‘We All Have an Irvine’

California's Future Looks Grim, but a Genre-Bending Movie and a Master-Planned Community Offer Unexpected Inspiration

In the best scene of any California pandemic-era entertainment to date, a middle-aged man named Roy (played by J.K. Simmons) sits in his Irvine backyard and advises Nyles (Andy Samberg) on coping with an unthinkable apocalyptic reality.

“I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Roy says, surveying his suburban idyll in Orange County’s great master-planned community. “You’ve gotta find your Irvine.”

Nyles, who is in existential despair, is dubious. “I don’t have an Irvine.”

“We all have an Irvine,” Roy says.

The apocalypse, for Roy and Nyles—characters in the genre-bending sci-fi comedy …

Will Holograms Help Us Grieve? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Will Holograms Help Us Grieve?

Ready or Not, Digital Afterlives Are Here to Stay

Long before Kim Kardashian West made headlines for being gifted a hologram of her deceased father for her 40th birthday, a panel session at South by Southwest Interactive, an annual …

Auto Draft | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Native American Artists Are Claiming the Future

Across the Arts, Indigenous Creators Are Drawing From the Past to Imagine Different Paths Forward

Over the last 50 years, futurity has become an important theme among native people and artists, said Harvard historian Philip J. Deloria during a Zócalo event entitled “How Are Native …

The Muddled Legacy of Alvin Toffler

He Was Right About “Future Shock” but Wrong About the Solution

Futurist Alvin Toffler’s death on June 27 at age 87 has brought out the usual obituaries, marveling at the way his self-educated intellect grappled with the complex intertwining of technological …