I decided to write this blog to break up the week of Indiana Jones reviews. Hopefully it makes an entertaining diversion.
If you came up to me and offered a trip in a time machine (one trip), to any era, I would pick the 19th century. Specifically, the late 1880’s. Call me weird, but it just seems like a better time to live in. I know that if I lived there, you wouldn’t be reading this blog and I wouldn’t be writing it, but the whole age enchants me. Literature featuring Victorian London, in particular, romanticises the age as a time of exploration, technological development and adventure. What most people wouldn’t give to have an adventure in the style of Jules Verne, Mark Twain and Robert Rankin’s characters isn’t worth giving.
Obviously, I would only take this trip if I could actually get back to the present. I like the idea of going to that time, but not enough to live there. I wouldn’t do a ‘doc’, so to speak. I think that if I somehow got trapped there, I would try and leave ways to avoid the original trip altogether.
I can’t talk about my love of the 1880’s without mentioning Back to the Future, part III (the first one is where the song of the title comes from), which uses the setting for its story. Rather than Victorian London, they use a western setting for their tale. Somehow, they make living in a western frontier town look fun, even without the mod cons of everyday life that we’re used to.
As I mentioned earlier, my place of choice in this century is London, purely due to the way it’s pictured in literature as being a place for gentlemen, invention and royalty. Even the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen makes it look classy and fun.
Obviously, it has its downsides, such as the colonisation of Africa being known as the ‘work of the Empire’. As much as I may joke about needing ‘the good old days of the British Empire to knock today’s youth into shape’, I really don’t want that unenlightened time to be set as the standard for the future, or something to live up to.
Part of the attraction is that I would really like to know who ‘Jack the Ripper’ was, maybe go down in history as the guy who unmasked him. To not bugger up causality, I’d say I discovered new evidence in the present. Mind you, that assumes the guy leaves a trail. If he doesn’t, I’d be screwed.
Plus I like the idea of travelling old school, such as by steam train and making a day of it. This is also part of why I travel by train today. And I think I’d enjoy travelling by horse, as well. It looks really easy to do; I’m not sure why people have problems with it.
So I’ve told you about my time destination of choice. Now you can tell me yours.