The Soapbox

Daily Diatribe 4/29/97:"In order to form a more perfect world view and/or shoe collection..."

I am angry with science for dragging its feet in the field of time travel. It's not as if scientists haven't managed to postulate massive theories on the efficacy of time travel for years now. It's just that none of them has managed to put any of it into practice. And I'm getting impatient. Present reality can be so limiting. I think you know what I'm saying. And if not, by all means, read on.

I'm not being greedy here. I don't want to surf the time-space continuum for profit or to seize world power. I just think that 70 or 80 years is nowhere near large enough a block of time in which to gain any real sense of what matters. I yearn for time travel primarily for the perspective it would undoubtedly bestow on me.

I lived my formative teen years in the Eighties (also known as the "Decade that Fashion Forgot") and am sorry. If only I could have leapt forward a few years and seen the mountains of ridicule awaiting my beloved Britsh synth-pop, or the layered look, or spiky hair, or the John Hughes "Brat Pack"... But back then, I breathed deep sighs of relief and lovingly stroked my off-the-shoulder sweatshirt -- thrilled that I was fortunate enough to have missed spending my adolescence on roller skates in polyester pantsuits watching "Carwash" and "American Graffiti." But now the Seventies have become the new kitschy favorite son of fashion founders, and all of a sudden I have to hide my Duran Duran records when I have guests over. I guess the good news is that my ABBA collection is cool again.

Time travel would have spared me this. Having had a little shower stall in my home with kooky wires and electrodes and generators hooked up to it that could send me off to visit the year of my choice would have alleviated my suffering greatly. My cries of, "John Taylor, I love you!" all but drowned out the sound of my mom telling me not to spend all of my money buying Duran Duran posters and assorted fan crap because I would outgrow my love for them and be sorry I hadn't bought myself a handbag or a nice pair of shoes. But if I had been able to skip ahead a few years, I would have seen that she was right, and I would have returned to the present and treated myself to a nice reasonably priced meal at any number of fast food restaurants and snickered to myself at the naïveté of my fellow diners who obviously had no idea it would one day cost three bucks for a burger that was prepared too health-consciously to be properly enjoyed (see Daily Diatribe 04/14/97). And with the cash I had left over, I could have snagged a nifty pair of Ferragamos (I would have said Manolo Blahniks, but you might wonder if I'm being paid to advertise for him given the number of gratuitous mentions I've made of him on this site -- and was he even turning out shoes back then? I hide my ignorance with diversity . . .) and tucked 'em away for later years when I would have a wardrobe befitting such well-made footwear.

I guess it would be nice of me to take a gander at the medical journals and bring back a cure for cancer, too. And of course I'm sure my services would be in high demand at all the television networks (sorry, Nielsen families -- you're free to go). As you can see, the list of valuable services I could perform just goes on and on. And the only thing standing in my way is the apparent absence of any viable means. Which means that Stephen Hawking needs to have done with all this Casanova business. Quit diddling your nurses and get busy, man -- there's work to be done!

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