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I Want Orbit City, So There

Some time ago, I was attending a science fiction convention and I wandered into a panel supposedly discussing homes of the future. I know better than to have expectations, well, usually I know better, but it didn’t seem unreasonable to expect a panel on future homes to be about future homes, like Orbit City where the The Jetsons lived.
It’s the future. You know, the place where everything gets better. Where our technology continues to evolve into actual space travel and flying cars and other really cool stuff.
So you can imagine my surprise when the whole discussion sounded more like Bedrock from The Flintstones. Actually, it didn’t sound as cool as The Flintstones. The Flintstones had better technology.
There seemed to be a marked focus on “green” homes, though instead of green they appeared to be brown (i.e. made of mud or at least tunneled into mud). Yeah, sign me up for one of those.
My dad with his siblings.
At least Fred and Wilma had a house of stone with a working, wooly mammoth shower.
My father was raised in a log cabin. A real, honest-to-goodness log cabin. For years my grandmother “swept” a packed, dirt floor. It took a while for them to get indoor plumbing and other amenities.
Note that word “amenities.”

n. pl. a·men·i·ties

1. The quality of being pleasant or attractive; agreeableness.
2. Something that contributes to physical or material comfort.
3. A feature that increases attractiveness or value, especially of a piece of real estate or a geographic location.

Grandma was totally happy to move up and grinned like crazy when they tore it down for a nice, new, amenity-filled house for her. I know she wouldn’t have gone back for anything! She always looked forward.

As for me, I like having hot and cold, running water and electricity and internet. When we lost our power during Hurricane Ike, well, let’s just say I suck at primitive and I couldn’t even call whine-one-one to complain.
Am I the only person who wants live in Orbit City? If I could push a button and my house got cleaned, I’d be a happy not-camper. And Rosie? Love you, girlfriend! (Though it is rather funny that the “future” for Jane was a 1960’s life as a housewife, albeit a much easier one with all the buttons.)
I’d at least like to know my grandkids will get to live in Orbit City. I’ll bet they’d choose Bedrock over Mud Hut/River Bank village and pedaling to work.
Have we really contracted our dreaming so small that we can’t imagine a world where cars can fly and be environmentally safe? Where’s the optimism we had when I was little? The belief that we can figure out how to do things better than our ancestors did? That progress really does mean to progress toward a better world, not just a different world. Or worse, de-progress back to mud huts?
We’ve made amazing medical advances that help live longer and healthier and what’s our reward? Giving up on our dream of Orbit City?
Dialing whine-one-one, people.
 Kicking Ashe Cover art
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