Are We Living In An Alternative Universe?

Something feels wrong. If you're a Trekkie, you remember the episode, "Yesterday's Enterprise." To recap: because of a rift in time, the Enterprise-C was destroyed while fighting to protect a Klingon outpost. That lost gesture led to 20 years of war. The Federation was fighting a war that should not have happened. I get the feeling that we're in an alternative universe. Things seem to happen that I say: "no, this is what happens in the alternative universe-- the dystopia-- that runs parallel to universe we should be living in. Charlize Theron winning the Oscar? That happens in a bizarro universe where up is down and day is night. In the Next Generation story, the crew of the Enterprise-D has to get the Enterprise-C ship-shape and sent it back into the fray so that it may survive long enough to carry its role in history. Unfortunately, there's no way to do cross-timeline time travel so we're stuck in our unintended future.

If you think I am wrong: here's some compelling evidence:

I have a goatee. The first giveaway of a good universe vs. a bad universe is whether your characters have goatee. I don't know whether it's a matter of goatees being worn by the devil or jazz musicians or Santa from Miracle on 34th Street, but it's easy to associate goatees (or van dykes) with dark spins to our reality. Before 2000, I didn't have a goatee. I have to associate my facial hair with our current dystopia.

Britney is fat and Xtina is fabulous. Personally, I feel Christina Aguilera is much hotter than Britney Spears. But before 2000, Britney Spears was the IT girl and Christina Aguilera was the skank in that Dirrty video. Now, Xtina is the hottie and Britney is locking her wigger out of the trailer.

William Shatner is a star and David Hasselhoff is in a summer movie. By the 1970s, William Shatner was relegated doing crappy movies like Kingdom of the Spiders (still I like it). Now he's a cult star, star of Boston Legal and recipient of the Emmy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. Wil-li-am Shat-ner! David Hasselhoff: a man who moved from talking to a car on the #3 network went onto being the himbo for a bunch D-cup B-listers on Baywatch. Now he's in Click. Like it or not, he's back. A David Hasselhoff comeback could only happen in some topsy turvey universe. When Gil Gerard wins an Oscar, I will have proven my point.

TAB came back. Tab Cola used to be a low calorie alternative to Coke. Fat people would choke it down with the same zeal as a doing your own dental work. Tab is back and it's being touted as an energy drink (a la Red Bull). At 5 calories per can it's still trying to be diet conscious. But it's pushing the marketing so hard on women that I wouldn't be surprised to only find this in the same aisle that sells feminine hygiene products.

Orwell All Day, Every Day. The US Government is bugging phone calls en masse. Gas prices are being lowered from $1.04 to $1.14 per litre. Newspeak and Goodspeak is rampant. We are locked in new wars in Eastasia. (doh! Sorry, I nixed that until March 5th, 2009-- no reason to spoil surprise)

Bush is the President. This seems like a punch line for dystopia. In 1996, Dubya got a nod from the Simpsons as a deadbeat son of George HW Bush. Now, he's our wartime president? He won in 2000 in Bizarro universe fashion: by getting fewer votes than his opponent.

9/11. I was raised on a steady diet of preposterous plots from James Bond movies and comic books. They all seemed so stupid and unlikely that I thought they were relegated to fiction. Then, Bam-Bam-Bam: a diabolical madman levels skyscrapers in the heart of New York City from his secret lair. James Bond plots only come to real life in alternative universes.

Green Exit Signs. Sure, the excuse is that the old ones used too much power. That's just a line they feed you. When you drop into an alternative universe the colors will shift. That's why the lights are different colors. As soon as most of exit signs go back to red will we know that we're safe again.

American Concentration Camps. Guantanamo Bay is the first American concentration camp. I'm sure in 1933 Germany when Dachau opened people thought it was just a prison of a different sort. Ironically, the Germans condemned their prisoners in a court of law before imprisoning them. Something is wrong if you have a lesser sense of justice than a Nazi.

Dearth of Zeppelins. Zeppelins were hot up into the 1930s. Then boom: the Hindenberg. We had a plastic fantastic future in store. Zeppelins could hover in the sky like boats at sea. Thanks to bad luck with hydrogen that whole concept was hobbled. Zeppelins were part of a new utopia then their rarity must mean dystopia. Look at the rest of the 1930s: blimps out: Hilter in-- think about it.

Atomic War? From "A Canticle For Leibowitz" to Khan Noonan Singh's eugenics so many people predicted that we'd be in the aftermath of an atomic war by now. The fact that we aren't battling mutants amongst the rubble should be evidence of a sort that we're in an unintended future.

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