Transcript: Imprint season 12 episode 21 | Feb 21, 2001

Tina Srebotnjak stands in a studio with pieces of art in red and orange hanging in the background.
She’s in her late thirties, with short chestnut hair and bangs. She’s wearing glasses and a gray blazer.

Tina says GOOD EVENING.
I'M TINA SREBOTNJAK.
TONIGHT ON “IMPRINT,” THE
THRILL OF THE SCARE.

In a clip, a man in his thirties says YOU CAN READ SOMETHING
THAT SCARES YOU OUT OF YOUR
PANTS AND YOU CAN CLOSE THE
BOOK.
PUT IT ON YOUR NIGHT TABLE AND
HAVE A GOOD NIGHT'S REST.

Pictures of horror books flash by.

Tina says BOOKS THAT TERRIFY.
HORROR READER AND WRITERS
EXPLAIN THE ATTRACTION.

A woman in her late thirties says IT'S VISCERAL.
IT'S PURELY SENSATION AND IT
GOES AWAY LIKE THAT.

A man in his forties says YOU LIKE TO HAVE A GOOD LAUGH.
YOU LIKE TO HAVE A GOOD SCARE.
YOU LIKE TO GET A GOOD CRY.
OUT OF THOSE THINGS ARE
NECESSARY TO THE HUMAN
CONDITION.
AND HORROR CAN GIVE THAT TO YOU
SAFELY.

Now a book appears on screen titled “The history of the future.”

Tina says THE HISTORY OF THE
FUTURE, A BOOK ABOUT
PREDICTIONS AND PROPHETS.
HOW OFTEN DO THE EXPERTS GET IT RIGHT?

In an interview, a man in his late fifties says THEY GOT SOME THINGS RIGHT.
THEY GOT VIAGRA AND PROZAC RIGHT.
THEY GOT, UM, THEY GOT PERSONAL
COMPUTERS.
THEY GOT THE WORLD'S POPULATION
RIGHT.
BUT THEY GOT MANY MORE THINGS WRONG.

Now a clip shows a young man typing on a computer.

Tina says AND HOW DO WRITER'S
FEEL ABOUT THEIR COMPUTERS?
IT DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ASK.

A woman in her thirties says COMPUTERS ARE FREAKY.
AND I THINK THAT THEY CAN TAKE
ON THE PERSONALITY A LITTLE BIT
OF PERSON WHO'S WORKING ON THEM.

A woman in her fifties says OH, MY COMPUTER.
I HATE COMPUTERS.

Theme music plays as the opening sequence rolls.
Fast clips show books and maps in hues of orange and red.

Back in the studio, Tina says IT'S AN ENDURING
MYSTERY TO ME WHY PEOPLE GO TO
MOVIES THEY KNOW WILL SCARE
THEM OUT OF THEIR WITS.
THERE YOU ARE, HEART POUNDING
AND WHITE KNUCKLED, AFRAID TO
LOOK AT THE SCREEN AND AFRAID
NOT TO IN CASE YOU MISS
SOMETHING.
WELL, DON'T BLAME HOLLYWOOD.
IT WAS WRITERS, NOT FILMMAKERS,
WHO FIRST DISCOVERED HOW MUCH
WE LOVE BEING FRIGHTENED.
HERE IS A LOOK AT HORROR AND AN
EVOLVING CRAFT WITH A DEVOTED
FOLLOWING.

(music plays)

Fast clips in black and white flash by.

A woman in her twenties says BLOOD, GUTS, SCARY, GHOSTS.

Another woman, in her thirties, says IT'S YOUR HEART RACING.

A man in his forties says THE HAIR STANDS UP ON THE
BACK OF YOUR NECK.

A woman in her late fifties says WE WERE BORN, WE LIVE AND WE DIE.

Now a clip from a horror movie plays.

A woman in her fifties walks up to a door looking distraught.

The door swings open and a macabre male voice says WHEN AN EXCELLENT DATE FOR AN EXORCISM.

The woman races away SCREAMING.

Extremely fast clips show furniture rattling, a body levitating, and a monstrous creature standing on a rooftop.

The man in his forties seen before reappears with the caption “Edo van Belkom. Horror Writer.”
Edo has short brown hair and a goatee.

He says
PEOPLE LIKE A GOOD SCARE.
IT'S ALMOST LIKE GOING TO THE
THEATER AND SEEING A COMEDY.
YOU LIKE TO HAVE A GOOD LAUGH.
YOU LIKE TO HAVE A GOOD SCARE.
YOU LIKE TO GET A GOOD CRY.
ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE
NECESSARY TO THE HUMAN
CONDITION.
AND HORROR CAN GIVE THAT TO YOU
SAFELY.

The caption changes to "Shelley White. Horror Fan."
Shelley is in her thirties, with long straight auburn hair and bangs.

She says HORROR FOR ME I THINK IS A TRIP.
IT'S A TRIP TO ANOTHER WORLD.
IT'S A TRIP TO A PLACE THAT
DOESN'T EXIST.
THAT ISN'T REAL FOR ME.
THAT-- THAT, UM, THAT REALLY
DOESN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO
WITH ME.
IT'S FUN.
IT'S FANTASY.
HORROR IS, UM, IS A PRICKL IN
THE BACK OF YOUR NECK.
IT'S, UM, IT'S FEELING A BIT
CREEPED OUT BY THE SOUND YOU
HEARD DOWN THE HALL.
IT'S, UM, IT'S-- IT'S-- IT'S
VICER APPLE.
IT'S PURELY SENSATION.
IT GOES AWAY LIKE THAT.

