General Motors hosted the ur-Epcot Center ride at the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows. The exhibit was called Futurama and it foretold moon bases, computer controlled cars and underwater hotels in the “near future.” The music, the narrator’s disembodied, yet joyful voice…it has a three in the morning bad TV feel about it. I find it disturbing.
I suppose by aligning itself with Tommorowland, GM was hoping to signal how technologically minded they were. Looking over forty years back, I relish the contrast of how utterly sclerotic GM is now with this futurism of the 1960s. They had an idea for a seastead among other things, but instead they decided to make less efficient and more expensive cars. “Technology can point the way to a future of limitless promise, but man must chart his own course, a course that frees the mind and the spirit.” Too bad GM didn’t listen to that guy.