the purse cum decapitated head?  No, I think it is the ethnic slur of picking that particular model and making her a domestic.  Sistren, I'm offended for you.

(Let it go, Rook...just let it go...)
Regardless of bad costumes, the Jetsons are a great example of the Space Age idea of Sci-Fi and for my purposes that is what good Halloween Sci-Fi is about.  Halloween is an ancient celebration so why should we look to the past for the future when we celebrate it?

Atomic batteries to power; pumpkins to speed; let's go!


  1. "Today was tomorrow yesterday; it's funny how the time can slip away." A little Ozzy quote there. I must say that I only watched the Jetsons or Flintstones, because there was nothing else on and I didn't feel like playing outside at the moment. Those would make amusing costumes, though, I agree. I really want that Chevy Nomad or a Belair. Cars really had personality back then. By the 80s, American cars got plain and ugly. I've gotten off the topic, haven't I?

    1. I have unfortunate associations of the Flintstones and Jetsons with day care centers from my childhood. So I can't say they are actually high on my list of viewing material.

  2. I love how The Jetsons (even the 1980s version) turned out to be remarkably prescient. George works at an automated factory, and occasionally telecommutes. Elroy uses a computer to help him with his homework. Rosie is essentially a "Next Generation" Roomba. Even the "Food-a-Rack-o-Cycle" isn't conceptually different from a microwave oven...