The caption changes to "Kristin Nilsen. Horror Fan."
Kristin is in her late twenties, with long wavy blond hair.

She says IT'S THE ADVENTURE OF
PRETENDING YOU'RE IN THAT SPOT.
I MEAN, EVERYBODY LIKES TO GO
ELSEWHERE IN THEIR LIFE.
JUST TO GET AWAY FROM THE
HUM-DRUM OF EVERY DAY AND DO
SOMETHING EXCITING.

Edo says YOU CAN READ SOMETHING THAT
SCARES YOU OUT OF YOUR PANTS
AND YOU CAN CLOSE THE BOOK.
PUT IT ON YOUR NIGHT TABLE AND
HAVE-- AND HAVE A GOOD NIGHT'S
REST.

Shelley says MAYBE IT'S SOMETHING IN THE
HUMAN NATURE.
I MEAN THE WHOLE DEATH AND SEX
THING.
TO A CERTAIN EXTENT, THE THINGS
THAT GO ALONG WITH SEX, BEING
EXCITED AND YOUR HEART POUNDING
AND YOUR MIND RACING IS THE
SAME KIND OF SENSATION YOU GET
WHEN YOU'RE AFRAID.

The caption changes to "Nancy Kirlpatrick. Horror Writer."
Nancy is in her late fifties, with shoulder-length red hair.

She says A HORROR IS AN EMOTION AND
IT'S ONE THAT WE ALL LIVE WITH
ALL THE TIME.
SO-- SO I TEND TO BE VERY
INTERESTED IN THE SIDE OF LIFE
THAT'S NOT SO OBVIOUS, THAT'S
NOT OUT FRONT.
YOU KNOW?
UM, THERE'S ENOUGH PEOPLE
WALKING AROUND IN THE DAYLIGHT
EXPLORING THE DAYLIGHT.
BUT THERE'S VERY FEW THAT ARE
ACTUALLY I AM BEDDED INTO THE
NIGHTTIME TO SEE WHAT IS HIDDEN
IN THE DARKNESS.
AND-- IMBEDDED INTO THE
NIGHTTIME TO SEE WHAT IS HIDDEN
IN THE DARKNESS.
I SPEAK NOT JUST EMOTIONALLY OR
PHYSICALLY BUT SPIRITUALLY.
IT'S A CULTURE THAT TENDS TO
AVOID DARKNESS.

Several horror books flash by on screen.

Edo says WHEN PEOPLE SAY “I DON'T
LIKE HORROR” I SAY WHAT KIND
DON'T YOU LIKE, BECAUSE THERE'S
SEXUAL HORROR AND DARK FANTASY
AND PSYCHO HORROR.
THERE'S A SPECTRUM OF HORROR.
PEOPLE DON'T ENJOY IT.
THEY MIGHT ENJOY IT, BUT DOAN
RECOGNIZE IT AS HORROR PER SAY.

The caption changes to "Alberto Manguel. Literary Critic."
Alberto is in his late forties, with short brown hair and a trimmed beard.

He says THE HORROR STORY HAS A VERY--
BUT DON'T RECOGNIZE IT AS
HORROR PER SAY.
THE HORROR STORY HAS A VERY
LONG TRADITION.
IT BECOMES IN THE ANGELO SACS
ON LITERATURE OF THE 19TH
CENTURY.
SO-- ANGLO-SAXON LITERATURE OF
THE 19TH CENTURY.
SO YOU HAVE “FRANKENSTEIN” AND
“DRACULA” THAT ARE CREATED AT A
CERTAIN MOMENT WITHIN THE
LITERATURE IN ENGLISH.
“THE INVISIBLE MAN.”
THESE ARE-- THESE ARE FIGURES
THAT-- THAT HAVE BECOME, NOT
LIKE SO MUCH OF THE CHARACTERS
THAT HAVE EVOLVED NOW IN OUR
TIME, VERY, UM, VERY PROFOUND
FIGURES THAT-- THAT HAVE
MYTHICAL RESIDENCES.
THAT SEEM TO HAVE BELONGED TO US
FOREVER.
UM, AND I DON'T THINK THAT--
THAT WE CAN IMAGINE OUR SOCIETY
WITHOUT THE IMAGE OF
FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER HOVERING
ABOVE US, WITHOUT DRACULA
LURKING IN THE SHADOWS.
WITHOUT THE THREAT OF THE
INVISIBLE MAN SOMEWHERE OUT THERE.

Edo says YOU THINK OF, UM, OF FRANK
STEIN AND DRACULA BEING THE
CLASSIC SEMINAL WORKS OF
HORROR.
THEY WEREN'T CONSIDERED AS SUCH
N RECENTLY, UNTIL WE HAD TO
CLASSIFY AND PUT HORROR INTO A
GENRE.

A clip from a very old movie depicting Dracula plays.

Shelley says “DRACULA” WAS ONE OF THE
FIRST HORROR BOOKS THAT BECAME
A HUGE, HUGE BESTSELLER.
AND IN THOSE DAYS, UM, A LOT OF
PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT IT WAS
BASED ON THE FACT THAT PEOPLE
ARE AFRAID OF PROSTITUTE
SPREADING SYPHILLIS.
PEOPLE SPREADING VENERAL
DISEASE.

A clip from an old movie shows Dr. Frankenstein’s monster.

