Cover of Lily Poole

the wrong car

Saturday, 15 November 2014

I’m never sure what postmodern is, or indeed was. I’m not even sure what modern is. Some people might call me old-fashioned.  Maybe my time-frame is too temporal. I’m  reading George Saunders which doesn’t help. That Brechtian idea of putting you outside the text to understand something you don’t understand anyway is something I don’t understand. Once upon a time a story was just a story.

I’ve got a stupid mind that’s not very good at organising things. About thirty-five-years ago, or perhaps longer, I can’t rightly remember, I read a story about a woman who jumped out in front of a car. I don’t know who the author was, but I’d guess you’d describe it as sci-fi. The car stopped before it hit her. Ho-hum you say. That’s not a very good story. It would be better if it hit her. Then the author could go on to describe the impact: blood, broken bones, gore, and a scatter of screeching metal wrapped around an acute case of guilt and, for modern readers, post-traumatic stress disorder.

The car and roads had sensors. It  carried passengers but was driverless. Jump forward in time and we have Google-driverless cars. They’re too modern for the road.

Even Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang had a driver, but it had wings to help out the driver in a tight scrape. The prototype Slovakian flying car unveiled last week in Vienna has a flight range of several hundred miles and an average ground speed of 125 mph. You can imagine the postmodern signs outside school gates: ‘Using the school football pitch as a runway is both stupid and selfish.’ Try and decipher that.            

 

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Comments

Pia Lenau
Pia Lenau says:

Future modern?

November 17, 2014

Jack O'Donnell
Jack O'Donnell says:

well Pia, I'm not really sure, just my best guess. Everybody, if they think about it, has their own vision of the future?

November 24, 2014

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