The future is now, so grasp it Xxx

They say that some of the metal moulds for the original DeLorean cars now lie in the bottom of the sea off Connemara, having been bought in the bankruptcy sale as scrap by some fisherman who wanted to secure his lobster nets to the floor of the bay. Imagine that. The mould for the cars deemed the world’s sexiest, so much so that they could pass as contemporary in a movie that spammed three decades, used as scrap. Shiny enticements to lobsters on their last journey. And as those crustaceans walk slowly towards the cages that will transport them to the boiling waters of a posh eaterie, one hopes they tap those moulds and say, thanks for the memories. And if that urban myth is true, then today those moulds are unaware that the whole world is talking about them. For just one day. Unaware of the mayhem above the choppy waters that trap them there. They are the focus of international attention because of Marty McFly.

Yesterday was Back To The Future Day - that day in the 1980s movie when Marty and his mad prof took off on a journey to bring them three decades into October 2015. Many of the prophecies in that film have not come true. Thankfully. Self-lacing shoes would be just too much of a headwreck. Although the seemingly daft prediction at the time that society would in the main walk around in clothes designed for athletics has been prophetic. Most city centres look like Olympic villages now, such is the proliferation of sportsgear as regular wear. 

Back then when we thought of the future, we did so naively.  Talk of flying cars and holidays to the moon were oft spun about, but in reality life is the same humdrum it has always been. In essence we must always welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible.

So today I grabbed the copy of the Advertiser that came out three decades ago this week, and in reality it may as well have come from a different country. There was a letter from a man who was complaining that the F word was becoming ‘very common’ in Galway. That nearly half the population were using it, and he feared that if this was allowed to continue, there was a great fecking chance the other half would start using it too. 

Televisions with backsides on them the size of a small country were available to rent for £5 a week so whole families spent decades paying enough rent to buy them a hundred tellies, thinking they were saving money.

Margo and her band were playing in the Great Southern this week. Thirty years on, the young lad who had just joined her band was a star on Strictly Come Dancing. And the big act in Whispers was Dan The Street Singer. 

That same week, a scammer was ringing people in their homes in Roscahill telling them they had crashed into his car and he wanted cash, so even then technology was being used in criminality. Knock Airport was having its first flight, the nuns were leaving Calvary, and Connacht were beaten by Fiji in a friendly. Druid were looking for more money, the City Council was trying to buy houses to solve homelessness, and stray dogs could roam the streets without risk of being put to sleep.

The last 30 years have seen massive changes in Galway. But the last ten years have seen time stand still. Lifestyle now hasn’t changed much in the past decade.But for all our advancement and progression and smartphones, something has been lost.

In that very same paper in 1985, the Galway Samaritans reported that as many as 20 people a year in the city and county had taken their own lives. The figure now is a multiple of that — progression often brings emptiness, exclusion, and a sense of desolation.

This weekend, we feel the creep of time with the arrival of wintertime. Now it will be dark when we leave the house and when we get back. For some people, it will be dark all the time. This winter, never miss the opportunity to change the pace of time for someone else, by saying hello or I love you or can I help you with that. And don’t be wishing that it was the future.  Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.

Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.

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