Nancy says “FRANKENSTEIN” IS SO GOOD.
GREAT THAT IT'S WRITTEN BY A
WOMAN.
SUCH A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE.
BUT VERY HUMAN.
MONSTER IS VERY, VERY HUMAN.
NOT BY THE MOVIES.
WHEN YOU READ THE BOOK, YOU'RE
TOUCHED BY, YOU CARE ABOUT THIS
BEING THAT IS LIKE ALL OF US,
IS HERE ON THIS EARTH AND
DOESN'T KNOW WHY OR HOW AND HAS
A MILLION QUESTIONS AND CAN'T
SEEM TO FIND THEIR WAY.
IN THAT STORY, THE CREATURE IS
DOING THINGS THAT ARE AWFUL TO
HUMAN BEINGS, MURDERS, DOESN'T
REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT'S WHAT
BECAUSE HE CAN'T GET A GRIP ON
HIS EMOTIONS.
I THINK WE CAN ALL REALITY TO
THAT.

Alberto says THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN HORROR AND MYSTERY,
THAT WAS POINTED OUT BY ONE OF
THE AUTHORS OF THE FIRST GOTHIC
NOVELS AND IT'S AN IMPORTANT
DISDISTINCTION.
SHE SPEAKS ABOUT THE EMOTION
THAT OPENS UP YOUR SENSES THAT
THROUGH-- THAT THROUGH THE
TERRIBLE IMAGE REVEALS TO YOU
SOMETHING ABOUT-- ABOUT THAT
WHICH LIES BEYOND THE SENSES
AND-- AND CANNOT SIMPLY BE
GRASPED THROUGH-- THROUGH, UM,
THROUGH A LOGICAL PROCESS.
ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU HAVE THE
EMOTION THAT SIMPLY FREEZES,
CONSTRICTS YOU, JUST SIMPLY
HITS YOU AS-- AS A BLOW TO THE
HEART OR THE HEAD OR THE GUT.
IT'S NOTHING MORE THAN THAT.
HORROR FILMS HAVE-- HAVE USED
THIS DEVICE, WHEN YOU'RE NOT
INTELLIGENT ENOUGH AS A FILM
DIRECTOR TO-- TO, UM, TO
PRODUCE, UM, AN EXTENDED AND
PROFOUND, UM, IMAGE OF HORROR,
UM, HITCHCOCK, FOR INSTANCE,
THEN WHAT YOU DO IS YOU SIMPLY
SPLATTER BLOOD.
AND, OF COURSE, AS SOON AS YOU
SPLATTER BLOOD, YOU GO LIKE
THIS, BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO
BE, UM, SPLATTERED BY THE
BLOOD.
YOU'RE HORRIFIED BY THE WOUND,
ET CETERA.

A clip from a movie plays, captioned “Theatre of blood.”
A woman wakes up in a bed with a man. The white sheets are drenched in blood.
She looks terrified and shakes the man’s body. The man’s head falls off and hits the floor.

The woman yells in horror and weeps.

Nancy says ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IS MOVIES.
BECAUSE MOVIES HAVE PUT OUT A
LOT OF SCHLOCK AND SLASHER
STUFF.
ALL OF THAT TENDS TO MAKE THE
PUBLIC, IN GENERAL, THINK OF
THINGS IN A CERTAIN LIGHT.
YOU KNOW, CLASSIFY EVERYTHING
AS, YOU KNOW, THAT'S THAT
SLASHER STUFF WITH ALL THE
BLOOD.
A LOT OF HORROR WRITING IS NOT
THAT.
I MEAN, A LOT IT IS
PSYCHOLOGICAL.
A LOT OF IT IS REALLY DELVING
INTO THE DARK END OF-- END OF
HUMAN NATURE.
IT'S NOT SO MUCH BLOOD AND
GUTS.

Now a clip of another movie plays, with the caption “The Exorcist: based on the novel by William Peter Blatty.”

A distressed woman in her fifties walks up to a man seen from behind and says I'M TELLING YOU THAT THAT
THING UPSTAIRS ISN'T MY DAUGHTER.
NOW, I WANT YOU TO TELL-- TO
TELL ME THAT YOU KNOW FOR A
FACT THAT THERE'S NOTHING WRONG
WITH MY DAUGHTER EXCEPT IN HER
MIND!
YOU TELL ME YOU KNOW FOR A FACT
THAT AN EXORCISM WOULDN'T DO
ANY GOOD.
YOU TELL ME THAT!

Shelley says STEPHEN KING HAS A REALLY
GOOD WAY OF MAKING THE MUNDANE
FRIGHTENING.
HAS THE DOG DOWN THE ROAD
BECOMES CUJO.
THE ENTHUSIASTIC MAN BECOMES
PSYCHO IN MYSTERY.
THE FLU BECOMES A PLAGUE IN
“THE STAND.”
SO YEAH, MAYBE YOU'RE RIGHT--
NOWADAYS WE DO FEAR THE MUNDANE
AND WE FEAR THINGS THAT ARE VERY
SAFE FOR US, AND I LIKE TO PLAY
ON THAT EDGE.

