Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My Own Personal Alternate Timeline

A few months ago I went on a comic reading binge, either due to a mid-mid-life "crisis" or a dying need to emulate Batman's no-bullshit facial expression, the bat-grimace. My timing was excellent, as a huge-mcmega-ultra series had just begun, rewriting and erasing years of shitty characters. With the flick of pencil and some digital ink, little-known comic heroes like "The Masked Fedora" or "The Irrepressible UGG" were deleted from the fictional universe, replaced by some sort of gay-costume vacuum (which I'm told nature abhors, and I agree).

I've long-considered how my own life might be different if I could jump back in time and change the continuity, deleting embarrassing moments and creating new events. That time I was playing basketball and scored for the other team because I forgot which end the court I was on? Deleted. The time I barfed on the school bus just as we hit a bump on the road and chunks flew across 6 seats? Deleted. High School? Soooo deleted. Well, maybe just the awkward parts, so that would leave May of 1999.

But the technology implementing this sort of power has yet to be discovered. Instead we're pouring all of our funding into "alternative fuel sources" and "search engine visibility." Don't investors get it? With the ability to change the past, we'd be able to fix all those things before they became problems. They say necessity is the mother of invention ... well, what's more necessary than deleting that time I told my entire class I forgot to brush my teeth because I thought honesty was more important the oral hygiene? Nothing!

It's not that difficult to get started, either. The foundation's already been layed out for us thanks to an exceptionally forward-thinking episode of The Jetsons. In season two, episode #43, entitled "Instant Replay," George discovers the "Replayola," a device that allows him to fast forward, rewind, and altogether alter the events of the past. The episode aired somewhere inbetween 1984-85, so you're telling me that twenty years later we still don't have men working on this thing?

I'm not talking about some lame Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky bridge scenario where there are alternate Earths for every possible choice. That would be ludicrous and most likely reserved for a shoddy, get-my-hopes-up-and-then-cancel-it sci fi show on Fox. I'm talking about one definitive timeline that I could play with at my leisure. Did George Jetson fully realize the power he held? He could've gambled, he could've seen beyond the jet age. He could've traveled back and kicked Fred's ass, thereby altering cartoon hierarchies for all-time.

He could have had Jane stop_ this _ crazy _ thing.

George could have been a God, but instead, in the end he learned a valuable lesson about not losing his wife to the jock from high school. He had the power to be immortal, and he gave it all up ... for the betterment of mankind. A parable of the final days of Jesus, as told by Hanna Barbera. The question we're left with is, when things don't go as planned, What Would George Jetson Do?

In researching this story, I found that Revenge of the Nerds was released in 1984, and Back to the Future in 1985. The "Instant Replay" episode of The Jetsons aired somewhere between the two. My question is, who stole from who?

Break it down:

Jetsons = time travel, jock versus nerd love story. 1984

ROTNerds = jock versus nerd love story, occasional boob. 1984

Back to the Future = time travel, jock versus nerd love story, Huey Lewis. 1985

This is heavy.


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