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Bacon in a Toaster: A Future Too Awesome to Happen

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the TV show The Jetsons. What was awesome about The Jetsons is that it showed us a marvelous 21st century future of flying cars, robot slaves, two-hour work weeks, semi-articulate dogs and push-button … everything.
 
It was all bullshit, of course; practically none of it came true. Sure, buttons are everywhere, and dogs are closer than ever to speaking in adorably dog-accented English, but domestic robot technology is still limited to minor vacuuming and assisted masturbation duties. Two-hour work weeks only exist for members of Congress. And don’t even bring up the flying car.

Damn right, Randal. TV does lie to us. But that’s not all. Books lie too. I’ve read entire books full of lies, and I’m not just talking about David Barton’s book on Thomas Jefferson here. I’m talking about books like 1975: And the Changes to Come by Arnold B. Barach, which was published in 1962, the same year The Jetsons debuted. It was one of those vaguely edu-taining books about how incredibly awesome The Future was supposed to be – in this case, the far-off future world of 37 years ago – by making tantalizing prognostications about cool technological innovations that were certain to come. Only one thing about this book is really certain, however: 1962 was a huuuuuge year for bullshit.
 
Here are a few of my favorite failed dreams of awesome-itude from 1975: And the Changes to Come:
 

Bacon in a Toaster. In a goddamn TOASTER! No more searing flesh burns from spattering pan grease or from flipping the strips over with your tongue. The bacon would come pre-fried, hermetically sealed in a futuristic aluminum space-pouch to keep away future bacteria and roving bacon-hunting Totoros. All you do is slide the pouch in your friendly 1975 toaster, set it to “Baconate,” and – a few minutes and searing flesh burns later – Instant Bacon Goodness. In a futuristic aluminum space-pouch, because, you know, the Future.
 
 

The Hi-Fi Sphere. In the same way that bacon tastes better when re-heated in an aluminum pouch, sound sounds better when it’s coming from a round aluminum thing. Long-playing Hi Fidelity records are round. Rolling Stones are round, Barry White is round. Your ears are round. Your head is round, and your face-talking hole is round. So should your high-fidelity, sound-barking, audio-making equipment set be: Round. EXTRA BONUS: Round(ish) speakers on an extendo-matic telescoping antenna-looking thingy, for maximum head-injury potential. When not in use, the giant round sound thing closes to form a perfectly symmetrical aluminum sphere, blending in naturally with all your other giant ball-shaped décor.
 
 

Giant Television … Something. We all knew the future of big-screen TV was going to be dozens of cluttered dials and twisty control things all crammed in together at convenient standing eye-level for maximum getting-up-out-of-your-chairability, and here our technological miracle stands – about six feet from your chair. The ultimate in deluxe televisions comes over-the-air, wired-antenna ready, able to receive grainy state-of-the-art analog signals from dozens of miles away, or maybe from around the world if something something. Set-top dials can be set to different time zones just in case you have that urgent OCD need to tell time that way, or maybe they’re kitchen timers for the bacon toaster. Plus a world map so you can keep track of where orbiting astronauts are. In the Future.
 
 

The Turkey Gun. With all the astronauting we will have had been doing in 1975, naturally we’ll have had needed revolutionary new food-to-face-hole delivery devices to take advantage of the huge pain-in-the-ass convenience of Zero Gravity. Based on absolutely no evidence or experience, the top futurologists of 1962 determined that earthly utensils, dishes and even solid food itself would be absolutely useless, if not deadly – and possibly Communist – in 1975 outer space. The answer? Based on the same physics principles that modern, 21st century pastry bags employ, this marvelous “Expelling device screws onto punctured can and is operated by squeezing to force food through the nipple.” Say that again: “Force food through the nipple.” Science!
 
I could go on, of course; there’s plenty more. In 1962 people were both anxious and hopeful about the future in that special way that only a culture on the cusp of both conquering space and self-annihilation could appreciate, and I suppose predictions like these held a special fascination for them. By now, of course, we’ve long since figured out that ball-shaped sound is for chumps and that we could hire other people to toast our pre-fried bacon for us, so perhaps we don’t look at the future in quite the same way – or maybe we do. I don’t know, I’m not fucking Carl Sagan here.

Photos from the book 1975: And the Changes to Come, by Arnold B. Barach; Harper, 1962

See more information about all things bacon in my next post.

About Phillip Lozano

I am a professional journalist/writer/editor of 20+ years' experience, interested in art, music, books, films, drawing, dancing, paranormal, politics, history, writing and editing creative fiction. The urge to find meaning in everyday human existence often leads to long and convoluted conversations and occasional alliances with the unsane, the poets, the geniuses, the misanthropes, the freaks, the outcasts, the discarded, the alienated and the rare miracles.

90 responses to “Bacon in a Toaster: A Future Too Awesome to Happen

  1. ROVING BACON-HUNTING TOTOROS?!?

    You are my favorite genius writer. Always. This is flocking awesome.