Edo says HORROR AS A PUBLISHING GENRE
BECAME POPULAR IN THE '70'S
WITH THE SUCCESS OF STEPHEN
KING.
EVERY MAJOR PUBLISHING HOUSE
SUDDENLY HAD A HORROR LINE.
THERE WAS-- THEY WERE
RESPONSIBLE FOR PUBLISHING TWO,
THREE, SOMETIMES FOUR HORROR
TITLES A MONTH.
SO THROUGH THE '70'S, THERE WAS
A BOOM PERIOD.
AND THE '80'S.
IT SORT OF TAPERED OFF IN THE
MID-'80'S TOWARDS THE END OF
THE '09'S, BECAUSE READER WERE
GETTING DISSATISFIED AND
SAYING, YOU KNOW, THERE'S TOO
MUCH-- AND THE '90'S, BECAUSE
READER WERE DISSATISFIED AND
SAYING, YOU KNOW, THERE'S TOO
MUCH CRAP, WHICH THERE WAS.
AND THEY DIED OFF.
AND PUBLISHERS WOULDN'T PUT
HORROR ON THE SPINE.
DARK FANTASY, THRILLER,
ADVENTURE, FANTASY.
ANYTHING TO GET AWAY FROM
LABELING IT HORROR.
BUT NOW, WE'VE HAD HAD A
MOURNING PERIOD.
AND NOW IT SEEMS TO BE, UM,
RESURRECTED.
COMING BACK TO LIFE.

A black and white clip from another movie plays, with the caption “Night of the living dead.”
(creepy music plays)
A male zombie chases a young woman in a graveyard. She falls to the ground.

Edo continues
THE GROSS OUT IS-- IS A STAPLE
OF THE HORROR GENRE.
EVEN STEPHEN KING SAYS WHEN HE
RUNS OUT OF IDEAS, HE GOES FOR
THE GROSS OUT.
AND, IN FACT, AT EVERY WORLD
HORROR CONVENTION EACH YEAR,
THERE IS A GROSS-OUT CONTEST,
WHERE WRITERS GET UP THERE AND
READ A THREE-MINUTE PASSAGE,
THE GROSSEST THEY CAN COME UP
WITH, AND TRY TO-- TO GROSS-OUT
THE AUDIENCE.
IT GETS PRETTY INTENSE.
IT-- IT STOMACHS GET TURNED,
CERTAINLY.

Nancy says THERE IS A CANADIAN HORROR.
IT'S A-- IT'S DIFFERENT, YOU
KNOW?
IT'S GOT A LOT TO DO WITH THE
WOODS AND ICE AND SNOW.

Edo says THIS IS CAN LIT.
IT'S WRITTEN BY CANADIANS.
AND IT IS-- IT'S SET IN CANADA
SO IT'S CAN LIT.
JUST AS MUCH AS MARGARET ATWOOD
AND ANYBODY ELSE'S WORK IS
CONSIDERED CAN LIT.
THIS IS ALSO CAN LIT.

Shelley says I'M TOTALLY EMBARRASSED BY IT.
WHEN I'M ON THE SUBWAY I READ
MY BOOKS BUT PUT THE TITLE, YOU
KNOW, THE FRONT-- THE COVER
DOWN SO THAT PEOPLE CAN'T SEE
WHAT I'M READING.
BECAUSE IT HAS THAT CONNOTATION
OF BEING TRASH.

Nancy says PEOPLE WANT TO EXPERIENCE
HOW TO LIVE AND HOW TO DIE.
AND THAT'S I THINK WHY THEY
READ IT.

Edo says HORROR IS A SAFE OUTLET.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE THE--
THE MIND TO EXPERIENCE IT.

A clip plays from the iconic movie “The silence of the lambs.”

The Hannibal Lecter, in his fifties, addresses a man in his forties and says I MUST CONFESS TO YOU THAT
I'M GIVING VERY SERIOUS
THOUGHT... TO EATING YOUR WIFE.

(music plays)

Back in the studio, Tina shows several books and says “BE AFRAID, TALES OF
HORROR” IS PUBLISHED BY TUNDRA
BOOKS.
“THE VAIM PYRE STORIES” OF
NANCY KILPATRICK IS FROM MOSAIC
PRESS.
AND IF YOU NEED MORE, TRY .”
“NORTHERN HORROR” FROM QUARRY
PRESS.
NEXT UP, PREDICTING THE FUTURE.
NO EASY TASK ACCORDING TO A NEW BOOK.
AND LATER, HOW
WRITERS REALLY FEEL ABOUT THEIR COMPUTERS.
THE ENDS OF THE
WORLD HAS BEEN PREDICTED
COUNTLESS TIMES.
YET WE'RE STILL HERE.
NO GLOBAL NUCLEAR WAR, NO
KILLER ASTEROIDS, NO WORLD
EPIDEMIC HAS YET GOTTEN THE
BEST OF US.

She shows a book and says
THIS BOOK “THE HISTORY OF THE
FUTURE,” LOOKS AT ALL THE
PREDICTIONS MADE OVER THE YEARS
AND FINDS THAT MOST OF THEM
WERE, WELL, JUST PLAIN WRONG.
I TALKED TO THE BOOK'S AUTHOR
DAVID WILSON.

Now a clip plays of Tina interviewing the author.

She says DAVID WILSON, WELCOME TO “IMPRINT.”

David says THANK YOU.

Tina says NOW, YOU SAY IN YOUR
BOOK, AND IT'S-- THERE'S
EVIDENCE ALL THROUGH IT THAT WE
AS A SOCIETY ARE OBSESSED WITH
FORTUNE TELLING AND ALWAYS HAVE
BEEN.
WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS IN THE
FUTURE.
WHY IS THAT DO YOU SUPPOSE?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "David Wilson. The History of the Future."
David is in his late fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair.

