Press Clips from the Future: 2000-2020

Sean Gullette
Originally Published in The Silicon Alley Reporter
July, 1999




	"The  future is going to be boring."  --J.G. Ballard
	_____________________________________

	New York Post 
January 9, 2001
Is the Y2K Bug Racist?
"Now I get it," said Al Sharpton. He rubbed his hands together for warmth against the icy wind blowing down Atlantic Avenue. "Y2K stands for y'all too colored to get services when our systems crash." As biting subzero temperatures swept the City for the fifth day running, 140,000--mostly black and Latino--citizens in northern Manhattan and the Bronx begin a second week without electricity. ConEd blames Y2K bugs for the failed transformers at the 156th Street switching station. "This crisis has happened to black and brown people exclusively. Show me a white middle-class New Yorker who is sitting at home in the dark and the cold today," Sharpton said in a press conference. ConEd spokesman Ron Phaler responded, "I'm not going to dignify that with a comment," and insisted repairs are proceedingly around the clock. A 7 pm curfew remains in place to curb looting... NY Times
March 2003
GOP May Turn Back On President
...as the Cocainegate scandal enters its eighth week, Republican leadership have begun to privately question whether George Bush Jr.'s presidency is worth saving. "At this point, a lot of people are thinking damage control, let's isolate this problem, get Liddy in there and move on. It's just not worth fighting it," said a top Congressional aide on condition of anonymity. "Presidents come and go." Sixty Minutes
November 2005
The "Duobomer" Leaves His Fingerprints on the Internet
"Isn't it ironic? The terrorist who claimed high technology was going too far, it seems, was hung with his very own rope. The FBI used a little high-tech sleuthing to track down "Duobomer" Giles Dawson: the Bureau made a top secret database search of millions of "usage activity records" (provided by the Big 5 Internet companies) looking for online activities which fit their profile of the bomb maker. A list of more than 1200 suspects was narrowed down to 18 "hard targets" including Dawson; his local ISP gave agents the address of his home in San Antonio, where he was killed in a suprise raid last weekend..." USA Today
January 2005
Teenage "cutting" fad returns
Junior High school counselors and emergency rooms across the Northeast and California are reporting an upswing in "cutting"--making long, shallow cuts in the skin with razor blades. Anton Levy, a 13-year old in Solar Creek, New Jersey told a reporter "You have to do it to ken. The blood don't come out right away; it's a few beats behind the knife. It's just septic to watch and it feels rad." Some students apply ink to the wounds to create permanent effects. Although scarring may be permanent if infection occurs, there is no major medical risk associated with shallow cutting, according to Dr. Van Veen of John Hopkins University Medical Center. Senator Tipper Gore called for Nintendo to recall its VR games "Manson Mansion" and "Simulation Nausea" because both feature cutting prominently. Slate
May 2005
The Whole Truth
...on Capital Hill, a motion sponsored by Strom Thurmond (R-NC) to install Sun Microsystems "Verite" real-time lie detectors at the Senate podium was killed in Committee, despite massive grassroots support for the measure. "Verite" equipment is now considered nearly infallible and is standard in the military and most Fortune 500 companies. Daily Variety
March 2007
Leonardo Deux-Caprio?
Lawyers for Leonardo DiCaprio left Federal Court as losers but vowing to appeal their identity theft suit against genetic double Nikos Schmidt--aka Leonardo Decaprio--who they say has diverted millions of dollars from their client in international television advertising and personal appearance fees. Schmidt, a 13-year-old "metabolically accelerated" New Jersey native, shares 90% of the star's DNA and resembles DiCaprio several years ago, at the peak of his fame. "They're like twin brothers," says Schmidt's father Howard. "Leo just can't accept my son cause he's better looking and makes more money." Popular Mechanics
July 2009
Unmanned
The Microsoft Corporation entered the arms market today with the unveiling of its nuclear-powered MS-901 "Mosquito" unmanned attack helicopter. The Mosquito can fire guided MiniPat Patriot missiles and operate remote controlled automatic weapons, video cameras and biological deterrent systems. The remote control interface can be learned in 8 hours of training and runs in Windows. For now, the Department of Defense will buy 1200 of the 'bots at $2.7 million per. A US Army spokesman called the choppers "the footsoldiers of the future." Wall Street Journal
February 2010

Killer Robots On Trial
The Kenner Corporation was back in a Delaware high court Thursday to face a class action suit by the parents of children severely injured by malfuctioning "George of the Jungle" robotic toys. Lawyers for the 219 families promised to demonstrate how cellular phone interference caused the 85-pound, 4-foot tall plastic-and-alloy gorillas to malfunction violently, strangling several children and striking others with fists and kicks. CNN
April 2014
Africa Pullout Continues
The UNATO Regional Security Task Force continued to withdraw humanitarian, medical and military personnel from dozens of staging areas in Africa today. Viral epidemic rates are on the rise again, poverty is nearly universal, and 12 African countries are currently leaderless due to coup, assassination, or civil strife. With flagging interest from sponsoring countries in Europe and North America, Secretary General Tony Blair said "we are simply unwilling to spend another ten years losing these battles for Africa." Women's Wear Daily
July 2018
90s Retro Redux
Three years after Donatella Versace's blockbuster "1999" sportwear collection, the fin-de-siecle is back--again. Japanese designers Team Matsuhita stole the opening night of Milan Fashion Week with a nostalgia collection that lead designer Mei Watanabe describes as "remembering downtown before the millenium. We love the chunky old cellphones, all those stupid techno sneakers and baggy pants!" Watanabe was eating a big slice of watermelon. "We want to bring back some of that goofiness. Everything is too serious now." Senior Spokesmodel Laetitia Casta announced today that Chanel has now paid over 10,000 girls their controversial $500 reward for getting Chanel "double-C" 3-dimensional tattoos on their shoulders. Wired
July 2020
Grads shun wonk work
High school seniors are increasingly reulctant to enter computer-related fields. Despite rising e-business salaries, an Intel/MSN survey showed that computer jobs are perceived as low prestige, unrewarding and depressing. "I want to do something real with humans, like teaching or being a doctor," said one anonymous respondent "not spend my life moving data around cyberspace like a fucking janitor."