Time Travel, Though

When the future sucks, a time traveller always wants to change it. They are some selfish, irresponsible individuals, these time travellers. Who are they to dictate how things should end up?

To me, the thought of erasing the present is terrifying. Even to make a better one. I mean, all the things someone has gone through in all that time before time is reset? It disappears. Poof. It’s murder. It’s re-education.

“You can stop this before it ever happens!” But what about the people whose lives get better in this dark future? And even the people whose lives didn’t get better–you’re taking those lives away from them. Maybe they would rather keep existing than be reset?

I for one would be terrified if someone said, “H., I can stop World War II. I just have to kill baby Hitler.” I mean, other than the infanticide thing, altering history that drastically? That’s a big goddamned butterfly to send flying around and affecting shit. I wouldn’t exist in this new timeline! My parents wouldn’t either. People’s lives would change so much that unless they’re somehow completely cut off from the war’s influence the odds of the same people meeting and passing on the same genetic information to their kids is impossibly astronomical. Sure, there’d be new people, but you’re effectively committing genocide and replacing those disappeared lives with new ones. You’re destroying the world to make a better one. You’re no better than baby Hitler.

But these shows and movies always have the characters exactly as they are, and better, after all the mucking about with time. After changing all that shit in the past, Marty’s parents wouldn’t still have sex at the exact time and place as they did in the original timeline. And if they did, what are the odds that baby gravy would conjure up an exact Michael J. Fox? That he’d go to the same school, and he’d make the same friends? No. Don’t buy it. He would be erased from all the photographs, no question.

It’s like the writers of Back to the Future didn’t even consider this stuff.

So I was just thinking that my blog has some pretty varied posts.

– H.

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