He says WELL, I THINK THERE ARE A
COUPLE OF REASONS.
FIRST OF ALL, THE FUTURE IS--
IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO US.
WE OFTEN THINK TO THE WAY IN
WHICH THE PAST INFLUENCES THE
PARENTHESIS.
BUT I THINK WE PAY LESS
ATTENTION TO THE WAY IN WHICH
THE FUTURE, THE IMAGINED FUTURE
OR THE EXPECTED FUTURE
INFLUENCES THE PRESENT.
WITHOUT A SENSE OF WHAT IS
COMING, WE WOULD BE COMPLETELY
IN THE DARK.
UM, WE FIND THAT OUR ANGLES
ARE-- ARE STRONGLY INFLUENCED
BY WHAT WE THINK IS GOING TO
HAPPEN.
WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO HAVE SOME
SENSE OF CONTROL OVER OUR
DESIGN HIS.
UM, AND ULTIMATELY THE FUTURE
IS-- IS-- OUR OUR-- OVER OUR
DESTINIES.
AND, ULTIMATELY THE FUTURE IS
UNKNOWABLE.
AND THERE'S A URGENT NEED OF
SOME DEGREE OF CONTROL AND SOME
DEGREE OF SECURITY AND THE
ULTIMATE UNKNOWABLE TO THE
FUTURE.
IN THE END OF THAT GAP COME A
VARIETY OF PROPHETS.
ASTROLOGERS.
AND OTHERS TO GIVE US A SENSE
WHAT HAVE THEY BELIEVE IS TO
COME.

Tina says AND YET THE FACT THAT
MOST PEOPLE ARE WRONG DOESN'T
SEEM TO STEM THE TIDE.
PEOPLE STILL GO ON TRYING TO
PREDICT THE FUTURE.
WHY IS THAT?

David says INDEED DEED, MOST PEOPLE ARE
WRONG.
ABOUT TWO THIRDS OF SCIENTIFIC
PREDICTIONS BETWEEN 1945 AND
1980 DID NOT TURN OUT TO BE
TRUE.
VIRTUALLY, UM, ALL THE
RELIGIOUS PROPHECIES, EXCEPT
FOR THE VAGUEST ONES, THERE
WILL BE DISEASE AND FAMINE,
HAVE TURN OUT TO BE WRONG.
BUT IN A SENSE, THAT DOESN'T
MATTER.
BECAUSE PREDICTIONS AND
PROPHECIES ARE REFLECTIONS OF
THE CHANGING HOPES AND FEARS
AND ASPIRATIONS AND DREAMS OF
PEOPLE IN THE SOCIETY WHICH
PRODUCED THEM.

Tina says SO LET'S TALK ABOUT
CHRISTIANITY, SPECIFICALLY.
AND OBVIOUSLY A LARGE PART OF
THE PREDICTIONSS IN THOSE YEARS
HAD TO DO WITH CHRISTIANITY,
SPECIFICALLY THE SECOND COMING.
PEOPLE WERE CONVINCED THAT THE
SECOND COMING WAS GOING TO
HAPPEN.
AND THERE WAS A LOT OF TIME
SPENT, PEOPLE WHO FELT THAT
THEY WERE EITHER CHRIST
THEMSELVES OR WERE IN DIRECT
COMMUNION WITH GOD.
TELL ME SOME OF THESE STORIES.

David says THERE'S A WIDE VARIETY OF,
UM, OF ASPECTS TO THIS.
YOU GET VERY SOPHISTICATED
RELIGIOUS THINKERS.
YOU ALSO GOT, UM, POPULAR
CHARISMATIC PREACHERS WHO CLAIM
TO BE THE MESSIAH.
AMONG THEM, PEOPLE LIKE THE
MASTER OF HUNGARY , WHO WASN'T
ACTUALLY FROM HUNGARY.
HE WAS A 13TH CENTURY MAVERICK
MONK FROM FRANCE WHO WENT
AROUND WITH WHAT HE SAID WAS A
HANDWRITTEN LETTER FROM THE
VIRGIN MARY, AUTHORIZING HIM
TO GO ON A CRUSADE AND LINT THE
WORLD FROM THE INFIDELS AND
PEAF THE WAY FOR THE SECOND
COMING.
AND HE HAD A NASTY HABIT OF
KILLING ANYONE WHO CHALLENGED
HIM.
IT WAS VERY, VERY INTERESTING
BECAUSE IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE
TO CHECK THE HANDWRITING OF THE
VIRGIN MARY.
SO IT'S QUITE CLEAVER.
OR YOU GET SOMEONE, IF YOU GO
FURTHER INTO THE FUTURE, INTO
LONDON, DURING THE, UM, LATE
16TH CENTURY, IN THE ELIZA
ELIZABETHAN PERIOD, A MAN BY
THE NAME OF WILLIAM HACKETT HAD
A VERY POPULAR FOLLOWING AMONG
YOUNG BOYS AND MEAGER SORT OF
PEOPLE.
HE BELIEVED THAT-- THAT HE WAS
CHRIST.
UM, AND HE HAD A VERY NASTY
HABIT OF BITING THE NOSES OF
THE PEOPLE WHO CHALLENGED HIM.
NOT ONLY THAT, BUT EATING THEM
AS WELL.

Tina says OH!

