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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Time after time

Time Travel - As anyone could probably tell, I've really been contemplating the concept of time as of late, although for no particular reason so don't try to read into it. So the other night I watched Bender's Big Score (you know, the Futurama movie), again. I had seen it a couple of times before, seeing as I own it and all, but this time I really put some long thought into some of the time travel concepts proposed. So I will try to examine the scenes and paradoxes held within - now, of course I realize that not only is it a cartoon and entirely fictional, but I know that when they originally conceived the show they made it a point to not limit themselves to reality.

Scene #1 - the scammers reveal the time code on Fry's butt which opens a time portal. To test it, the head scammer, who we'll call todayScammer (a little variable dictation there) goes to yesterday. A few moments later, todayScammer walks into the room with yesterdayScammer. Okay - when todayScammer first goes back to the yesterday and finds yesterdayScammer, wouldn't he have to explain the time code to yesterdayScammer and hence, the time code would be discovered sooner than originally implied? Second, why did yesterdayScammer walk into the room with todayScammer - shouldn't he have already been in the room?

Scene #2 - obviously, all of these issues are paradoxes, how can we travel back in time without altering the past in a way that would prevent the creation of time travel or somehow changing the future? If we could go back in time, we'd know we could go back in time already because we already would have met someone from the future, if that makes sense. So the Harlem Globetrotters help the professor figure out how paradox-free time travel is possible, although it leaves the duplicate bodies to be inevitably doomed.

Scene #3 - this is where the time travel gets confusing...1) the time code is on Fry's butt, therefore after Bender is finished stealing everything valuable from the past, he is ordered to kill Fry. 2) Fry escapes to the year 2000 and Bender follows. 3) Fry duplicates himself in order to get warm pizza and Bender duplicates himself to go to the bathroom. 4) The first Fry (not the duplicate), freezes himself with the original Fry. 5) The duplicate Fry pushes the duplicate Bender who is about to self-destruct into another cryogenics case and freezes him. 6) The original Bender chases the Fry duplicate for the next 12 years. 7) Bender blows up Fry's apartment above the pizza place where he worked, but the explosion doesn't kill Fry, but merely singes off his hair and the smoke damages his larynx. 8) After the explosion, Fry realizes he is Leela's new boyfriend, Lars, by way of a picture he brought back with him from the future so he freezes himself. 9) Bender returns to the future by way of the cave beneath the Planet Express with all of the other waiting Bender's with invaluable artifacts and announces that he killed Fry. 10) At the funeral, Fry shows up and explains the duplicate story, so Bender merely killed the duplicate. 11) The crew decides to remove the time code from Fry's butt. 12) Lars leaves Leela at the alter after realizing that he, himself, is a duplicate and therefore doomed. 13) In an act of courage, Lars sacrifices himself by defrosting the frozen Bender duplicate who is about to self-destruct. 14) This explosion singes Lars' clothes revealing another time code. 15) The original Bender removes this tattoo from Lars and uses it to travel back in time and put it on the original Fry's butt.

So here's the question - where did they get the tattoo from in the first place?

That took a lot of typing, so I'll probably continue this topic tomorrow - but what are your thoughts on Time Travel? Possible? How? We could also discuss Donnie Darko if we were ambitious. More tomorrow - ta.

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