I saw the lame remake of "The Day The Earth Stood Still" on a plane last week but it didn't strike me until today that our globe is actually spinning backwards.
As of now, we're somewhere back in the 17- or 1800s.
The comeback of pirates should have been a major clue, like the appearance of giant, two-headed toads or a Cretaceous-age raptor sprinting in the distance are early signs in the better sci-fi movies that something extraordinary is happening. As much as we hoped for the safe release of our citizens, there was still something almost charming and Peter Pan-ish about the idea of piracy, particularly before people started getting killed over it.
Why not try to live in the past a little, when the present is so darn irritating and out of control?
But there are other signs that we're already there:
Texas Governor Rick Perry, fully enmeshed in the double entendre thrill of early American-style tea-bagging parties, also was so frothed up he used the "s" word. "Secede!" he yelled to a crowd in Austin. Other than Willie Nelson, fogged out on his tour bus, no one in a position of authority has talked about secession since the state did leave the union in 1861. Tying two retro threads together, among the audience were signs that read, "Some Pirates Are in America," with photos of key DC Democrats. (There's a theory that the tea-bagging thing is Newt Gingrich's attempt to sex up the Republican Party.
Then, USA Today reports on a trend by "economic survivalists", or what the paper calls "21st-century homesteaders." That's where families are giving up modern conveniences and doing past-century things like gardening, canning, sewing, and stockpiling as a response to the economic earthquake.
And in England, officials in the village of Navstock are praising highway potholes as "good" for "our quiet little back roads," an earlier-era kind of "traffic calming". Why pay to put in speed bumps when the equivalent of dirt road divots have the same effect?
Time to start packing your carpetbag and buying your stagecoach tickets.
But, not so fast. Opening the door to a slower pace and down-home virtues of the past also lets in some old fire-and-brimstone demons. The London Daily Mail reports that prior era "rare infectious illnesses including typhoid, whooping cough and scarlet fever have soared 166 percent in the past two years."
Even nostalgia has a perilous price these days.
Causes Phil Bronstein Supports
Good Ones; anything involving the possibility of redemption.