Amazing TIME PORTAL
youre like us, youre frustrated with how unbelievably
complex todays world has become -- what, with cell
phones, pagers, e-mail, and the Internet, it just seems like no
ones ever "off" -- no one has time to relax and
enjoy life. Even though theres no scientific proof, you just
cant escape the feeling that in the past, things were simpler,
more relaxed: the world moved by at a slower pace, and folks were
more content. That hunch is beginning to gnaw at you, making you
question your very existence, asking yourself, "is it all worthwhile?"
Now, finally, our company has come up with an answer.
new invention is the result of years of laborious effort. Even though
all our researchers come from dual career families, they worked
on this project 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year,
all the while agonizing about how their children were doing in day
care. They brought their laptops to Little League games and their
pagers to parent-teacher conferences. They were so overextended,
even their pagers had pagers.
all those efforts have paid off: here at ResearchInstituteLand.com,
we have developed an amazing new technology to help the harried
denizens of the 21st century confirm that their existence is more
miserable than that of any preceding generation. We call it the
does this invention work? Well, our developers are still perfecting
Web and PalmOs interfaces for the tool, but in the interest of generating
second-round venture capital for the project, weve created
this simulation. The transcript below represents the types of interaction
the TIME PORTAL will allow you to have with people from the past.
In the proposed subscription-based Web version, youd conduct
these interviews yourself, in real time.
Hello, there, Mrs. 1950s housewife! Here in the 21st century were
all dual career families. Were wracked with guilt about whether
our children are being sufficiently enriched by their activities
in day care. Arent you glad youre living in the 1950s,
not the year 2001?
Housewife: Why, yes! I can see that your life is much more miserable
than mine. Im glad that I can stay home and keep everything
sanitary while my husband puts in his time at the office! I know
my children are being enriched, because we have Tele-Vision. Since
they spend at least 6 hours a day watching quality shows like "Howdy-Doody"
and "The Lone Ranger," I know theyll grow up to
be wonderful citizens in the "Space Age."
And I bet you never have to take your cell phone to the PTA meeting!
Housewife: Thats right. Generally on those nights my husband
works late at the office, so I just feed the kids a healthy TV dinner
and then go to the meeting by myself while they watch TV. I certainly
dont need to worry about getting phone calls in my prison
cell. Here in the 1950s, everyone knows their place. And if we ever
get a bit "sad" or "out of sorts," we just smoke
a cigarette or take a Valium. Life couldnt be better!
What a relief! I AM more miserable than a 1950s housewife!
Hey, Mr. 1930s unemployed worker! Here in the 21st century were
constantly worried about our investments. No one wants to squander
the easy million they made day-trading dot-com stocks. Arent
you glad youre living in the 1930s, not the year 2001?
worker: I sure dont have any worries like that. Ever since
I left the South to get away from sharecroppin and the KKK,
my life has been much better. Ive only been out of work for
3 years, so my situations not as desperate as a lot of folks.
Heck, just last week I found a piece of cardboard, and I was able
to borrow a knife so I could fashion it into a new pair of shoes!
Now waiting in bread lines in sub-zero weather is much more comfortable.
Id hate to be sitting in a plush, heated office frettin
about what to do with all my money!
And you have all those wonderful Fred and Ginger movies to cheer
worker: Thats right. I dont know if Id be
able to take it if I didnt sleep outside the Odeon. Just the
sound of all that singin and dancin puts me right to
sleep. Then I dream about food.
Of course! I hadnt even thought of that. In the 21st century,
were constantly battling to keep our weight down. In the 1930s,
almost NO ONE had that problem. I AM more miserable than a 1930s
unemployed worker! What a relief!
Im fortunate to be interviewing the great scientist Galileo
Galilei! Galileo, in the 21st century, were constantly in
doubt over our faith. What, with sending men to the Moon, and computer
technology, sometimes it seems like there might not be a God. Dont
you feel lucky to live in a time when everyone had unquestioned
I sure do: because of my supreme faith in God, I was forced by the
Pope to renounce my lifes work confirming that the Earth revolves
around the Sun, and I was grateful to accept the punishment of being
a prisoner in my own home. Of course, now its looking like
I was right all along. Oh, well . . . at least I had convictions.
Some of our recent discoveries even suggest that rather than being
created by an all-knowing God, the universe began spontaneously
in a huge explosion. Now, were all so confused we usually
just sit at home on Sunday and read the paper.
Really? Thats fascinating. It has tremendous implications
for all of science! Of course, though I can easily see how it can
be reconciled with the Bible, the Pope would consider it blasphemous.
Then Id be forced to agree with the Pope, which Id willingly
do. Im glad to live in a time when my religion is dictated
to me, instead of being free to examine my own faith.
What a lucky guy that Galileo was -- Im smugly satisfied to
know that my life is worse than his.
France, 20,000 B.C.
Hey, cave-painter guy! Here in the 21st century were confused
about the true nature of art. Some exhibitions even depict excrement
on our sacred objects, claiming to make a "statement"
about religion. Dont you feel lucky to live in a time when
art portrayed the simple elements of daily life?
Sorry, cant talk for long, buddy! Im developing a new
medium here. Hey, Gruela, hows the search for a new cave going?
I dont want to hear about your lack of venture capital, just
MAKE IT HAPPEN! Grok, can you give me an update on the day-care
cavern? Are those kids learning proper brushing technique? How are
we going to create an art form that will survive for millennia if
our children arent adequately prepared? Im sorry, 21st-century
guy, what was the question?
Dont you just enjoy relaxing in the cave after a long hunt?
Hunt? Were WAY past that, babe are you kidding me?
Were talking multimedia, here. Were content creation
specialists with an emphasis on iconic visual imagery. We leave
hunting to the Neanderthals.
Gee, life in a cave doesnt sound much different from life
in the 21st century. . . .
What are you talking about? Were MUCH more miserable than
you guys. When youre creating the basis for all modern civilization,
youre pulled in 20 different directions. Man, it sure is a
relief to see how easy you guys have it in the 21st century!