Time passes and the wheel spins, ages turn to myth and Robert Jordan (R.I.P.) creates another protracted preamble to an unnecessarily turgid series. Life happens, but I feel like people have created much more evocative metaphors. Here, read about time as an arrow or equal opportunity employer. As time passes, change dances merrily alongside. I was talking with a co-worker today about comedies and how they’ve aged. Wayne’s World? Surprisingly well, with the 2nd one perhaps succeeding further. Ace Ventura, if you’ll recall, is actually hella transphobic. Seriously, there’s a scene where a dude realises he’s kissed a trans person and projectile vomits. Maybe not aged like a fine vintage. We chatted about creators and views they harboured. There’s the longstanding urban legend that Walt Disney was a card carrying anti-semite. It made me wonder about how much stigma is attached to visionaries in certain fields who’re struck by the pitchforks of a society with the luxury of time/change. Was Disney stewing with jew disapproval? Or was everyone and we’ve singled him out from the luxury of our vantage point? How often do we forgive our racist grandparents simply because it was a different time? I’m in no way trying to condone the attitudes of the time. It was shitty, unevolved thinking that came from humanoid organisms without the benefit of our fortunate societal evolution. I happened to only have 2 wisdom teeth. Do I look down on people born with 4? Of course not. Will future humans look back at our abhorrent mishandling of trans rights? Absolutely. Will they understand that while some people were progressive, it took time, education and a lot of inhuman suffering to get there? I hope so.
Thing is, it’s often hard to see where we stand in the progression of time and change. Society is composed of an arbitrarily large number of communities and the internet has only fractured that. It’s so easy to find your people now, but barely easier to gain understanding of the communities that exist outside yours. The possibility is there, the desire is not. We live in bubbles of like-minded folk, something that social media has only solidified. Every now and again you come up against a conflicting view that surprises you. I was talking with a different co-worker today about comics, movies and television, when we stumbled onto Dr Who, a series I’ve got no great interest in, but a bunch of my friends put on a pedestal up with bees’ knees. She was talking about the Doctor and how it’s a little jarring but eventually fine when a new actor takes over.
Me: I wonder when they’re finally gonna have a female Doctor.
Her: Well that wouldn’t work.
Me: (taken aback) Wait, why not?
Her: Because it’s always been a male Doctor. That’s how it goes.
Me: Yeah, but before Obama, presidents have always been white. It’s not like that’s been any different. Some kids have grown up without knowing a white president.
Her: Yeah, but that’s the president, not The Doctor.
Me: Why? The Doctor always takes another body as host, right?
Her: Yeah, but it’s always a guy. Plus The Companion’s always a girl. Also there’s usually some kind of chemistry.
Me: But The Doctor is an arbitrary entity, right? Why could that entity not regenerate into a female body? Also what’s to stop The Companion from being male, or gay?
Her: But that’s not how it goes.
Me: Well each time The Doctor regenerates, it’s strange, right? But then you get used to the new form and everything’s fine. How would it be any different with a female Doctor.
Her: It just would, you don’t change something like that.
She’s a lovely person and it stunned me that she’d still be stuck with such regressive attitudes. If someone like her still sees from that kind of myopic scope, how much of society still does? Being in my bubble, I didn’t think I’d come face to face with those views. How much time needs to pass before this “because it’s always been that way” becomes a new platform for change? Do we just need to get a brand new set of tyres (to appease the late Mr Jordan and his hardon for lengthy prose)? Or will people eventually get shot by these time arrow things and adapt their tune? Only time, in whichever metaphor you approve of, will tell.