They Were Simpler Times

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Look at that these pictures, those were the good old days weren’t they? Well not if you were black or a woman or anything other than white, and even then still not Irish either. I’d include gays on that list but back then science said they didn’t exist or something. The 19-aughts may not have been the good old days, but they were certainly simpler times.

What do you think would happen today if someone came across three kids on the street on a Monday, two of whom were smoking cigarettes, and the third smoking a pipe? A stranger would stop those kids, call the police or their parents, and make damn sure they were back in school or at home. In 1910 all that stranger did was thank the kids for the paper he just bought and be on his way. Even the photographer, who was taking the picture to document the exploitation of child labor, probably just bummed a cigarette and went on his way.

By the way, those are rolled cigarettes. Those two kids could probably roll a jay better than Snoop could ever dream. The best part of these pictures though is the kid smoking a pipe. I wish I could have been there when this junior high dropout newsy bought it.

Newsy [to store clerk]: Hey old man, grab me one-a-them pipes and a pouch o’tabaccy.

Store Clerk: Don’t ya think you’re a little young for a pipe sonny?

Newsy: Ahhh why don’t ya go an’ kiss the Kaiser.

Store Clerk [laughing]: Alright alright, I’ll get ya your pipe.

[A black man walks in the store]

Black Man: Excuse me sir I was wondering if I could please purchase some bandages, I’ve injured my hand and it’s bleeding pretty badly.

Store Clerk: I THOUGHT I TOLD YA!! NO DARKIES ALLOWED IN HERE!!! NOW QUIT BLEEDIN’ YOUR BLACK BLOOD ON MY FLOOR

Newsy: Ya! Get out!!!

[Black man runs out frightened]

Store Clerk: Here’s your pipe and tobacco son, have a nice day.

Simpler times indeed. It’s those strange societal differences (youth smoking, not racism) that make me want to travel back in time so badly. I don’t need to witness the Battle of Gettysburg or the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I just want to see a day in the life of people from a random day. As a history buff that would be my ultimate thrill, to understand the people I read about every day. It’s why I got such a kick out of that Abraham Lincoln hate mail.

I have a feeling that like all other things, actually going back in time wouldn’t be as fun as it seems. There is definitely a cutoff as to when you would no longer be able to fit in relatively easily. Any time pre-1890 would be increasingly stressful to travel back to. Customs start to really change, and the language starts to become harder to recognize and keep up with. “Back to the Future III” was total bullshit, Marty McFly would’ve been lynched in a week.

Traveling too far back in time would be miserable.  From the 13th Century and back I imagine, unless you were hanging out with nobility, everyone you met would be gibberish spouting shit covered monkey people.  Those are the types of people who would stab you for an apple. They aren’t as sophisticated as people today, who only steal your AIDS medicine to get high.

Also if you look different at all (which you would), people would be extremely suspicious of you, and probably hostile. As fun as it would be to punch a 4 foot 9 inch super racist in the face for hating me because I looked too Belgian, the effect on history wouldn’t be worth it.

Sure in some cultures you would be considered a god, and you could have all the roasted luau pig and native women you wanted.  But native women don’t look like Rosario Dawson wearing leopard print with some leaves in her hair. No, they’re flat-titted lumpy jungle women. That would be an acquired taste to say the least. Also, in the bush you’re going to be dealing with some serious bush. There are 1,000 reasons not to have sex with someone from the past, and dealing with giant, ill groomed bush is #1,000.  #7 is accidentally being Hitler’s dad FYI.

Would it be fun to travel back in time? Yes, given you don’t go back too far (or were a minority). Seeing the early 20th Century would be a thrill. Obviously that is something I’ll never get to experience. Yes I supposed I could talk to old people, who technically were alive back then, but that’s more like previewing Purgatory than it is traveling back in time. Besides, most of the time old people are just spouting gibberish and covered in their own shit.

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