Thus, it is with special interest that we look at advertisements. The image of the future is pressed into service not simply because of its color, allure, or fantasy, but because we have become accustomed to seeing the future in commodity terms. What we will be in the future, these advertisements say, is what we will buy in the future. The future is going to be better, we believe, not in any abstract or humanitarian sense, but because there will be more to buy in the future. Increase in material abundance is assumed, and assumed to be good.
If the future is inherent in advertising in these broad cultural terms, it also provides the psychological frame of reference for the individual. As a system, advertising basically plays only one note. In the words of critic John Berger, it ‘proposes to each of us that we transform ourselves, or our lives, by buying something more.’ Advertisements ‘speak in the future tense, and yet the achievement of that future is endlessly deferred.’”
Taken from Yesterday’s Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future (1984) by Joseph J. Corn and Brian Horrigan.
A fillet of cod, formaldehyde, dry paraffin and the frizzling spark of LIFE! “My ichthyoidic friend, be born!” A filthy light emanated from the alchemist’s melting pot. A rumbling jittered dust and books and a sandwich loose and sent them floorward to the limestone. In the pot flopped the impossible: a fish complete and alive. “Why do I live?” asked the fish as dawn peeked through an arrowslit. “I desire a companion in adventure,” said the alchemist.
The fish stared. “When my mustache is grown, I will go.” The alchemist raised his hands in exasperation—a mustache?! Already hairs had begun to appear, but a full mustache would take weeks to grow. He would have to wait. The alchemist set himself to righting the fallen books and scrolls and potions and food to the shelves.
Still Eating Oranges