David says WHICH MARKS A SIGNIFICANT
CHANGE OVER THE CHRISTIAN
INJUNCTION TO TURN THE OTHER
CHEEK.

Tina says SO DO YOU THINK THAT
THESE PEOPLE WERE JUST
charlatans, TRUE AND SIMPLE.
OR DID THEY BELIEVE?
ASIDE FROM THE LETTER OF VIRGIN
MARY ASIDE.
BUT DO YOU THINK THESE PEOPLE
BELIEVED THAT THEY HAD A
SPECIAL MESSAGE AND A SPECIAL
MISSION?

David says YOU GET BOTH.
A EXAMPLE OF A charlatan WOULD
BE THE MOTHER SHIPTON
PROPHECIES.
SHE WAS APPARENTLY A PROPHETESS
WHO LIVED IN YORK IN THE IS 6TH
CENTURY.
AND IN 1682, HER PROPHECIES
WERE PUBLISHED.
SHE HAD HAD A REMARKABLE IMPACT
BECAUSE SHE GOT BALLOONS AND
SHE GOT THE DISCOVERY OF THE
NEW WORLD AND GOLD.
SHE GOT RAILWAYS.
UM, AND SHE GOT, UM, THE
TELEGRAPH.
IT SEEMED INCREDIBLE.
INDEED IT WAS INCREDIBLE.
UM, BECAUSE THE WHOLE THING WAS
MADE UP BY AN ENTERPRISING
SCOUNDREL BY THE NAME OF CHARLES
HINDLEY WHO DID IT TO MAKE
MONEY.
SO THEY WERE--

Tina says SO THEY WEREN'T 15TH
CENTURY PREDICTIONS AT ALL, THEN?

David says THEY WEREN'T AT ALL.
THEY WERE ALL invented.
THERE'S NO PROF THAT MOTHER
SHIPTON EXISTED.

Tina says MOST OF THE PROPHETS
ARE MEN.
BUT THERE ARE A FEW WOMEN THAT
SHOW UP.
TELL ME ABOUT THE CULT OF G
GUGLIAMATA?

David says THE CULT OF GUGLIAMATA IS
CENTRED IN JAPAN.
IT SAYS THE AGE OF THE SPIRIT
WILL BE THE AGE OF WOMEN.
THIS ISN'T THE AGE OF FEMALE
EQUALITY BUT AN AGE OF FEMALE
SUPERIORITY.
ALL THE BISHOPS AND ALL THE
PRIESTS AND INDEED THE POPE
WILL BE WOMEN.
AND-- AND THE-- BECAUSE WOMEN
ARE CLOSER TO GOD IN
GUGLIAMATA'S VIEW, THEY'LL BE
THE ONES THAT WILL PRESIDE OVER
THE AGE OF THE SPIRIT.
THEN SHORTLY AFTERWARDS COMES
ANOTHER FASCINATING ONE, THE
PROWESS BENETA FROM SA PALT
PALTIER.
SHE ARGUED THAT EVE SHALL BE
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FALL.
SO ANOTHER WOMAN WAS GOING TO
BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE-- FOR
THE AGE OF THE SPIRIT, FOR THE
SALVATION OF HUMANKIND.
SO-- SO, UM, SO YOU GET AN
INVERSION OF TRADITIONAL GENDER
ROLES.
THIS I SHOULD ADD, UM, IS
CRUCIAL TO AN UNDERSTANDING
OF-- OF, UM, OF WOMEN'S PLACE
IN THE PROPHETIC TRADITION THAT
WOMEN THROUGH PROPHECIZING
ACQUIRE A VOICE AND AN AUDIENCE
THAT WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE BEEN
INCONCEIVABLE.

Tina says NOW, ONE OF THE MOST
INTERESTING CHAPTERS IN THE
BOOKS HAS TO DO WITH REVOLUTION
AND YOU SAY AT ONE POINT THAT
REVOLUTION MEETS REVELATION AND
THE TWO BECOME JOINED.
I THINK SPECIFICALLY WITH THE
FRENCH REVOLUTION AND THE
AMERICAN REVOLUTION.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

David says ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE
FIND IS THAT DURING THE EARLY
MODERN PERIOD, UM, THERE'S A
GRADUAL TRANSITION FROM
RELIGIOUS VIEWS OF THE FUTURE TO
SECULAR VIEWS OF THE FUTURE.
IF WE GO BACK TO 1775, UM,
AMERICA AND BRITAIN ARE AT WAR,
BUT NO ONE'S REALLY SURE WHAT
THIS WAR MEANS OR WHERE IT'S
GOING.
A MINISTER BY THE NAME OF
EBENEZER BALDWIN DELIVERS A
SERMON IN DAN BURY,
CONNECTICUT.
HE SAYS THAT THE WORLD IS
LIKELY TO END IN THE YEAR 2000.
BY THAT TIME, THE OLD WORLD,
PARTICULARLY BRITAIN, WILL BE
UP TO ITS NECK IN CORRUPTION,
LUXURY, DEGRADATION AND VICE.
WHERE WOULD CHRIST RETURN?
ON EARTH?
WELL, CLEARLY HE WOULD NOT GO
BACK TO BRITAIN.
UM, SO-- SO IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT
HE WOULD RETURN TO AMERICA.
AND SO HE SAID THAT THE PRESENT
SCENES ARE REMOTELY PREPARING
THE WAY FOR THAT GLORIOUS DAY,
WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE
YEAR 2000.
SO THE REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT
WAS GIVEN A SENSE OF MEANING
AND DIRECTION THROUGH THE BOOK
OF REVELATION.

