Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We Live in the Future

That's right - spray-on clothing is real.

This is so amazing to me, not because I'm in any big hurry to see fat people blobbing around town in literally skin-tight outfits, but because this is symbolically futuristic in the manner of flying cars and jetpacks. We don't have civilian space tourism yet (though it looks to be getting kind of close), we don't have a base on the Moon or Mars (and I'm not too optimistic that we will anytime soon), we haven't solved world hunger or achieved world peace, and I still can't fly to work. Plainly, the future is a huge let-down, at least if you compare it to the expectations set for us through Flash Gordon, The Jetsons, and similar entertainment of the mid-20th century.

But at last redemption is at hand. Sure, we're still driving around on old-fashioned wheels, sure our global economy swings on the whims of the privileged few and the winds of fear, and sure we have no robot servants doing our bidding, but at least we finally have spray-on clothes. Simply shake up your can of silly-string mixed with cotton and pssst - you've got a short to cover your nakedness.

Even better are the alternative applications, which seem to be nearly limitless. The scientist inventor in the video suggests spray-on bandages laced with antibiotics, analgesics, or other drugs could be applied quickly, and be assured of being completely sterile. But why stop there? Perhaps spray-on kevlar armor for police and soldiers, spray-on wall treatments for the adventurous decorator, or spray-on upholstery when you want to give your furniture a make-over. Want to go hang-gliding - you'll need to carry a metal framework and a canister of spray-polyester up to the top of that mountain.Need to give a presentation - carry your projection screen in a can, spray it out on the floor if necessary, and then hang it wherever.

The advantages of the spray over woven fabric seem to me considerable - it's hard to imagine them all. It's never the wrong size, for instance. It always fits perfectly (arguably a little too perfectly, granted). And it doesn't HAVE to be skin-tight. I have to presume that one of the common accessories will be some sort of bodysuit that people will wear when they want to spray-on their clothes, so that once removed the spray-clothes will fit more loosely. Which isn't to say that lots of people who shouldn't won't spray it right onto their flabby flesh.

But having to look at that sort of eye-watering display is a necessary evil - a small price to pay for living in the future.

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