PRINT September 2000


Rudi Gernreich

THE IRRESISTIBLE CONCEIT of Austin Powers is nostalgia for futurism. That is the endemic condition of the baby boomer. We are disappointed by the present's relationship to our past's future. The future was so wide open. We were poised to make science fiction fact. Born on the New Frontier, we now find ourselves ghettoized by our collective disappointments. We are not the Jetsons and never will be. The year 2001 has little chance of living up to the film. And though we landed on the moon thirty-two years ago—and still lose a robot on Mars occasionally—we are spacemen marooned on earth.

The future still looms large, but it is no longer wondrous and futuristic. Today the future, as constructed by the various gospels of Star Trek, Star Wars, and their descendants, is extremely retro. The starship is a gussied-up, doodad-clad submarine or aircraft carrier. The United Federation of

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