|A mosaic stitched image of Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States. Taken with a Canon 5D and 70-200mm f/2.8L at 200mm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Superhero stories like most science fiction and fantasy typically require healthy doses of willing suspension of disbelief and yet there can be limits to just about everything. In The Flash I could accept the increasing array of super villains and even the alternate universe. However for me the entire "flashpoint" concept--the changing of a timeline where the Flash entered a world where he had memories of another timeline that no one else knew with subsequent plots revolving around events connected with the new timeline with plot points interjected from the previous timeline--this concept annoyed me. To me an ability for someone or some power to be able to change the past or create an alternate past has no logic and becomes downright silly.
Oddly over the past few years we've seen a number of television shows and films with similar past-changing plot devices. This past TV season alone I've gotten caught up in Frequency (derived from the 2000 film of the same name) and Timeless. In both, the element of going back in time in order to change the timeline of history does bother me, but the stories have been so engaging and are so well written that I was able to forgive the illogical premise. I also recall seeing other films and shows that used the device of changing time (Looper comes to mind) but I can't name any others at the moment, but I've been less forgiving of most of them.
Time travel happens to be a favorite fictional genre of mine, but I have a hard time accepting the stories where someone goes back to change history. To me that's like the story that has the "it was only a dream ending". It's a gimmick that usually doesn't work well for me unless it's something on a less serious note such as the Back to the Future films. If time gets changed to the point of a new outcome then was the outcome as remembered by the time traveler comparable to being only a dream? And what does that traveler do with that memory and once returned to a future with a new outcome does that traveler have the memory of the new history line somehow implanted in their mind?
For me there becomes an almost conspiratorial suspicion that this type of change plot line is a sort of liberal leftist agenda, whether it be purposeful or subconsciously devised, to become a part of the revisionist history movement that is becoming more popular in recent U.S. thinking in circles of academia and new progressive socialism.
More often a tool of dictatorships and radical governmental change agents, the concept of historical revision is being seen in the movements to remove symbols such as statues of former heroes, primarily associated with the Confederacy, or the names of historical figures that offend certain people in new movements taken off of schools and other public buildings. Many early explorers, founders, and shapers of the United States are now being looked upon with disfavor and gradually being eliminated from this nation's history or relegated to roles where they are deemed essentially unsavory.
The agents of social change and certain academicians unable to physically go back in time in order to exert change seem to want to instead rewrite history books and change the landscape to no longer reflect an existence of anyone who engaged in anything that is now looked upon with an unfavorable eye. The revolutionaries of the New Order of Thought would prefer future generations to understand a new and different history that is more reflective of the demographics of our time.
Revising history is in the hands of educational institutions, politicians who exert the most power, social groups with the loudest voices, or whoever else becomes the victor in future struggles for dissemination of knowledge and lore. The entertainment industry has been doing this for years as seen by theatrically released biopics and historical epics.
More than once have I been disappointed after watching an interesting film and then, after being driven by curiosity to investigate further about the topic, to find that what I had seen was mostly a reinvention of actual history. If in the future our textbooks and other references are changed to reflect the new history then who will know what the truth is. Already we see a mythology of history appearing on the internet to the extent that we cannot always trust what we read. This of course has always been the case to some extent in published materials, but with the internet it seems that revisionism could be getting worse.
So George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were really jerks and not worth having a school named after them? Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were part of an evil cause and should have their monuments removed from public view? The United States legacy is really one of aggression and oppression? Does the history of this country and the country as it now is deserve to be respected?
Oh, I'll still be watching the time travel shows and films. I'll do my best to suspend disbelief as much as I can. But nevertheless, this nagging fear will linger in my mind that maybe the trend to depict time travelers as being successful in changing history is really a nod of approval to the real history revisionists in our midst. When society starts eradicating the truth, they might create an illusion that where we are now and where we are going in the future is wonderful, but they will also be building castles with foundations of sand.
What do you think of the revisionist history movements? Do you like time travel stories in which history gets changed? What is your favorite time travel television show or movie?
On Wednesday I'll be presenting a Battle of the Bands post which continues on the theme of today's post. Two different songs from the seventies by two well known groups who went through numerous personnel changes over the years. If you'd like to join the participants of Battle of the Bands to present your own musical battle then let me know so I can have your blog link added to the list. It's great fun and we'd like to see some more musical tastes involved. I'm sure you've got something you can add to the mix that will make things even more interesting that they are now.