The front of a portable DVD player
Okay, I give up on trying to take a worthwhile picture of my fine new Bush device using only the camera built into this modern-day writing implement. Not that anybody’s going to challenge me for it, but the credit for this picture is all mine.

Bored with the Future

William Essex
2 min readApr 4, 2022


On impulse the other day, I bought myself a Bush 7" Portable DVD Player With Swivel Screen (it also plays CDs).

What can I say? I’ve been bored with the little rectangles for a while now — on streaming services and Zoom alike. I found my old collection of CDs in a clear-out — and didn’t clear them out. I’ve still got a couple of shelves of DVDs.

My Bush thing is square, black, and chubby. It works. I don’t know anything about Bush, but the logo — san-serif capitals with the US underlined — makes me think it’s American. “Produced in China,” says the box. Uh huh. A souvenir of globalisation.

The sound? Oh, it’s fine. I own a good set of Sennheiser headphones and also two sets of reassuringly wired-together Logitech speakers. I listened to (some of) Station to Station the other night. Picture? Yeah, fine. Watched (a bit of) Grand Canyon. No, really.

My Bush thing could almost have come with me in the time machine from 1984 — except for the disclaimer. I have to press Enter on the separate little control to confirm that I know loud noises could damage my hearing. Only then can I adjust the volume.

What I really like about my Bush thing is that it’s so futuristic. Go back to a time before Skynet became self-aware, and this is how the future was depicted. Can’t put my finger on it, but it’s so square, black and chubby that it’s almost … no, not steampunk, nor exactly Alien or Blade Runner, but it’s definitely the future as my generation imagined it.

There’s probably one like it in the Tardis. Deckard has one at home. Never mind all these shiny bright things and those identikit rectangles and all the dumbed-down world we live in — yes, I know loud noises could damage my hearing — I want one in my future.



William Essex

Former everything. I still write books, I still write stories. Author of The Book of Fake Futures, The Journey from Heaven, Escape Mutation.