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Cartoon Culture

1970s Cracked Magazine accurately predicted 2009

This post is slightly OT, as I am discussing print cartoons, not animated cartoons. I received several old issues of Cracked Magazine over the holidays and I couldn’t help noticing how one humor piece, predicting life in the 21st Century, was surprisingly accurate.

“Today’s Swinger is Tomorrow’s Square”, illustrated by John Severin, appeared in the 1974 annual Super Cracked (It was most likely a reprint from a 1970 issue). In it, the writer predicts that young people will embrace the “skinhead” look, home computers (“Electronic Home Teacher”) and even the ipod: as “electronic brain stimulators” and a “musical computers” that young people are hooked on.

It’s not a stretch to think Bill Gates read Cracked, though I’d like to think Steve Jobs was a Mad man. I couldn’t find a Cracked index online – is there a Cracked historian out there who knows what issue this piece originally appeared in? Click the thumbnails below to read the article at full size.

  • Wow, they got that smack on! Now, where can I get me one ‘o them jumpsuits?

  • Eddie Mort

    The first Skinheads actually appeared in England in 1968/69 as a reaction to Hippies and Flower Power, so Cracked was a little out of touch with that one

  • This is a pretty amazing find…

  • “1970s Cracked Magazine accurately predicted 2009”

    Best Cartoon Brew headline ever.

  • Nice… I had the original issue this was printed in as a kid. If I remember correctly it also had a bunch of iron on t-shirt transfers with various slogans and also letters to create your own.

  • Charlie

    What’s with the spelling of “potatoe” in the bottom corner of the second page? Don’t tell me Dan Quayle was right?

  • Karim

    Eddie Mort > Exactly, but how come he calls the two hippies “mod 60’s and 70’s” in comparison with the “roaring twenties”?
    Original mods would roll over in their graves… these kids are too bald and dressed like **** to be skins.

    John Severin must be a bitter hippy! *puke*

  • Tim

    Now look ahead to 2050, when the old geezers on the bench will be covered in tattoos and piercings, and the young’uns will all have un-marred skin.
    Those rebellious young punks! They think they’re too good for a little ink and a nipple ring!

  • I don’t think they’re actual “skinheads”… they’re probably a THX-1138 type of future person and that’s the lazy insult the oldsters use.

  • Where the Hell is my flying car, Dammit!

  • Charles H.

    That line about “exploiters” foisting noise upon the kids was alarmingly accurate….

  • Uncanny. That store selling “uni-style” clothing in the third image must be American Apparel.

    “Why do all the kids wear the same drab outfits?”

    The future rulz.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Too bad Cracked never predicted it’s downfall in the hands of incompetent, multi-ethnic investors.

    Great post anyway!

  • There’s a bunch of old Mad articles from the 60s and seventies that do a similar predictive thing… One spoofing the overpopulation of city streets, and how someday someone will invent a crazy car-elevator metal parking contraption so you can have MULTIPLE CARS FIT IN THE SAME SPACE by having them stack higher. And another riffing on the future of the airline industry, and how they would (horror!) ELIMINATE MEALS AND SERVICES to cut costs. There’s many more, but those are the first two examples that come to mind.

  • let’s all go out and celebrate!!!

  • Uncomfortably close in many ways…

  • Since I am currently in the process of indexing “Cracked” magazines for my upcoming book, I can safely say that the first appearance of this article was in “Cracked” #96, October 1971.

  • In Issue #191 (Nov. 1982), there is an iron-on on the inside of the back cover with a Rocky checklist on it. It goes from Rocky 1-6. Rocky 1, 2 & 3 are checked off. 4, 5 & 6 are blank. Bob Sproul, Pop Culture Psychic?

    Cracked, you know all!

  • I often wondered if I was the only grown man who was fascinated by old Cracked Magazines. I first started looking at Cracked Magazines when I was five years old (before I was taught to read). Today I have a huge collection that continues growing. I feel it is important to create a complete archive for future generations (I read the original Cracked archive was destroyed as a results of an anthrax scare). I would love a chance to socialize with other fans and cracked historians. I wish some one new how to obtain an autograph from Severin. I wish he would do an interview. I would be fascinated to learn information about its origins.