Tina says A SENSE OF MISSION.
THAT AMERICA WAS THERE AS THIS
BEACON FOR THE SECOND COMING.
WELL, I GUESS IT DIDN'T HAPPEN
SINCE WE'VE PAST THE YEAR 2000.
AS WE MOVE ON TO MORE MODERN
TIMES, I WAS STRUCK BY WHAT YOU
SAID IN THE '50'S THAT THE
FUTURE BECAME ABOUT MARKETING
TRENDS AND ABOUT NEW PRODUCTS
AND WHAT COULD WE HAVE ABOUT
WHAT WAS NEW AND IMPROVED AND
BIGGER AND BETTER AND YOU THINK
ABOUT THE GREAT OLD ADS WITH
THE HOUSEWIVES WAXING THEIR
FLOORS AND LOOKING SO
CONTENTED.
THAT'S WHAT THE FUTURE CAME TO
BE I GUESS.

David says THAT'S ONE ASPECT OF IT.
WE LIVE NOW IN THE PLURALISTIC
FUTURE.
THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE BELIEVE
THAT BELIEVE IN THE LITERAL
TRUTH OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION
THAN AT ANY TIME IN HISTORY.
BUT AS A PROPORTION OF THE
POPULATION, THAT'S A DECREASING
MINOR.
BUT IN THE '50'S, IN AMERICA,
THERE WAS A VERY GUNG-HO
APPROACH TO TECHNOLOGY.
UM, A SENSE THAT-- THAT IT
WOULD SOLVE ALL PROBLEMS.
UM, AND THE EXAMPLE YOU GIVE
UP-- OF THAT-- THE HOUSEWIFE,
UM, WITH-- WHIPPING AROUND AND
DOING ALL THE CLEANING IS A
VERY GOOD ONE.
UM, AND IN POPULAR MECHANICS IN
1950, THERE WAS A PICTURE OF
THE HOUSEWIFE OF 2000.
UM, WHO WILL CLEAN ALL THE
FURNITURE IN THE HOUSE WITH A
HOSE PIPE, BECAUSE IN THE YEAR
2000, UM, ALL THE FURNITURE
WILL WILL BE MADE OF PLASTIC.
NOW, IT'S FUNNY, WE LAUGH--

Tina says YOU JUST HOSE DOWN THE
LIVING ROOM.

David says IT'S FUNNY WE LAUGH AND MOVE ON.
BUT CONSIDER ALSO THE GENDER
ROLES HERE.
THERE'S NO SENSE OF FEMINISM.
NOBODY IN THE 1950'S OR INDEED,
RIGHT UP UNTIL THE LATE '60'S
GOT FEMINISM.

Tina says SO NOBODY PREDICTED
FEMINISM.
THAT'S INTERESTING, HUH?

David says IT IS.
THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAME CLOSE
THAT I'VE ENCOUNTERED WAS
MARGARET MEAD IN 1965 WHO
SUGGESTED THAT IN THE NEAR
FUTURE, WOMEN COULD VERY WELL
START TRYING TO EMANCIPATE
THEMSELVES AS TRADITIONAL ROLE
OF WIFES AND MOTHERS AND MOVE
OUT INTO THE WORK FORCE.
SUGGESTED THAT THERE COULD BE A
VERY STRONG IDEA LOGICAL AND
RELIGIOUS REACTION AGAINST
THIS.

Tina says NOW, IN MODERN TIMES,
THEN, WHERE ARE WE?
I LOVE THE STORY YOU TELL ABOUT
THESE SCIENTIST.
I MEAN, REAL SCIENTISTS, WHO
GOT TOGETHER IN THE '60'S WAS
IT TO PREDICT THE WAY THE YEAR
2000.
WOULD BE.
HOW DID THEY DO?
DID THEY GET HALF OF IT RIGHT?

David says WELL, THEY GOT SOME THINGS RIGHT.
VIAGRA AND PROZAC RIGHT.
THEY GOT, UM, THEY GOT PERSONAL
COMPUTERS.
THEY GOT THE WORLD'S POPULATION
RIGHT.
BUT THEY GOT MANY MORE THINGS
WRONG.
THEY BELIEVED THAT IN THE YEAR
2000, THE BIGGEST PROBLEM THAT
WOULD BE FACING US WOULD BE
BOREDOM.
WE WOULD ALL HAVE TOO MUCH
LEISURE TIME.
THEY BELIEVED THAT EVERY HOME
WOULD HAVE ITS OWN ROBOT MAID.
LOVE THAT, ROBOT MAID.

Tina says YES.
OF COURSE.

David says AND IT'S JUST NON-STOP, UM,
STUFF THAT-- THAT THEY GOT
WRONG.

Tina says AND IT NEVER DOES
STOP, THOUGH.
WE ARE STILL PREDICTING NOW IN
THE YEAR 2001, WE'RE STILL BUSY,
WHETHER WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
STOCK MARKETS OR RECESSIONS
COMING OR NOT COMING, WE'RE
STILL JUST OBSESSED WITH WHAT'S
GOING TO HAPPEN, AREN'T WE?

