Posts Tagged ‘progress’

back to the future


College Students, After-Math Series, Athens, Ohio © Jim Korpi

In 1989, when Back to the Future II was released, 2015 seemed a long way off. Anything seemed plausible.

Bells cling-clanged off the clay roofs in the farming village of Codogno, Italy, to introduce me to the year 2015. Red and yellow fireworks exploded over the church clock tower as it struck midnight. On this day 1989 seemed a long way off.

In the 1989 version of the future there is no need for roads. Cars fly. In this future wall-sized televisions project scenes of nature in front of windows, shoes tie themselves, re-hydrators turn mini pizzas into large, hot, steaming meals in seconds, children wear digital projection glasses to the dinner table to watch shows and answer telephone calls while they eat. Gadgets do what we wished we could and what we no longer wanted to do.

In the present 2015 I still have to tie my own shoes, and the man down the street spins pizza by hand from the center of a small mountain of white flour.

Tomorrow, We Begin a Better Tomorrow

Sunset on Bathing Suits, Virginia Beach © Jim Korpi

I want to live to see the day when we make contact with beings from another planet, the day when we learn to communicate with whales, the day when renewable energy is the norm, the day when plastics are banned, the day when salmon return to the rivers on the East Coast, the day when governments work for the good of the planet, the day when men treat each other equally, the day when exploitation no longer exists, the day when train travel returns to small towns in the US, the day when I understand how the world works, the day when my niece graduates from high school, the day when my own child understands the ways of the world, the day when I accept myself for who I am.

cooperative amnesia

Season © Jim Korpi

All Knowing Change,
Your knowing hopes to escape the humbling of ignorance. At your grasp are all the unanswered and unanswerable answered. You will soon prove me wrong in my acceptance of the accepted and complacency to change.
You ask me to change as if the history of humanity is insufficient. Thousands of years you deem irrelevant.
Do you ask the birds to change? If indeed a bird is wooed by your whims and convinced to forfeit flight will its wings grow stiff and unsuited for the winds?
These whims of modernity blow in and out of my conscience startling my calm as a loose screen door in a fall breeze. Its unpredictable slam is jarring.
Your dogma of change assumes virtue in the fashionable. An unquestioning flock is shepherded by its own collective unquestioning movement. A shared memory becomes a cooperative amnesia.