Wells? But surely he was a 19th century writer? What on earth could be relevant
to today in his prognostications? Well, he was incredibly prolific and popular
in his day and his books continue to inspire film-makers today. The War of the
Worlds was probably his most famous piece of fiction but The Time Machine rivals
it for popularity and the themes of his books are both innovative and timeless.
I caught a bit of the Spielberg 2005 remake of The War of the Worlds with Tom
Cruise the other night. A typical Spielberg take with Tom Cruise playing the
flawed everyman character that differed from his standard roles in that he was
annoying on purpose. The Time Machine movie starred Rod Taylor and was more
like Around the World in Eighty Days in approach.
The ‘50s version of The War of the Worlds was probably closer to the original
book in concept but so inept in the effects department as to be verging on campy.
But what I particularly liked about the 2005 version was the realisation of
the Martian ‘machines’ that I presume (only because I’ve forgotten)
owe something to the original text or indeed the Classic Comic evocation. Nothing
like them has stomped through the sci-fi genre before or since - they make all
the Star Wars’ franchise war machines pale into feeble insignificance,
to my mind at least.
Like all predictors of the future Wells was unable to anticipate the uptake
of inventions like the mobile phone but he was convinced that rail held the
key to the growth of modern super-cities. Quite rightly too – nothing
has superseded the rail system as the basis for building an efficient metropolis,
although it has to be said that Australia’s lagging behind the rest of
the civilised world in this area.
No more so than in Victoria where it seems political parties of all persuasions
have cosied up to the monopoly that controls Melbourne Airport’s parking
debacle. The kick-backs must be prodigious as every polly questioned on the
problem gushes out multiple arguments against changing the status quo in Turnbull-like
What a disgrace! I feel embarrassed every time I arrive back in Melbourne and
see the hapless first-time visitors vainly trying to make sense of Tullamarine’s
every-man-for-himself transport ‘arrangements’.
As I seem to remember my bro’ mentioning in the past, the authorities
have happily offered to put a rail link to Avalon, but who catches a plane there
and what is Avalon all about anyway?
No, I’m almost tempted to throw my hat in the ring to front a single issue
party (the Fuck You! party) and make the airport car park into something useful,
mainly a thing of the past. To the barricades fellow Melburnite Miserables –
we shall make them regret condemning us to $180.00 plus fares in smelly taxi
cabs or standing in an overcrowded shuttle bus while trying to hold on to our
luggage or having friends arrive to pick us up and drive endlessly around the
airport when we’re delayed of getting charged a fortune to spend a few
minutes in the short-term parking.
And why not a Very Fast Train (not even particularly aspirational compared to
a Bullet Train) to go interstate while we’re at it? I can feel knives
being sharpened as I think of the possibilities. Hold on, there’s somebody
at the door..