Category Archives: future

Music in the Year 2079

Photo by Chris LeBoutillier on Pexels.com
Artist’s depiction of a boat and some chimneys

It’s the year 2079. The sun, filtered through sheets of atmospheric pollution, is a purple orb in a sky full of drones of all sizes. Politicians are debating automatron labour laws in a fully holographic House of Commons; the House of Lords, stubbornly refusing to keep up with technological as well as social advancements, remains anachronistically analogue. Following a democratic process previously unseen in the animal kingdom, owls have voted to adopt a diurnal lifestyle, a choice which has serious and far-reaching consequences too complicated to go into in this blog. You, reading this, have only just got round to clearing out that drawer.

Music is just as important to our grandoffspring as it is to us – on the newly built Waterloo & Upper Atmosphere line, it’s rare to see a single commuter without headphones in (or, to be more precise, without inner ear audio implants switched on). Let’s explore the world of 2079-era music together.

Hacks will tell you that the music of the future will be IDM-style, coding-based sequences of beeps and bloops, that music students will turn in their assessed compositions in the form of sheets and sheets of binary. Not to be rude, or to denigrate my fine comrades-in-arms dedicated to the art of clairvoyance, but that’s filthy lie and I will not stand for it any longer.

Photo by Sabrina Gelbart on Pexels.com
“Bleep bloop, what a banger,” said no one ever.

I’m here to tell you (and, believe me, I’ve looked at the data) that, far from synths, it’ll be the bassoon that rules the roost in the year 2079. That’s right, the humble bassoon, in the present day constrained to medieval reenactments and post-ironic bands, is gonna make a comeback in a big way.

Sure, as our society becomes more and more dependent on technology and coding replaces English on the GCSE syllabus, it might be tempting to imagine that music will follow suit. Yet life does so rarely follow such predictable trends. I’m here to tell you, with as much certainty as anyone could possibly have on the subject, that bassoons will be all the rage in 2079.

Bassoon covers of ’00s hits will hit the market in 2074, and before you know it, bassoonists from Upper Perthshire to Greater St Agnes will be jamming to ‘Sexy Back’. Indeed, the most talented bassoon masters will be hailed as this generation’s greatest artists, their names etched into plaques and hung on disused post boxes in their hometowns.

You know how the sexiest boy in your geography class at school used to play ‘Wonderwall’ on his imitation Fender in the corner at every party? In 2079 nothing will have changed – except it’ll be Shania Twain’s ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ instead of the Gallaghers and he’ll be tooting not strumming on your heartstrings.

On the other hand, and this might surprise you, visual arts will go the robotic route. Paintings of the most attractive canning machines and drone mechanisms will be rendered in 1s and 0s and hung in the National Portrait Gallery.

It’s a funny old world.

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Slacks in the Year 2079

The year is 2079.

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Mars has been terraformed; JK Rowling is on the £5 note. Bake-Off has entered its 75th series, presented by an animatronic Mary Berry with the same piercing blue eyes and deep understanding of crumb structure as the original. The Queen’s refusal to die is beginning to make people suspicious; they’ve had to start making up new names for Jubilees since she’s burnt through all the precious metals and gemstones known to man. Next year she’ll celebrate her Pine Resin Jubilee with a concert in Hyde Park – Keith Richards will perform. England has still not won another World Cup.

The average man on the street is unrecognisable. Not only does a shimmering fog force people to walk around wearing SCUBA gear, in eighty-something years’ time fashion will have gone to a place that we today, narrow-minded in our jeans and trainers, can scarcely imagine.

Let me say one word to you: iridescent.

Here’s another: velvet.

Thanks to its protective qualities (that smog I mentioned a second ago will be mildly acidic and give people itchy red rashes), velvet will be the fabric of choice in years to come. From socks to ear muffs and everything in between will be made of the stuff; when A-Level students study literature, their teachers will have to tell them what such obsolete words as cotton and wool mean. Searching through dusty attics for grandad’s old iPhone X, grandchildren will come across a pair of nylon boxers and be equal parts bemused and unsettled.

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Not wanting to look like oil paintings or, God forbid, hipsters, chic youths of the future will experiment with metallic colours and patterns. Buttons will be designed to look like bolts or buttons, and boots will be shod with steel. Perhaps, on some level, these fashionistas are anticipating a robot/human conflict and are hoping to ingratiate themselves with their metal counterparts before the fighting begins in earnest. On the other hand, perhaps they just like the aesthetic.

