I majored in English and I’ve been a lifelong geek. As a result, I spend a lot of time thinking about what it might be like to live in other times and places. I’m certainly guilty of romanticizing certain historical and fictional circumstances. I think it’s time to take an honest look at how I’d do in some of my favorite geeky times and places…
The U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-D (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”)
Probability of day-to-day survival: High.
Yeah, I might be a Riker fangirl, but I’m also a true fan of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Despite the existence of the Borg and the persistent and omnipotent Q Continuum, I think I’d do pretty well here, especially under Picard’s command. (Like I said, I majored in English – and Picard loves literature.)
Right now I’m surviving pretty well as an uninsured American, but on the Enterprise and as a member of Starfleet, I’d have access to health care and mental health counseling. Additionally, my recreational needs would not be fulfilled as I sit in stagnation in front of a computer, but in constant availability of LARPing (live action role playing) on the Holodeck! In fact, I would probably be more likely to survive on the Enterprise than in my present time and place, and I could probably get free laser correction vision surgery (maybe even without the lasers).
As a bonus, females are treated equally to males in Starfleet!
Probability of day-to-day survival: Medium.
“Thor” (2011) is pretty much my favorite movie. Imagine if we interacted with extraterrestrials, except they turned out to be exactly the same as the ancient Norse gods? Bonus if they look like Thor. He’s kind of awesome and amazing, plus he has mad thunder skills. Thor comes from the Realm Eternal, also known as Asgard. Unfortunately, humans are often put into danger when they’re around him (it’s usually Loki’s fault). But what if I had the chance to hang out with Thor and his friends on Asgard, where it’s seemingly much safer?
First, there’s the problem of getting there, which happens in the Marvel Cinematic Universe via Einstein-Rosen (Bifrost) Bridge. It looks a bit rough, scary, and unstable. And while Jane Foster seems to think that it’s perfectly possible to access other dimensions that way, I’m not sure that even Jane thinks traveling that way is the best idea for humans (as evidenced by the “Thor: The Dark World” teaser).
Plus, humans are pretty squishy compared to immortals. What if I became Fandral’s best friend, but then he accidentally squished me by giving me a hug?
Assuming I got there safely, it seems like most of the Asgardians would be friendly enough to not kill a random human visitor, but what about other extraterrestrials? This could definitely prove dangerous for any humans. And what about roving bilgesnipe!?
Medieval Era (the historically accurate kind…)
Probability of day-to-day survival: Low.
Golly gee, I sure love LARPing and going to renaissance faires and dressing up in historically inaccurate medieval costuming and slaying dragons and stuff! Wouldn’t it be fun for me to hang out in real medieval times?
No. Mainly because I’d probably die.
First of all, without real glasses, I wouldn’t be able to see. I wouldn’t find any good healers like on Asgard or the Enterprise, aside from rudimentary remedies. That pneumonia I got a couple of years ago would probably have killed me.
Lastly, let’s consider my heritage. I’m mostly descended from Irish people, who didn’t fare so well in the medieval era (or most eras, for that matter). Instead of partying with Thor on Asgard, I’d be busy trying to avoid being killed, raped, and/or dispossessed by the very people who worshiped him. And in a Christian society, I wouldn’t have done much better either, you know, having boobs. Can we say the beginning of true patriarchal repression of women? Yeah, no thanks. In fact, it’s amazing that any of my ancestors even survived, now that I think about it.
Do you tend to romanticize different times and places? How would you survive? Leave your comments below!