Note: On this very special day I am delighted to announce that we have a very special guest blogger, Joseph Essex III. Dr Essex was appointed professor of applied temporal physics at Oxford University in 2116 before being appointed to the role again in 2113 and then, finally, being appointed to the role for the first time in 2110, following the tragic deaths of many better qualified and more ethical academics. Please make Professor Essex feel welcome.
I am a frequent visitor to the 21st Century, coming to seek the three things that aren’t easily available in 22nd Century Little England; French food, existential dread and gambling in rooms that don’t have temporal shielding. Whenever I visit I’m frankly appalled by how ignorant people in this time period are as to the practicalities of applied temporal physics.
This job isn’t all swanning round space and time with Karen Gillan or Jenna Coleman, you know…indeed, thanks to budget cuts, that’s barely 20% of the job anymore. I literally spend twice as long lecturing as I do showing all of the marvels of history to some young totty in the hope that she’ll be amazed out of her pants!
But what really gets my goat is that every time I let slip to someone from your period that I’m a time-traveller the first thing they ask is, “Why haven’t you killed Hitler?”
Always with the Hitler. Here I am, a respected academic, and all you want from me is that I act like the star in some terrible B-movie.
I know you people don’t have time-travel yet, but you could at least study history. Do you imagine that you can just kill Hitler in isolation and have nothing else change. You’re living in the era that coined the phrase “the butterfly effect” and yet you imagine that you can just blow Hitler’s brain out and things will carry on as normal.
Do you imagine that he was single-handedly responsible for WWII and the Holocaust? Do you imagine that he wasn’t just the figurehead for a populist movement seeking an easy route to power? That if he wasn’t around then somebody else wouldn’t have stepped into the exact same role?
And even if we could stop those things happening, look at the global changes that war effected; the UN, the modern state of Israel, the air of optimism that birthed the NHS, the air of randiness that birthed the baby-boomers…who went on to vote against the interests of the NHS because they wanted the money for their pensions, the political shift away from fascism and the far-right, The Great Escape. If you want to preserve all of these things then you can’t just be arming yourself with a gun suitable for baby-shooting and heading back to 1889.
So please don’t ask me again; I haven’t shot Hitler because, sometimes, terrible things are necessary to bring about huge positive changes. It’s sad, but that’s how history works.
Totally got your back on President Trump, though…and you are going to love Oliver Stone’s DJT.