Atlas, a humanoid robot made by Boston Dynamics (Reuters )
We often wonder which dystopic Hollywood vision of the future will come true. It turns out the answer is all of them.
Obviously climate change and income inequality will combine to create a stratified, atomized society of mostly miserable poverty and a tiny cloistered global elite, who will fortify themselves in high society fortresses while purchasing their slow-witted, increasingly inbred children spots at Harvard, Brown, Duke and Yale. That's baked into the cake. That's like: Duh—let me try to get in on that by marrying one of the Koch grandchildren who doesn't have inverted nipples and too bad of an overbite. See you on "Elysium."
Obviously the University of Utah just figured out that the Yellowstone super-volcano is even bigger than first suspected and possibly overdue for a "Guess We Should've Let the Native Americans Keep It" moment across all of North America. See you in the camper-van as John Cusack frantically tries to drive us away from pyroclastic fireballs.
Obviously we got ourselves widespread species die-offs: sea stars along the Pacific Coast, bottlenose dolphins off the Mid-Atlantic Coast, moose across North America, pilot whales off the Florida Keys, sea turtles on the Central American coast, bees all over the world. See you in, um, "The Happening," I guess? (The premise was that M. Night Shyamalan movies make every species want to kill itself, right?)
But the Hollywood dystopic vision I'm really jazzed about is the robot apocalypse, brought to you by Google, which just bought the robotics company Boston Dynamics. First of all, anyone who's seen "Fringe" knows any massive company from Boston with "dynamic" in the name means we're all doomed (for fun!).
Secondly, I dare you to watch YouTube videos of Atlas, a 6-foot, 330-pound "search and rescue" robot that in no way looks like it couldn't rip your arms off when you don't tell it where you've hidden the canned goods you stole from the Koch compound.
Then there's Wildcat and Cheetah, little beast-looking things that can run 16 mph and 28.3 mph, respectively. I could at least outrun Wildcat to the nearest tree. Cheetah would drag me to the ground and eat my testicles for daring to impugn M. Night Shyamalan films. (I'm assuming M. Night will own at least one Cheetah and use it for retribution; that's how dystopias work.)
Finally, there's Sand Flea, this 11-pound bugger that can somehow leap 30 feet into the air. This only makes me despondent and fearful as a reminder that I'll never be able to dunk.
In other words, the robot future is increasingly terrifying. Almost certainly James Cameron got it right. Or maybe the Cylons are already here, and largely in charge of the Obama presidency.
What's the silver lining to the coming robot apocalypse, you ask? Before they squish us in industrial grinders and use our jelly as industrial lubricant, we will all probably get to have sex with robots
Spy drones, search and rescue, self-driving cars, blahdy-blah-blah-blah. The only thing any of us is wondering after watching the trailer for "Her" is: How long till we get that ScarJo sexbot up and running?
Then we'll be good. Tough break, moose and sea stars.
RedEye special contributor Stephen Markley is the author of "The Great Dysmorphia" and "Publish This Book."
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.