If you could travel back in time, and ran into yourself as a kid, would it influence your life to come? What if you witnessed – as a kid – the death of someone, and that person turned out to be you as an adult? Would it affect you differently?
There are some of us that just looooove that conundrum.
We can’t travel through time, but we can certainly imagine the possibilities. We imagine it to the point that there are rules, put in place most likely by fiction writers who need rules – that govern what can and can’t be done in that imposition of time.
Don’t touch that! You’ll upset the time-space continuum! Don’t step off the path (a plot device in one story I read, but regrettably, don’t recall the title), or the dinosaur-era visitation will wrinkle the thread of all future events.
Cause the death of your grandfather back then – ooops! You don’t exist anymore! That was the subject of one of my earliest writings, and as I was still at a tender age, didn’t realize that what I was describing – so exciting and fresh to me – was actually clichéd and trite. My teacher gave me a break on it (or maybe she wasn’t all that well-read in science fiction either).
I have several favorite favorite films that evolved from the written word, but perhaps none that I enjoyed so much as 12 Monkeys, which I thought was actually titled The Army of the 12 Monkeys. Ironically, 12 Monkeys is based not on a book, but a French short film entitled La jetée by Chris Marker. It’s a post-apocalyptic film as presented by Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame (although it is so many years removed that perhaps no one recalls that British television show, but me).
12 Monkeys starred Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, and Christopher Plummer – among many others – and as I’m a fan of all four of the previously named, that may have contributed to my initial enjoyment. The fact is, I’ve liked Bruce Willis since the TV show Moonlighting. Brad Pitt? Well, who can honestly say they don’t like him, or at least one of his performances. He won a Golden Globe for 12 Monkeys, and should have won after his Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, in my estimation. (You say IMHO, I say IME.) He’s in top form, here.
My buddy Rick and I used to talk time-travel premises, as he is as fond of the stories as I am. They are thinking films and books, and the best of them produce a great story to accompany the particular wrinkle of time they intend to exploit.
If there was a single ticket, for one trip – a seat on the time travel bus: Where would you go?
I recall discussing with my high school buddies the possibility of heading back with the knowledge of several Beatles’ songs – enough to plant the idea or actually obtain the copyright. There’s some money!
Or, perhaps – armed with knowledge of what is to come – I could race out at the exact moment the shot would have been fired and prevent the Kennedy Assassination. Ooooooh, there is some fame!
Maybe, just maybe – turn the knob to Biblical Times and witness first hand all those events, while recording them on the cell phone (Hey! It’s all imaginary! Who says you can take that iPhone back in time?) to play back during Sunday School. There is some history!
Brad Pitt grew up in Springfield, MO, not all that far from here. Maybe I’d just land myself in his circle of buddies and hang on tight until he landed his fame and fortune. I could be the first Pitt BFF. Look out, Clooney!
Grab Brad! We’re the Three Amigos!