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The Wasteman of the Future

Time is fleeting, wastemen are eternal.
April 17, 2013, 3:00pm

"You don't get no gash (wasteman)
You don't bang no yats (wasteman)
I know that you bash (wasteman)
You don't want no cash (wasteman)" – DPM feat. Shizzle, Napper and Bruza – 'Ave Some of That

What even is a wasteman? It would be reasonable to assume that by definition, the word is used to describe people who are a perceived waste of space, time and skin. A wasteman could be literally anyone – you might be one yourself, but it's unlikely you know it. (Have you noticed people going out of their way to avoid you in social situations? You're probably a wasteman.)


A wasteman is a very specific type of bastard, a whole genus of his own. He wants you to like him but does everything to ensure that will never happen. He wants to be ahead of the curve, yet has an unreasonable reverence for things from the past, regardless of whether those things were good or not and he tends to live in cities, like an urban Justin Lee Collins. He organises shit events, takes shit drugs, has shit friends, looks like a cunt and smells like a prick. All those factors are a given, but in a future that so far people have only really been brave enough to define with drones and internet-induced autism, is it possible to predict how those things are going to trickle down into the future manifestation of the wasteman? Yes, it is, and here's me doing just that.


The wasteman of tomorrow will adopt the latest in digital fashion: an LED mesh-TV tracksuit that is designed to broadcast messages across his torso that are so awful – "THERE'S NO 'I' IN BOOBS", "NOT MY GASTROPUB" – they manage to do the impossible: make you hate those LED shirts that people in Cyberdog wear even more than you already did.

Smart ink tattoos will also be flaunted with pride by our futuro-tosser. He will ironically get the Chinese symbol for irony etched upon his chest, although it will be even more moronic because it will be able to move around his body at will.

Nothing is going to put an end to the wanker's universal love for comedy T-shirts and those featuring the kind of counter-culture heroes most people stop worshipping when they find out what sex feels like. Though, in an era where Tim Berners-Lee already has more cultural cache than Che Guevara, it's more likely we'll be seeing Eyebrows Cat, Talking Larry and final boss of the internet Kim Dotcom plastered all over T-shirts at Streetfest, rather than shitty party slogans and pictures of Jay-Z's face.



Most wastemen, in one way or another, consider themselves artists, so it follows that they will start to use technologies like 3D printers to create entirely useless things, like carbon fibre nappies or ironic badges decrying other people's misuse of 3D printers.

Live shows will be replaced with mozam YouTube parties, wastemen gathering together in large crowds with every arsehole picking their new favourite tune and everyone playing them all at once, creating several hundred new genres in the process, all of them shit.

They will use incredible, mind-blowingly innovative developments like foglets not to save lives with nanobot seatbelts, but rather to create shimmering, robotised novelty drinking hats and Kevlar onesies.


Appropriating underground vernacular has been a trademark of the waste cadet for as long as he has existed. As the contents of London’s racial melting pot becomes an ever less discernible shade of goo, snippets of each will emerge in the parlance of the wasteman. “Safe,” they will say, tucking into their truffled risotto. “Large up.” Elements of Basque and whatever the fuck they speak in Vatican City will creep in – new phrases crushed like verbal garlic into the everyday life of the dickhead:

"Norüm" – This is short for “no room” and is used to let your bros know that there’s no disc space left in your brain to handle any more Little Mix future-future-future-garage refixes.


"Clapper" – In the future, medical science will have progressed to the point where a promiscuous girl’s vaginal lining will actually cure any STDs you might have, making a trip to the brothel a feasible excuse for missing work.

"Pontiflex" – Pejorative for new-age body building Catholics, one of many new religions in a confused and accelerated time.

"Foie Clart" – Trustafarianism and hyper-wealth will have been taken to the nth degree and a conglomerate of white-dreaded cash baskets will have bought Jamaica, the local patois becoming interspersed with the trappings of the hoi polloi. Red Stripe served in champagne flutes, jerk seasoned guinea fowl – Vybz Kartel’s dream of a white Jah will have finally come true.

"Struth" – Due to global warming, Australia will come to its natural and proper end of being completely incinerated. When people say “struth”, they are agreeing on the veracity of a subject or statement while also honouring the memory of our antipodean brethren laying around in their ash heaps.


A prick’s gotta eat, right? Of course. But overpopulation and sheer greed will have caused the world’s food supply to be catastrophically depleted. This is the future, though, and instead of letting the wasteman die in the fetid hole he deserves, there are many options.

Modern Meadow, a start-up science-y company in the US, is aiming to print bio-matter-like meat using cells from cows and other such farmyard junk. Unfortunately, our nonce du jour will probably find some fault in this essentially flawless proposition, perhaps decrying the use of 3D printers as sick, claiming that they have souls.


Drinking water is now a thing of the past. There's not been any planet-wide environmental shift, it's just considered old hat. Earth’s number one flavourless boredom juice has been replaced by Sunny D, which rose back to the top of the chain after the great soda wars of the mid-to-late 21st century. So 90s!

A cunt’s diet wouldn’t be complete without drugs, and in the future our methods of consumption will become more sophisticated. USB ports will be mounted upon our bodies, so you can get 2CB, Big H or the soon-to-be-banned amphetamine P0rk $cratching mainlined straight to the old hippocampus. Don’t let anyone stick a dirty drive in you, though. You don’t wanna know about the men who walk around clubs with dirty drives.

Follow Joe on Twitter: @joe_bish

Illustrations by Sam Taylor. Follow him on Twitter @sptsam or visit his website at

For a more promising/accurate vision of what the future holds, try these:

Things That Need to Die Before British Culture Can Move Forwards

A List of Words that Will Soon Be Politically Incorrect

The Future of London