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Monday, 7 April 2014

The Future - Poem + Idea For Fun Writing Activity

First off, here's a poem:

In The Air

The air you breathe has a use-by date.
Don’t drink it in too deeply; don’t allow
your lungs to get used to it –
it’s on the shelf at Poundland.

You see, new air is coming out soon,
available at all good retail outlets.
People will camp out on street corners
hoping to be first in line,
to catch the very first breath.
Schoolkids will become obsessed,
fighting over it in the playground.
Teachers will ban it.
Students will get jacked for it –
oi gimme your air man!
Grandparents will unwittingly buy their grandkids
knock-off versions for Christmas,
which they’ll accept with a grudging smile,
then sell on eBay.

The air you breathe has a use-by date.
It seems fine now but you don’t know
what you’re missing. It’s heading
the way of Myspace, CD players and the Nokia 3310 –
it’s nothing but a fossil
in the museum of life.

New air is coming out soon. 
But take my advice:
don’t get in the queue.
Don’t save up for it.
Don’t pre-order it on Amazon.
You see, soon you won’t need air at all.
You won’t need your nose.
You won’t need your mouth.
Your heart will become totally useless
as your veins are dug up and replaced with wires.
Your bones will become the laughing-stock
of all your friends.
Your friends will become holograms.
The holograms will become echoes.

Yes, change is coming.

I can feel it in the air. 


Now, it's not exactly revelatory to note that technology is progressing quickly. I have heard it said that an infinite acceleration is mathematically impossible, which means that at some point the whole process will grind to a halt. Cue myriad dystopian fantasies. At any rate, it might be an idea for a fun, imagination-stretching writing exercise to think of some weird and wonderful objects that might exist in the future. I am running workshops on Friday at the Museum of Childhood, and will encourage workshop participants to come up with some lists of their own. Whimsy is the name of the game here, I think. Here is my list:

a parent-silencer
a turbo-charged bedroom tidier
a kitten multiplier
an inflatable ipad
a custard-fuelled aeroplane 
a homework destroyer

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