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Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Men of Vision

Oh man. You know what's so good? REGGAE is so good.

I was in the Post Office earlier, look at the toys section, and among the cheap plastic water-pistols and skipping ropes, there were some pink / purple mobile phone cases, clearly targetted at young girls, printed with things like 'kissable', 'attitude problem' and (my personal favourite) 'If you're rich, I'm single.' Let's all take a moment to feel morally outraged, shall we?

... Ahhhh... that's the stuff.

Anyway, what I really wanted to write about was Men of Vision. Those soothsayers of modern culture who already know what's going to succeed and what's going to fail. I've decided that your life won't really be complete unless I share a few examples of these predictions.

I never knew a guitar player worth a damn
- Vernon Presley to his son, Elvis, 1954

That 'Rainbow' song is no good. It slows the picture down.
- an MGM producer, after the first screening of The Wizard of Oz

Get your feet off my desk, get out of here, you stink, and we're not going to buy your product.
- Joe Keenan, president of Atari, to Steve Jobs in 1976

But what... is it good for?
- Robert Lloyd, engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, on the microchip

Colour and stereoscopy will make the cinema into the greatest art in the world. Bad films will be impossible.
- Sir john Betjeman, Poet Laureate (who thankfully never lived to see White Chicks)

What can be more palpably absurd and ridiculous than the prospect held out of locomotives travelling twice as fast as stage coaches!
- a comment in Quarterly Review, March 1825

I predict the internet will soon go spectacularly supernova, and in 1996 will catastrophically collapse.
- Bob Metcalfe, InfoWorld, 1995

The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.
- Sir William Preece

There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.
- Albert Einstein, 1932

Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical, and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.
- Simon Newcombe, US astronomer, 1902

The world then to an end shall come, in eighteen hundred and eighty-one
- 'Wise' Mother Shipton

For fallen soldiers

You'll be home before the leaves have fallen from the trees
- Kaiser Wilhelm, to German troops at the start of WW1



  1. "ala-la-la-la-long, ala-la-la-la-longly, longly long"
    :D I'm sorry. It's just so funny. Ok, ok, I'll ground myself for the rest of the week.

    P.S. Anna, guess who came to our SU last friday? Beardyman! Sadly, I was working that night (on uni work as usual), so I didn't get to see him. Apparently, he was really good.

  2. Men of Vision... HA!

    I have seen similar lists, but most of those ones were new to me.


  3. Haha, no way! I had the single when I was a youngun. Was about '93 wasn't it, so I'd have been 9. Reggae pop should make a comeback. Where's the Compliments On Your Kiss for this generation, eh? No wonder they're all knife-wielding drug-crazed lardy pregnant workshy car-jacking rapists. Or so the Daily Mail tells me, anyway.

  4. I have seen sweat pants with "PHAT" on the ass of them... this was on a visit to the states... ahhh, only in America! :o)

  5. I quite like the man of vision that is scott adams, been dipping in and out of 'the dilbert future' in which he predicts exactly what will happen in the 21st Century.

    Amongst my personal favourites are the development of bozo filters to prevent idiots from communicating with us, and of course internet capacity increasing to keep up with the egos of those using it.


  6. I am in envy that your post offices have toys in them. We just have stamps with Elvis on them.

  7. Haha Elvis? Well, Elvis is cool, but he's no match for the cuddly toy puppy we left with! Thanks for dropping by, Sir Truthington. x


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