  2. John Ignowski ⋅

    I would take most, if not all, of these technologies in lieu of many of the false positives we are saddled with today…my Verizon cel phone doesn’t have coverage in Sunnyvale next to Verizon headquarters…to paraphrase Deckard in “Blade Runner”, “If it’s a benefit, it’s not my problem…” – great article P!

  3. John Ignowski ⋅

    Both pleasure models also had that whole kick-murder squad option in full swing…you need to join us in LA in 2019 to watch the masterpiece to see if it finally comes true (hint: LA already is like that, without the flying cars…)

  4. Given the global bacon shortage looming on the horizon, I guess I’ll have to wait to launch my caffeinated-bacon concept. But if you don’t believe any of this nonsense, just remember that according to Back to the Future Part II, U.S.A. Today will have floating news cameras to capture everything that’s going on and skateboards will be replaced by hoverboards and we’ll have hovercars. Personally, I want one of those self-drying jackets…or maybe I’ll just start to wear two neckties at once in an effort to be cool.

    great article!

  5. Wow. Just…wow. All simply AWESOME ideas, but the bacon toaster is my favorite.

    BTW, did you hear the announcement in the last few days about the impending world-wide bacon shortage. Seriously. That’s worse than any zombie apocalypse…
    ;)

  6. Really awesome… i am becoming a regular visitor to your blog….

  7. This is great! I love your blog, i’ll definitely be following!

  8. lea

    “…operated by squeezing to force food through the nipple.” Say that again: “Force food through the nipple.” Science!” LOL – love it! Thanks – lea

  9. I bet if billions of people worldwide weren’t converting their facebook to timeline, making collages on instagram and reblogging themselves on tumblr, we’d have AT LEAST a hovering scooter!

  10. mdprincing ⋅

    forcing food through a nipple….hmmm, I’ll take the bacon in the toaster.
    I love the simplistic wow factor from old “futuristic” cartoons and tv shows like the Jetsons and where we aren’t today.

  11. Yeah! The Bacon Toaster would have been GREAT! There’s still hope!!

  12. B.R.

    What about those little balls of music from Man Who Fell to Earth? I want my music both shiny and impractical, dammit!

  13. vanbraman

    You had me at bacon. I would like to have a nice little device that would spit out a couple slices of perfect bacon with little fuss and no cleanup. I guess you just need to do a little bit more work for something so good. When I make bacon now, I bake it in my convection oven.

    • It used to be a huge chore to track down certain documents, films, books, records and other stuff that just magically appears online now, but we haven’t figured out Instant Bacon? Where are our priorities?

  14. Well, we got the bacon thing. Just in a microwave instead. Without the aluminum. I buy pre-cooked bacon all the time, slap it between two papertowels, heat 30 seconds, and I have perfect (but rediculously thin) slices of bacon in almost no time with no mess.

    Always start with bacon. People can’t resist it and will be mesmerized by the remainder of the article.

  15. This is too funny. Thanks for the laugh. I will enjoy reading you in THE FUTURE. I have to wonder about all the grease fires in toasters caused by those bacon packets. Would they really be sealed??? Do we have flour in 1975 to put those fires out, if we are no longer baking bread to eat? The whole world may burn down if its’ only real food left is toaster bacon.

  16. Karen

    Super enjoyable post!

  17. segmation

    Awesome. I can’t stop laughing! Thanks for sharing.

  18. G3

    Oh my gosh! Just today I heard that because of the summer drought, we will have less bacon! JUST WHEN WE LEARN ABOUT TOASTED BACON!!! The universe continues to slap our faces!

    • It’s always wise to stock up on processed pork products during times of plenty – or have we learned NOTHING from Scripture?

      Come to think of it, I’ll have to double-check on the Scripture thing.

  19. If bacon toasters were in every household, there would be no international conflict. The disputes that couldn’t be settled with bacon could undoubtedly be resolved with vodka.

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed and thank you for sharing this amusing post with us.

    • The very lack of the existence of the bacon toaster itself is elegant and undeniable proof that the powers-that-be don’t WANT us to have world peace, eh? Just something the Bohemian Radio Institute is looking into – I’ll say no more yet.

      Thank you for the kudos. The Freshly Pressed distinction is a surprise, but a much-appreciated one.

  20. This is cool, man, thanks for posting.

  21. i love the article but i equally love the banter with the commenters. if blogging falls through, consider stand-up with a participating audience. no, just kidding. blogging/writing will never fall through for you. it won’t go the way of the bacon toaster. i have to say, tho, i’m salivating for a hi-fi sphere. (actually, it does appear to look forward to surround sound with the telescoping speakers, doesn’t it.) but, seriously, i must have a repressed and heretofore unnoticed sphere fetish because i’m REALLY wanting on that thing. not to mention how pleasing it is to the lips to say “hi-fi sphere”. it also made me think of that enormous globe hitler kept in his office at the reich chancellery. wouldn’t it be awesome if that thing were dissected and found to be a hi-fi sphere? that the third reich had developed it before we, uh, were to have, and hid it inside a globe? oh, clever clever nazis! ok, i’m way off topic.