David says THAT GETS BACK TO THE VERY
FIRST QUESTION THAT YOU RAISED.
THE FUTURE IS EXTREMELY
IMPORTANT TO US.
THERE'S A HUGE GAP BETWEEN OUR
NEED TO KNOW AND THE
IMPOSSIBILITY OF KNOWING.
AND WE CAN PREDICT TWO THINGS
ARRIVING FROM THAT: ONE, THERE
WILL ALWAYS BE PREDICTIONS.
AND TWO, MOST OF THEM WILL
ALWAYS BE WRONG.
EXCEPT FOR THOSE TWO
PREDICTIONS?

Tina says OF COURSE.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
IT'S A VERY INTERESTING BOOK.
“THE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE.”
THANK YOU.

David says THANK YOU.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Tina says “THE HISTORY OF THE
FUTURE” BY DAVID WILSON IS
PUBLISHED BY MCARTHUR AND COMPANY.
Tina says FIRST CAME PEN AND INK.
THEN THE TYPE WRITER.
TODAY, THE COMPUTER IS THE
WRITER'S TOOL OF CHOICE.
SO WHAT RELATIONSHIP DO AUTHORS
HAVE WITH THEIR KEYBOARDS?
WE THOUGHT WE WOULD ASK.

(music plays)
An animated slate reads “How do writers feel about their computers?”
Clips play of different writers answering the question.

Francine Prose says I LOVE MY COMPUTER.
I CAN'T-- I'M JUST SO TUNED
INTO MY COMPUTER.
I CAN'T WRITE LONG HAND
ANYMORE.
I CAN'T THINK ABOUT WITHOUT
THAT LITTLE PURR THAT IT DOES.

Colum McCann says I LOVE MY COMPUTER.
I WANT TO KICK IT AND-- AND--
EVERY NOW AND THEN, BUT, I
MEAN, I WISH I COULD WRITE LONG
HAND BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE NICE
AND ROMANTIC AND TELL PEOPLE--
OR EVEN ON THE TYPE WRITER.
BUT I WORK STRAIGHT ON TO MY
COMPUTER.

Elizabeth Hay says OH, MY COMPUTER...
I HATE COMPUTERS.

Nancy Kilpatrick says OH, MY COMPUTER IS IMPORTANT
TO ME.
I HAVE A WONDERFUL COMPUTER
THAT-- THAT ACTUALLY MY FRIEND
MARIANNE GAVE TO ME BECAUSE SHE
WAS GETTING A NEW COMPUTER AND
SHE HAD HAD A WONDERFUL PENTIUM
III THINGY THAT SHE DIDN'T
WANT.
I ASKED IF SHE WANTED TO SELL
IT AND SHE SAID NO.
SO I TOOK IT FURTHER AWAY.

Nick Bantock says I DON'T LIKE TO BECOME TOO
FURTHER INVOLVED OTHERWISE
TECHNOLOGY EATS ME UP AND MY TIME.

Richard Scrimger says ABOUT THE SAME WAY I FEEL
ABOUT MY CAR.
I DON'T PARTICULARLY CARE HOW
IT WORKS, AS LONG AS IT WORKS.

Emma Donoghue says I LOVE MY COMPUTER.
I'VE GOT SEVERAL.
I'VE GOT, UM, A POWER BOOK THAT
I CALL BEST, AND THE PAM TOP
ONE AS WELL.

Ursula K. LeGuin says IT'S AN IBORG.
IT'S BEEN OVER PROGRAMMED.
AND I LOVE IT ALL THE TIME.

Candace Bushnell says COMPUTERS ARE FREAKY.
I THINK THAT THEY CAN TAKE ON
THE PERSONALITY A LITTLE BIT OF
THE PERSON THAT'S WORKING ON THEM.

Michèle Roberts says I'M VERY BACKWARD WITH
TECHNOLOGY.
TWO YEARS AGO, I HAD MY FIRST
COMPUTER.
TINY LITTLE THING WITH AN
IN-BUILT PRINTER.
AND I LOVE IT TO BITS.

Nicholas Sparks says WELL, BECAUSE IT FREEZES,
WE'RE ON NON-SPEAKING TERMS
THESE DAYS.
UM, AND HE IS SERIOUSLY CLOSE
TO GETTING BOOTED.
AND, UM, AND WE-- REPLACED.
IF HE DOESN'T SHAPE UP, HE'S OUT.

Joanna Trollope says I ONLY USE IT FOR BUSINESS,
BASICALLY.
I THINK IT'S A VERY USEFUL
TOOL.
UM, IT HAS NO PERSONALITY.
I HAVE NO AFFECTION FOR IT.
BUT I WRITE THE BOOKS LONG
HAND.
AT GREAT SPEED.
THAT SUITS ME VERY WELL INDEED.

Back in the studio, Tina says BEASTLY THING.
THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEK EDITION
OF “IMPRINT.”
NEXT TIME, WE'LL TALK ABOUT
BOOK REVIEWS IN CANADA.
ARE WE TOO NICE WHEN
CRITICIZING OUR OWN?
THAT'S NEXT TIME ON “IMPRINT.”
SHE YOU THEN.

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks, International Festival of Authors, Dracula 2000 courtesy Alliance Films, Urban Legends final cut courtesy Columbia Pictures, Hannibal courtesy MGM, The Exorcist courtesy Warner Bros., Young Frankenstein courtesy 20th Century Fox.

Imprint. C/O TVOntario. P.O. Box 200. Station Q, Toronto, Ontario. M4T 2T1.

Fax: 416-484-2780.

E-mail: imprint@tvo.org.

Website: www.tvo.org/imprint

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2001, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 12 episode 21