The thing is, everyone feels modern. That is, when we read something that was written in the 1920s, it's easy to think of the words as cliché and the views as quaint or perhaps even wrong-headed. We're all so enlightened now.
Well, yes, until 80 years from now when people read what we wrote and make similar pronouncements about their superiority over us. And then 80 years later another generation does the same.
Go back far enough and it's hard to believe that people ever lived that way. Learning that, for example, 90 percent of people in 1662 London didn't live to see age 46. That's greater than the percentage of people in current Japan who don't live to see age 95.
How did we even exist? Oh, the horrors!
So will successive generations say the same about us. Maybe our lives won't seem horrible at first, just a little dated. But 350 years from now, assuming we haven't killed ourselves off or been destroyed by something else, those that inhabit or at least come from Earth may look back at us with wonder.
“They did WHAT?!!!! Surely, you can't be serious.”
“I am serious, and please don't call me Shirley.”
Because, you know, that joke will always be funny.
You know what would be really funny? What if in that distant future, Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker are revered the way Shakespeare is today? What if there are stagings of Airplane and Naked Gun, with texts annotated for the reading and viewing audience to explain “Nacho Grande” and “sniffing glue”?
“They did WHAT?!!!!”
“Yeah, it says in the footnotes that nachos—deep fried corn meal topped with cheese and meat—were a food enjoyed by Americans in the late 20th century, often at sporting events.”