  22. Brilliant – well deserved FP! Gotta love those antenna speakers. :)
    Cool blog!

  23. Strange you don’t have any future predictions for the typewriter. Who in 1961 imagined we would be transferring our thoughts via keyboard through a small word processing pad and sending them wirelessly through uber space to millions of people who are reading our thoughts on their own personal mind-meld tablets, phones, or PC’s?
    A thought provoking piece of history.

  24. Vetti

    The Hi Fi Sphere is all kinds of fabulous! Loivng your writing style, congrats on Freshly Pressed…

  25. This post was awesome and you should feel awesome. :D Really good stuff here.

  26. Jenny

    I just wrapped my bacon in aluminum foil and shoved it in my toaster. Disaster! Just kidding, I did not do this. You are a brilliant writer. Good stuff.

  27. Pingback: Bacon in a Toaster: A Future Too Awesome to Happen « paulcraven

  28. You’ve got a very nice and very interesting post! I enjoyed dropping by your blogs. Keep it coming! Very well written and well deserved to be on FP! Awesome!

  29. Did you read about how there will be a world-wide bacon shortage come 2014? Simply outrageous!

  30. fantastic post. gotta say, i do kind of want bacon in a toaster!

  31. Pingback: What Makes a Post Freshly Press-able: Bacon in a Toaster | The Daily Post at WordPress.com

  32. Pingback: A Conspiracy of Bacon: Strange Rumblings in Porklandia « Bohemian Radio

  33. Sheila G.

    Well Phillip, you and John Prine , living in the future …..

    Jehosaphat the mongrel cat
    Jumped off the roof today
    Some would say he fell but I could tell
    He did himself away
    His eyes weren’t bright like they were the night
    We played checkers on the train
    God Bless his soul he was a tootsie roll
    But he’s a dead cat just the same

    Chorus:
    We are living in the future
    I’ll tell you how I know
    I read it in the paper
    Fifteen years ago
    We’re all driving rocket ships
    And talking with our minds
    And wearing turquoise jewelry
    And standing in soup lines
    We are standing in soup lines

    Jake the barber’s lonely daughter
    Went down to her daddy’s shop
    She plugged herself to a barber pole
    And took a little off the top
    Pressure on the left. Pressure on the right
    Pressure in the middle of the hole
    I’m goin’ to Maine on a forty foot crane
    I’m gonna use it for a fishin’ pole

    Repeat Chorus

    Old Sarah Brown sells tickets down
    At the all night picture show
    Where they grind out sex
    And they rate it with an “X”
    Just to make a young man’s pants grow
    No tops no bottoms just hands and feet
    Screaming the posters out on the street
    Strangling the curious and the weak
    We give ‘em what they want to see – O

    Repeat Chorus

    Sadly there may be no bacon in the soup line soup, what with swine flu and all.

  34. jollof

    Reblogged this on The Crazy Nigerian and commented:
    You can thank me later…

  35. Reblogged this on Jeremy Truitt and commented:
    Bacon in a toaster?! This is a ridiculously awesome look at how much of The Jetson’s came true!

  36. elspethc

    Not only freshly pressed, but an example of how to be freshly pressed. Yes well done you never before met person. Future beckons to enjoy…

  37. Elle ⋅

    Reblogged this on Okay…Seriously Though? and commented:
    I think bacon in a toaster is probably the best idea ever. Hop on that bandwagon.

  38. Connie T

    I guess the toaster bacon was before the microwave. They do sell pre-cooked bacon, but that stuff tastes awful. They would be astounded by MP3 players and cell phones. There is a flying car it is ready to be sold soon. I don’t think I will buy one. Imagine flying your kid to school, you would probably have to land in the foot ball field.

  39. Pingback: Flea Market Reverie « Bluebird Blvd.

  40. Pingback: This is the Future « Nostalgyeah!

  41. finnpunk ⋅

    Reblogged this on Jake's Corner and commented:
    kiss my face-talking hole!

  42. newsy1

    Thanks for giving my day some much needed levity. I rarely laugh-out-loud at blogs but yours is an exception.

  43. doc3040

    I just yelled at my teen for reheating bacon in the toaster the other day, I was concerned about a grease fire.

  44. just putting it out there: baking bacon in the oven is the best way to retain the chewy consistency while maintaining a perfectly crisp crunch at the same time=its how those fancy resteraunts do it. dig the page tho, koodos

  45. Joyce

    What a great post! You’re in on one of my favorite activities: exploring and clowning on printed materials from 50 years ago. And congrats on your new-found fame!

  46. Amazing post and so true. This reminded me of H.G. Wells “When The Sleeper Wakes” which features a story of 19th century man who falls asleep and wakes in the 22nd. The most effective communication system was public announcement through large trumpet like speakers. Fortunately we have better systems.

    Continue on such amazing idiosyncrasies.

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