On the heels of a fantastic article about the floating time-line which causes continuity problems in Marvel and DC Comics, I now bring you PROOF that our reality/society/world operates on a 10-year sliding time-scale. First of all, here are fictional examples of floating time-lines, so we can be on the same page:
- The Marvel Universe’s Age of Heroes is only 10-13 years old even though the Fantastic Four made their journey to the stars in 1961, to “beat the commies”.
- Superman made his debut in 1938, yet the current character admits he’s been around 10-12 years.
- From 1962-2002 James Bond remained in his 40′s, although other characters grew older. Timothy Dalton’s “new James Bond” is 20 years younger.
- Tarzan of the Apes: what year? Late 1880′s? World War I? World War II? “Present Day”?
- Most newspaper comic strips are eternal.
- The 1980′s G.I. Joe franchise had their war experience from ‘Nam. Now it’s from Gulf War, and will eventually be the Iraq War and Afghan War, if it isn’t already.
- The TV show M*A*S*H’s timeline could be seen as being longer than the Korean War or actually compressed into a few months.
- The TV show Heroes started in 2007 with no gaps in time, so the first 4 seasons take place in around a year, however, later product placements killed that illusion, and the whole timeline blew up when it was mentioned that Season 1 occurred “3 years ago”.
- You’d think the video game franchise The King of Fighters, which is followed by each year (KoF ’95, 96, etc) with each new release would age each character by a year. Nope.
- Disney characters live in the moment. You’re never going to hear Mickey Mouse reminisce about World War II. Same with Looney Tunes characters, like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. Scooby-Doo is immortal. At least The Simpsons cartoon recognizes this, and even did a parody about it, with That ’90′s Show…which fell flat to everyone but me, since the satire went over people’s heads.
And now…REAL LIFE FLOATING TIME LINES
- The President of the United States. In the year 2000, President Clinton was finishing up after scandal after scandal. Everything from 2000 until today “is still in continuity”, such as President George W. Bush being Satan. However, the original President George H. Bush is now 17 years out of office, and has been relegated to a “Bush’s dad” by the mainstream public- some old rich guy who is the answer to trivia questions. President Ronald Reagan, now over 20 years in the past has become a symbol of a great era of conservatism, capitalism, and what a leader is supposed to be, used by both parties as an icon. President Jimmy Carter might as very well be President Herbert Hoover, because his term is too far in the past. Icons like JFK, FDR, Lincoln, and Washington, although subject to retcons, are timeless, while President Nixon- as an icon- gets much more love in 2010 than he ever did after Watergate.
- Baseball: The Yankees only won 1 World Championship, that was in 2009. Granted there are banners that say “27 World Championships”, but quickly- tell me about the 1943 Yankees or even the difference between the 1999 Yankees and the 2000 Yankees. The 10-Year Time-Line was easily demonstrated when Joe Torre stopped winning championships, so instead of winning rings 4 out of 5 years since 1996, he started to lose rings in 2006 and 2007, before he left. Derek Jeter may have 5 rings, but for today’s generation- the ones that control the 10-year time-line, only 1 ring is “real” It was very simple to see when the announcers and interviewers mentioned the 2000 Subway Series as being the last time Jeter won a ring. Fading memories.
- WWE: Pro wrestling follows a strict floating time-line, as Vince McMahon will actually wipe out histories, characters, and events. A wrestler who is past his prime, has always been past his prime. Boxing is similar- what have you done for me lately? Mike Tyson who?
- We can’t afford Social Security. This issue was mentioned since Day 1. It’s nothing new. It has never been solved. It never will. It’s just an ongoing storyline that gets slightly changed, but every generation doesn’t fix it.
- Timothy McVeigh- It has now been 15 years since Timothy McVeigh committed right wing domestic terrorism and blew up a federal building. It has been a footnote years after 9-11-2001. In fact, just 6 years after it happened, it paled in comparison to the World Trade Center attacks.
- Speaking of the World Trade Center…the original WTC Bombing was in 1993, which, in 2010, only seems to be known by conspiracy theorists and historians, even though it was world news at the time. In 2001, more people said “It got hit again?” than today, because it was within the 10-Year Time-Line. Even n 2001, the bulk of Americans had forgotten about 1993, because as we near the end of a floating time-line, the earlier events…fade.
Here’s the sad part…I could write a book about this. Just look at your own life, work history, relationships, world current events, and history and you’ll see how we as humans compress the time-line with our perceptions.
It slides and slides until we as a society have no long term memory, which means we are doomed to repeat mistakes and “rediscover” things. Thank goodness our technology and health continues to increase. The impressions remain, but the details fade. Actual events get filed into some “distant time” and over time people can’t distinguish individual years or even eras. I mean what happened in 1845? The 1880′s? People in the future will be asking the same thing about 2010. Citizens of the future will get 2010 confused with 2000, 1990, or 1960. Tony Vahl already experienced this when he read a novel that mentioned the Internet Dot Com Bust of the 1980′s.
Why 10 years? Well it’s not exact, of course. But it’s a symbol of humans being conditioned to worship the base 10 numeral system. We like things nice and round. 500 Homeruns is not just 7 homeruns better than 493, it is the difference between a 1st ballot Hall of Famer and…Fred McGriff…$1,000 is a LOT of money for an item, but $999.95 is a DEAL! We place value on decades and ages, so being “in your 30′s” is a whole different lifestyle than being “in your 40′s”, even though it’s only 10 years or less! Being “raised in the 1980′s” is totally different than being “raised in the 1990′s”. As you can see all of my examples show the illusion of valuing Base 10.
Another related theory is that working or being around stress and chaos causes time to flow slower for the individual, so one week working at an Office from Hell really feels like two weeks, and you are always surprised that you quit after only 3 months, when it felt like 6 months.
Our perception of reality is a joke.