Y2K The Movie
Sunday, June 14, 1998 by Dave Winer.
Hey babe, a quick one, it's the middle of the night in California, all the other websites are quiet, but I had a few thoughts this evening on the drive back from San Francisco, wanted to get them down, then out, and then hit the sack.
In 1948 George Orwell wrote a book about 1984. It wasn't a very positive vision. When I was growing up, the year 1984 loomed large. When it finally came, it wasn't actually very much like the book, although some hippies thought it was.
Anyway, in the early 80s I had the foresight to think of writing a book about 1948, making fun of the 40s, and ship it in 1984. I didn't write the book, no one else did either. No one even did a movie remake of Orwell's book. A bunch of missed opportunities.
I got lots of email about my first conspiracy theory piece, entitled 1/1/00. You can read the best stuff on the mail page:
One comment stuck with me, from James Knight, firstname.lastname@example.org. He said "Wow, talk about conspiracy theory. I hope you're going to see the X-Files so you can confirm all your ideas about mass destruction of the world. Maybe you could even join them in their quest to Fight The Future."
Cawabunga! In Knight's comment is the germ of a great idea. I'd be very happy to sell the piece to the X-Files, I think it would make a fun episode, but I think it would make an even better movie.
The title of the movie would be Y2K. A disaster movie on the scale of Godzilla or The Titanic, or all the new meteor and comet movies. There probably wouldn't be any monsters or aliens. But there would be geeks and presidents and spies, nuclear intrigue and people with PowerBooks (or Dell laptops?) saving the planet.
Saddam Hussein would have a copy of PGP. A beautiful blonde Israeli intelligence officer and her best friend, a Japanese web developer, with seven systems and a pager who wears a suit and tie in his bedroom, like a Blues Brother. They'd be on the net using a Director simulation of what chat will look like in Y2K. There's the love angle. Like John and Yoko, but turned around and net-based. They'd lose contact at the crucial moment, and the movie would end with the world safe and them in love.
And don't forget the grizzled street-savvy managing editor covering the White House, and Rick Smolan with photographers scattered all over the world doing photo-essays of the infrustructure collapse.
There would be something for everyone. We could probably sneak Superman in there too!
I wonder if Hollywood is doing this?
Give me a buzz. We'll do lunch. (Do they still say that?)
PS: Think about the Itchy & Scratchy version of the movie!