(Ice) Cream of the Crop

In honor of the SciFi comedy FUTURE ’38, which screens Wednesday, May 17 at Flix Brewhouse, the OWA staff is creating a Time Capsule to be opened in 80 years.

FUTURE ’38 is a Technicolor valentine to the classic screwball comedies of the 1930s and ‘40s, with a SciFi twist. It’s a time-travel adventure which presents the exotic future-world of 2018 A.D., as imagined by the filmmakers of 1938!

Buy tickets HERE.

More info HERE.

The OWA Time Capsule is designed to represent the most significant artifacts from our era and to explain to the people of 2097 what we were all about and, frankly, what was wrong with us.

 

(ICE) CREAM OF THE CROP

Life is a series of peaks and valleys, and I’m assuming the nature of human existence hasn’t changed that much in 80 years. There are countless ways to cope with such a roller-coaster existence. Religion! Pills! Therapy! Nature!

I happen to find ice cream quite comforting, both in times of joy and sorrow. And I am not alone in this sentiment. At the end of the day, it’s all about the simple pleasures in life, and this sweet, sweet frozen nectar of the Gods (cows, whatever) has earned a spot worldwide as one of the most soothing of treats.

I’ve no doubt that, in 2097, ice cream is still a thing. Let me tell you a bit about your ice cream's ancestors. Dairy historians, please take note:
 

First, obviously, we must include the self-proclaimed “Ice Cream of the Future”: Dippin’ Dots. Created in the late 1980s, these are generally reviled by ice cream enthusiasts, probably because they taste mostly like freezer-burn (though correct me, perhaps liquid nitrogen is indeed the taste of the future?) The company has gone through bankruptcy and lawsuits, but their current vision statement is confidently foward-focused: “After nearly 30 years of business, [we’re] now catering to a generation who does not know a world without Dippin’ Dots…” Whoa that’s true. And I am still not above grabbing an overpriced little cup of barely-flavored dairy beads at some carnival or theme park. They've also got a hilariously solid jingle by singer/songwriter Dewin that released in 2016 (check it above). The novelty of little ice cream balls is not lost; perhaps by continuing with their can-do spirit and musical collaborations, Dippin' Dots will still be with us in 2097...you tell me.
 

The early 2000s kicked off a revival of the comparatively healthy frozen yogurt fad (though personally, my non-dairy mango sorbet was often covered in Oreo crumbles and brownie pieces, thus likely diluting its ‘health factor’). Anyway, tons of self-serve ‘fro-yo’ shops popped up over the next 15 years, with people flocking to get their “healthier” ice cream alternative. Fruit! Granola! Larger portions because fro-yo is less fatty! However, as its popularity wanes once again, it becomes clear that people are not willing to sacrifice taste for healthiness (and honestly there usually wasn’t much of a difference anyway, especially if you refused to eat the plain tart flavor and topped everything with chocolate like I did). Fro-yo seesaws in and out of favor, but ice cream never goes out of style; we can all take a day trip to fro-yo, but ice cream will always be home.  
 

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Women drive nearly 80% of consumer purchasing as of today, and Magnum Ice Cream knows this. Aiming its sights on the upper-middle class ‘basic bitch’ population, they boast an active Instagram page full of models and a webpage touting the message, “We love film, we love fashion. We believe a day without pleasure is a day lost. So make time to indulge in a little glamour. #Magnifique” (sidenote: are hashtags still a thing in 2097?)

Interestingly, considering their ads feature impossibly fit and beautiful people, there are few fucks given on the actual healthiness of these treats; their selling point EMBRACES the sinfulness of a sugar transgression by saying if you’re gonna go, go big and have an ice cream bar that’s decadent and fancy as fuck. What’s better, the website provides photos of happy cocoa seed farmers in the rainforest so really it’s job creation and further incentive to EAT THAT ICE CREAM BAR, GURL! Laughing as I am at the company's marketing campaigns, it’s worth mentioning that Magnum is currently the top-selling ice cream brand in the world. Also if you still have rainforests in 2097, it's likely because of Magnum's responsible ice-cream initiative. You are welcome. 

 

Since it's been established that there is no substitute for REAL ice cream, there have been recent efforts to make artisanal and locally-sourced ice cream. "Wholesome" ice cream, like that offered by Lick Honest Ice Creams here in Austin, offers local cow milk, seasonal ingredients, and sauces made by hand. Make no mistake: you are eating dairy and sugar and fat. But you kind of know where it comes from, and you can eat it out of a compostable cup. So much less guilt! If you do want to try fooling yourself, have a scoop of Lick's Roasted Beet & Mint ice cream - plants and vegetables! It's basically a salad! But seriously, this one-ups Magnum with ethically and locally-made ice cream that will save the planet with its small-scale manufacturing practices. Yeah, I know. But you guys are still alive 80 years later, so maybe the artisanal ice cream boom is one of your saviors? 
 

The current pinnacle of ice cream excess is booze-infused ice cream. You are goddamn right we figured out a way to combine these two vices. I usually indulge in these things separately, but we humans (Americans particularly) are nothing if not efficient in gratifying our sweet tooth and taste for alcohol. It's still new enough for a few enterprising brick-and-mortar stores to get by (and actually thrive) by selling literally just ice cream and booze. When I write that out, I don't know why I'm so surprised; those are two near-necessary treats for myself and most people in my circle. As sexy Magnum ads and fancy Lick flavors teach us, ice cream can be sophisticated and adult, not just a lowbrow children's treat. Going on a date? Bring your partner to an ice cream cocktail bar. Having a dinner party? Douse those ice cream scoops you're passing out for dessert in whiskey. Taking your kids to the park and need a pick-me-up? Eat a boozy ice cream cone as you walk- it's much less obvious than the ol' sippy cup smuggle (we all know what's in there by now. It's wine.)

So 2097, how will you up the ante with ice cream? I wish I could be there to see what the future holds. 

© 2014 OWA SciFi Film Fest, LLC