“Now we wait for days for a piece of machinery, seemingly leading us to a paradoxical time where we do everything and nothing for ourselves. Where does our cultural trajectory point to next?”
And then here:
The kitschy but earnest 1960 adaptation of HG Wells’ 113-year-old classic, “The Time Machine,” bluntly engaged a cautionary Cold War interpretation of the Eloi: they are us, future heirs to a utopia shaped by the ultimate perfection of the modern elite — without struggle, strife or work – devoid, most importantly, of the moral and intellectual vigor and humility that made us human in the first place. In the future we are pretty ruminants without clue or question, exploited by our former “lessers,” the subterranean “Morlocks,” as tomorrow night’s dinner.
Wells, a committed socialist whose Eloi were more informed by the roiling class consciousness and brutal industrial landscape of the Late Victorian age, may be nonetheless poised to join Orwell and Huxley as one of the great literary “seers” of the 19th and 20th centuries:
“The question had come into my mind abruptly: were these creatures fools? You may hardly understand how it took me. You see I had always anticipated that the people of the year Eight Hundred and Two Thousand odd would be incredibly in front of us in knowledge, art, everything … A flow of disappointment rushed across my mind. For a moment I felt that I had built the Time Machine in vain….”
“…A queer thing I soon discovered about my little hosts, and that was their lack of interest. They would come to me with eager cries of astonishment, like children, but like children they would soon stop examining me and wander away after some other toy….”
“…I thought of the physical slightness of the people, their lack of intelligence, and those big abundant ruins, and it strengthened my belief in a perfect conquest of Nature. For after the battle comes Quiet. Humanity had been strong, energetic, and intelligent, and had used all its abundant vitality to alter the conditions under which it lived. And now came the reaction of the altered conditions.
Under the new conditions of perfect comfort and security, that restless energy, that with us is strength, would become weakness…”
— The Time Machine (1895)
The eternal summertime question thus comes to mind — Are we there yet?