GM Futurama? Yep, Futurama!

I was about to begin this post with "I miss the World's Fair", but then my cast-iron editorial acumen made me check to see if the World's Fair is as extinct as I thought. Wups. I guess there still are World's Fairs (World Expo, etc etc.), but I have a suspicion it ain't what it once was. I've seen zero news coverage of any of the World's Fair in decades.

Back in the pre-find-out-anything-in-two-minutes days, the World's Fair was, as they say at the United Nations "The Shit". It was a global fan dance of technology and industry, with each participating nation showing off their coolest future-tech. This means that to us ultra modern sohpisticates, the stuff they were showing off can range from quaint to hilarious. If you're like me, either of those is fine. The bright and perfect fantasies of the future are super cool and wildly amusing all at once. I feel no conflict at all in laughing at how off-target the predictions were, while being really glad that they were so off-target. Equal parts retro and future, tragedy and comedy, the World's Fair feeds both lobes of my artist's brain.

The 1964-65 World's Fair was held in New York. General Motors still held the clearly unassailable position of Most Important Industry In America Now And Forever (hah!), and their hubris gushed forth in a delirious display called the GM Futurama. The General imagined the future for you, because you'd probably get it wrong. You'd probably have imagined jetpacks and molecular travel, but you're dumb. The Future is all about The Car! Yep. You need GM to point out that The Future should take a shape approved by GM's board of directors.

But enough grumping. Look at that ad! The GM Futurama building actually looked like that , Somebody built that! How could humans have made something so wonderfully spacey, and yet 45 years later, the roman column and curly-cue chair legs are still popular?

I love the irrational, useless curvy wall sticking up in the air and the quasi-saucer at the opposite end. Bringing the whole painting back to the sixties is the Ralph-Bakshi-Spiderman-cartoon sky behind it.

Expect more posts about the World Expo and GM's Futurama,

Video of the construction of the Gm Futurama ride.

Video of the GM Futurama.


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