Sunday, July 10, 2022

When Would You Go?

Time travel has always fascinated me. What would it be like to visit times and places long gone and events long passed, to see what your surrounds were like in earlier times, to try to understand how people lived then?

I've been reading some time travel fiction recently. A few short stories, a novel or two, some website posts which claim to be true, as well as some theoretical works. Most of it was pretty good, some was less than impressive. But they all gave me ideas and got me thinking about what I would do if I had the chance to use a time machine.

Where would I go? Or, more accurately, to when would I go? Would I go back and see a Beatles concert? And if so, which one. Would I go back and try to warn the boys about events that would lead to breaking up the band. And how could I prove my credentials? 

"Hey Paul, I'm from the future, and I can prove it. What is the name of a song that you've just written that no one else has ever heard, and I'll sing it to you." That would surely get their attention. "Oh, and here's a new song I wrote you might like - called Blackbird."

But if I had the chance to travel in time, would I choose something so self indulgent.

There are so many historical events, so many big questions.

Last week, while wandering through the Castle and Cathedral, and then looking at some Roman ruins, my thoughts again turned to like in those times. And yes, once more I wondered.

I used to teach a time travel film to my students. It wasn't a bad film and provided a lot of fodder for teacing beyond English. We used to talk about science, survival, history and technology. I also spoke with them about the psychology of visiting another time, and how the biggest danger might simply be not fitting in with the people around you. Stranger danger has a new meaning.

This was something that Year 9 boys in particular thought could be overcome simply by taking a motorcycle, a mobile phone and modern weapons.

The more I think about it, the more I have no idea when I would go. But dinosaurs might be cool.

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