Friday, August 24, 2007


I bought this book from a junk shop nearly twenty years ago, at it's been lying on the bottom shelf of my bookcase ever since. It was only last night that I realised it might be blogworthy.

modern boy's annual 1937

All hail the modern boy, who dresses like Where's Wally and has his own speed freak chauffeur!

When I bought this in the late 80s, 1937 seemed old, but not all that distant; speak to any grey-haired person and they'd probably remember it well. But now, in 2007, 1937 is starting to feel historical, a place not really accessible to modern people. Very few people who were adults in 1937 are still alive today, and thus our connection with that era is dissolving.

The book is full of all those things in which modern boys from 1937 were interested. Fast cars! Big machines! Science! Progress! Explosives! Tales of strapping British gentlemen overcoming dastardly swarthy types! And also The Future, which is now a helluva lot closer than The Past.

As you can see, their depiction of London in 2037 is eerily prescient.

London 2037

- Double-decker express trains are common.

- Thanks to Ken Livingstone's Congestion Tax, private cars have been pretty much banned.

- Nobody, including signwriters, knows how to spell.

- London's iconic architecture has been torn down, presumably because it was judged too controvertial and imperialist*

- New architecture is heavy on the 'cool' and light on the 'wise', such as building an airstrip on top of major rail lines. Yep, there's no way that architectural decision could come back to haunt you.

*St Paul's Cathedral - offensive to Moslems. Nelson's Column - symbolic of phallocentric authoritarianism. Big Ben - sexist and sizeist. The London Eye - insensitive to the visually challenged. And so on.


Blogger jenner said...

Hey there! I came across your blog while looking for pics of the female character in Diabolik, and of course when I saw you're an MST3K fan I HAD to check out the rest of your blog. I hope you don't think this HORRIBLY forward or obnoxious of me, but you can watch quite a few episodes (FULL episodes) on google video. No, I don't work for google or anything LOL, I just know how hard it can be to come across episodes, so I thought I'd pass on the tip. Again, hope you don't think me to obnoxious...LOL

From a fellow MSTie ;)

6:43 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

That's not obnoxious at all. I watched 'The Touch of Satan' on YouTube a few months ago - not quite as fulfilling as watching it a decent DVD format, but adequate if you're jonesing badly.

10:20 AM  

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