Haunt the Future

Skip to content

L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. Sean Dillon
    September 28, 2016 @ 2:29 pm

    This sounds like it’s going to be an interesting series. It reminds me of another post you did some time ago…

    “For me, the telephone has always been an invader. It’s an assailant into my environment that demands my attention and subservience to its authority with a latent threatening presence.”

    That was a fantastic post.


    • Josh Marsfelder
      September 28, 2016 @ 9:02 pm

      Thank you! Funny how certain themes and ideas keep cropping up 🙂

      (Not every one of these is going to be about telephones, mind.)


  2. Ross
    September 28, 2016 @ 9:39 pm

    One of the few memories i have of US Acres was a musical number where Orson tries to get Wade to be less fearful. There’s a line in it that stuck with me for years: “There’s only two kinds of problems: the ones you can solve, and the ones you can’t. There’s no reason to worry about the ones you can solve, and it’s no use worrying about the ones you can’t.”


    • Josh Marsfelder
      September 28, 2016 @ 10:55 pm

      I tend to not be a huge fan of Garfield and Friends‘ musical numbers personally, but that’s sage advice in any context.


    • Andrew Morrice
      April 1, 2021 @ 11:39 am

      I love that line too, though it’s actually Bo who says that to Orson when he’s panicking about facing his brothers.


  3. Jacob
    September 29, 2016 @ 3:53 pm

    “So the telephone, by definition, emulates the act of mourning by connecting us to people we cannot be with. It is the logic of the unattainable, the unreachable and the departed: The voice of the dead that keeps us trapped in the mental state of loss and grief.”

    Sort of tangentially related, but this line reminded me of an episode of the This American Life podcast I listened to recently called “One Last Thing Before I Go.” The first act of the episode tells the story of a Japanese man who lost his brother in the 2011 tsunami and put an old, disconnected phone booth in his yard as a way to “talk” with his brother — a “Wind Phone.” People from all around the country flock to the phone booth to leave messages for the missing and the dead. It’s moving and fascinating. Anyway, it’s worth a listen for another perspective on your point.


  4. Jarl
    September 29, 2016 @ 6:58 pm

    I used to have terrible phone anxiety (I basically never ordered pizza until online ordering became more common). Weirdly enough, the best way I found to cure it was casual phone sex with mostly-anonymous people I met online. Obviously that’s not a perfect solution for everyone, but after a certain level of physical anxiety was overcome, I could suddenly find myself capable of talking with people confidently and leaving voice messages like a pro, despite being almost paralyzed by phone anxiety before hand.

    I managed to use “overcome”, “physical anxiety”, and “before hand” in a comment about sex and masturbation and yet didn’t make a single stupid awful pun. I must be growing old.


  5. Flu-Bird
    November 12, 2017 @ 11:34 pm

    Wade needs to see someone who specializes in nervous duks


  6. Ozzlefinch
    April 13, 2019 @ 2:52 am



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.