(GE's) Carousel of Progress
Feb 10, 2008
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I guess it's been about 35 years between my visits to the
Carousel of Progress. GE has, in the interim, dropped its
sponsorship of the institution (your loss, Jeff Immelt), and in three
of the four scenarios (1900s, 1920s & 1940s) the family hasn't
changed or aged -- all's well.
I was braced for change in the "current" showcase, well aware that
all of those just-around-the-corner improvements of 1970
(microwave ovens, video-cassette recorders) would no longer impress.
But I think they missed the mark with the grandmother in VR goggles
shooting down alien ships while the host Dad (who is, of course, my Uncle Bert)
shouts cooking instructions at the oven. It's like a bad dream out of a SkyMall catalog.
Seems like our "great big beautiful tomorrow" has more to do with
communication and media -- The Web, cell phones, Tivo.
More realistic might have been the grandmother shooting video
on her cell phone and posting it instantly to YouTube, while the dad
illegally downloads music.
Or, go in a completely different direction, and have them
flying around in zero gravity, eating food out of toothpaste tubes.
For anyone else who hasn't seen it in 35 years, here's
including the theme song and a peak at modern times.