Time traveler from 1998 tells you about the future

overthetopHurumph! How did I get here? Man, my head is pounding. I can feel my brain rubbing against the inside of my skull. Where am I? Craig? Steve? Hey, you. Dude. Wait. You, guy. Lemme see those shades. What the…oh man. Dude. It’s finally happened…

I mean…uh….what a peculiar configuration! I can tell by the contour of the inferior nylon frames and outdated lens geometries that I am in the past, for sure. This is an obsolete model. I haven’t seen such an archaic pair of sun-shaded protective lenses since the year that I would call nineteen-hundred and eighty-nine. It appears I have definitely traveled backwards through the eddies of time itself, and not gone on another fortnight-long absinthe bender, as is the custom in my time. But, as we say in my time, NO FEAR, savages! Come, gather round my Mountain Equipment Co-op knapsack and allow me to regale you with factual and most righteous reports from your own future.

Before I begin, allow me to dispel any preconceived notions regarding my eyewear. Such cutting edge hingeless frame technology may shock you. Worry not. Rock a chill pill. (Do you guys have those here?) I mean it’s not like I’m from Mars, and there’s no way that I’m a stray member of some conquering Occidental militia, however hypermodern and aerodynamic I may appear. My name is Jordan Smalls and judging by the hazily familiar boulder topography on which we stand, I am a native Coloradan, just like you thr–catch you later, man–just like you two.

I can tell you that the world of the future is a strange and unfamiliar place. An underdog ice hockey club called the Detroit Red Wings swept the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup finals, and our President Clinton is denying a freebie beej. A truly radical new operating system has made computing easier than ever, and an enterprising rock band called Phish has reached the pinnacle in free-form live jamming, musically achieving something greater than all of us on a nightly basis. Craig and I caught them in California two weeks ago–I mean…many score moon from now–and the effect was truly sublime. Oh and you can’t smoke in bars in California anymore. Is that fucked or what?

The popularity of grunge music, something you will hear about in three or so years, has waned, leaving only tattered jeans, faded flannels and Silverchair cover bands in its wake. Mine is also a post-racial America, where the struggles of the Civil Rights movement have been rewarded by the unlikely fusion of rap and rock music and Martin Lawrence’s being a marquee name. Our tunes are bigger, shinier and our metal nüer than ever. America’s love affair with the circus arts has given a set of devil sticks to every able-bodied child, and something called El Niño is causing widespread global superstorms because of wicked hot tropical air or something. Some guy told me last week that we’ll all be dead within two years. Skiing is now called “snowboarding.”

I notice you are still studying my eyewear. And I assume you a sniggering at your own imperfect sun-shading technology. Don’t be shy. Please. Admire them. Study them. See, for example how my sunglasses clutch the upper cranium and anchor beneath the posterior occipital protuberance of the human skull. Notice how they challenge everything you thought you knew about sunglasses? See how they radicalize the space of the skull itself in a way unthought of since the dawn of the hat.

Take it all in, guys. I insist. If I am remembering the literature correctly, it is my presence in this, the past, that permits the reverse-engineering of the Plutonite® lens in the first place. Like in Terminator. You guys have Terminator, right? Yeah it’s pretty good but it’s no T2: Judgment–I’ve said too much.


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