Daily Archives: June 6, 2010

Rewriting History

If I could turn back time, if I could find a way, I’d take back those words that’ve hurt you, and you’d stay.  Echoing Cher’s proposition, but adding a much more historically and culturally consequential dimension, if you could learn the truth about a great mystery, prevent an event from happening, or simply prolong someone’s lifespan to see how the world would be different, how would you choose?

If you could discover the answer to one of the following, you would pick:

– Who was responsible for JFK’s death?
– Who was responsible for Marilyn Monroe’s death?
– Who was Jack the Ripper?
– Who killed JonBenet Ramsey?
– What happened to Amelia Earhart? Or, what if Amelia Earhart never disappeared?

Whose extended life would have had the most significant impact on industry, and culture? Why?
Abraham Lincoln
James Dean
Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee
Kurt Cobain
Jeff Buckley
JFK Jr.
Aaliyah
Lisa Left-Eye Lopes
Michael Hutchence
Sylvia Plath
Iris Chang
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Louis XVI

And now for subjunctive history, how would American and global politics and culture be different if…

– Michael Vick never had dog troubles (as in he was never involved in the venture).
Tom Brady didn’t injure his knee at the start of the 2008 season.
– The Titanic never sank.
New York City still had an intact skyline.
Prohibition never happened.
Columbine never happened.
OJ Simpson was convicted of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman’s deaths; Or, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman never met such a horrible end.
Will H. Hays never implemented the Production Code.
– The House on Un-American Activities Committee never carried out a communist witchhunt in Hollywood.
– Hurricane Katrina never happened.
Napoleon never existed.
– The Civil War never happened; Or, what if the Confederacy won.
Both Tupac and the Notorious BIG remained friends.

I believe that any what-ifs concerning Jack the Ripper’s identity and the OJ Simpson trial would have a tremendous domino effect on American culture, the legal system, and media.  The increased presence of forensic science in entertainment and news is due in part to the the interest in the Ripper murders as well as the media phenomenon of the OJ case.