Friday, March 13, 2009

The Jetsons Lied To Me

Though I was born in the sixities, I'm a child of the seventies. Growing up during that wacky decade, we were led to believe many things about The Future. Certainly by now, we thought during those hazy days, we'd be witness to technological marvels that we Garanimals clad little scamps could scarcely imagine, right?

Okay, I'll give you the internet. Culture altering? Sure. Revolutionary? You betcha, but excuse me if I still feel a bit cheated.

Where, for instance, are the moveable sidewalks? Oh sure, one sees them in airports, but didn't you think by know they'd be in mid-town Manhattan? Me too.

Where is my meal in pill form?

Where is my non-gas using, 100 mpg car which runs on water, or sand, or cow dung, or whatever else?

Most importantly, where the hell is my JET PACK?!? We should have jet packs by now! We were promised jet packs, weren’t we?

All that aside, the most puzzling thing we expected the future to bring, learned about in the seventies, something on which you would have bet the house, never occurred. I'm talking about, of course, The Metric System. Dear God, this was drilled into our heads year after year, so certain were our schools that the US would finally catch up to the rest of the world and use this simpler system of weights and measures based on tens. It was inevitable, and by all accounts we'd be fully Metric by the time we graduated high school, perhaps sooner. Book it. Done.

Wrong. I suppose there was no way the stubbornness of the American public could've been properly estimated, but we as a society said a pretty emphatic "no", didn't we? Our football fields are still measured in yards, our roads in miles, and our weight gains/losses in pounds. Take that, Europe!

Except for this puzzler: can anyone explain to me why the only things we have accpeted as Metric are soft drinks and cocaine? Beer? Gimme a pint. Weed? How much per ounce? Yet Diet Coke comes in 2 liter (that’s 67.6 ounces to us ‘mericans) bottles and cocaine still is measured by the gram, or kilos when a big bust is announced.

It's just weird.
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