In 2018, jeans rule the roost. You can scarcely move for denim. Kids wearing slacks to school are either mercilessly teased or simply sent to Coventry; Levi’s has its hands in all of our (too small) pockets.

Oh, how the worm will have turned by the year 2079!

 

 

Following a unflinching expose of the jeans industry broadcast on BBC1 – it turns out denim is made from the nail clippings of one of the cutest animals ever discovered, the denimulet – sales of jeans will crash. GAP stocks will fall by $28 per share, precipitating the largest sartorial economic downturn since, in the late 80s, people all of a sudden realised how weird flares look.

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This isn’t a denimulet – it’s a red panda – but would you wear jeans if you knew they were made from this guy’s toenails?

By the way, eyebrows will be Out in 2079. Kids will simply shave them off and replace them with multicoloured stickers they get from their favourite cafes and hoverboard shops.

Peanut Butter Sandwiches in the Year 2079

Maybe it has to do with reaching the threshold of adulthood, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the future.

It’s not just me: whenever my friends and I meet in a cafe, the conversation inevitably turns to what’s going to happen in the coming years. We hunch over cups of Horlicks, BBC News open on our phones, and prophesy doom about global politics, Brexit, graduate schemes, house prices in London. That kind of thing.

To be honest, when I’m on my own, I rarely think about such lofty aspects of future life. When I’m done with my homework and I’m too lazy even to watch Netflix, I like to sprawl in my armchair, wrap myself in my duvet, and think about how life will be in the year 2079.

What will people do for work 81 years from now? I ask myself. Where will they live? What will they do for fun?

I will be an old lady in 2079 with squadrons of great-great-grandnieces and nephews, and I think it’s important to catalogue my expectations of society so when, bribed with sci-fi sweets and glow sticks, they gather around my atomic rocking chair I can bore the kids with stories of retrofuturism.

“Put down the nanoflobuliser and stop messing with your sister’s space suit,” I will say, “and come listen.”

As any dedicated bland-blog reader will have discerned, approximately 60% of my brain power at any one time is spent considering food. It’s not surprising, then, that one of my favourite things to wonder about is food in the future. Will, as my parents believed, the next generation grow up on pills, spurning regular food for lab-generated, vitamin-balanced supplements?

No. That’s science fiction, and on this blog, dear reader, I’m concerned with facts. I’ve studied global food trends and conducted surveys with consumers and with giants of the food production industry, and now, after years of painstaking research that’s had a huge impact not only on my degree but on my private life as well, I present to you my findings. This, I can tell you with 84% accuracy, is the food that will dominate the dinner table of the future:

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Your eyes do not deceive you. That is a peanut butter sandwich.

More specifically, it’s smooth peanut butter spread on white bread with a garnish of sliced bananas.

Maybe you’re disappointed: maybe you were hoping for something futuristic and unrecognisable – a plate of concept food you can barely comprehend. Test tubes of gloop or strange, fluorescent orbs full of a viscous jus. Compared to the science fiction food of your fantasies, the humble peanut butter and banana sarnie must be something of a disappointment.

The science doesn’t leave room for interpretation. The peanut butter sandwich is the food of the future, and, if you think about it, it makes sense. As the meat industry loses its capacity to sustainably feed a growing population, more of the world will become vegetarian. And the vegan’s treat of choice – a spoonful of peanut butter scoffed over the kitchen sink.

In the year 2078, the status of the peanut butter sandwich will have been elevated. Now a guilty midnight snack, in the future it will be the very zenith of haute cuisine. The Queen (yes, she will still be alive) will spurn roast swan for her Christmas dinner in favour of a toasted peanut-butter-and-banana delight; the top restaurants in London will boast about the superiority of their bread:spread ratio; and cooking shows, from Saturday Kitchen to Hairy Bikers, will be centred around making your own peanut butter from scratch.

People, living in their biodomes on Mars, will stockpile bread and jars of peanut butter and the artisan coffee shops of the Martian capital will be rated based on the quality of their sarnies.

Also, and I don’t want to believe this either, instead of pudding, people in the year 2079 will eat ham yoghurt. To be clear, that’s a regular greek yoghurt with Billy Bear ham stirred through. Stuff like that is just hard to swallow.