Why China Hates Marty McFly

I’m a mad scientist, and I want to be your president*

People's Republic of China

By 澳门特别行政区立法会 / Assembleia Legislativa da Região Administrativa Especial de Macau / Legislative Assembly of the Macau Special Administrative Region [Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons”

Not for the first time, China is being a huge buzzkill. No, this time it isn’t as bad as their imperialistic agenda in Tibet or their involvement in the Darfur genocide, but still pretty annoying if you ask me. This time, they’re trying to boss around the fabric of spacetime.

About a year ago, China officially banned all movie and television shows about time travel. The reason? It’s “disrespectful to history.” The real reason? Some high-level member of the ruling party probably got bent out of shape when he couldn’t get a refund for his ticket to Timecop staring Jean Claude Van Damme.

Now, the Chinese are a people who love history, and I truly respect them for it. In fact, I believe our country could benefit from a similar veneration of our past rather than trying to re-write Wikipedia every time Sarah Pailin makes up stuff about Paul Revere.

But imagine living in a nation without Terminator, Back to the Future, or Dr. Who. China’s policy is clearly an act of overt oppression against their mad science population.

To make matters worse, about two months after this declaration, researchers at a university in Hong Kong announced that they had disproved time travel http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/186999/20110726/time-travel-impossible-hong-kong-scientists-speed-of-light.htm . Well, they hadn’t— they only disproved photons moving faster than the speed of light. But the Chinese turned the whole thing into a big propaganda hoopla about how their wise and glorious leaders were correctly defending the people from frivolous, imaginary ideas.

Ideology vs. Discovery

My real beef is this: I don’t like political ideology dictating what people should or shouldn’t watch, or what they should or shouldn’t research, and certainly not what they should or shouldn’t imagine.

To China, I say: go ahead and ban time travel. Might as well stop trying to figure out how time works, too, because even if time travel really  isn’t possible, exploring the possibilities will still improve our knowledge of how the universe works. Then, when one of your scientists makes a huge breakthrough, they will have to hide it for fear of embarrassing their supposedly infallible leaders. Or, better, yet, they can just defect to the United States, because our country is awesome and you know it.

Ain’t no Party like a Time Travel Party

If a time machine is invented while I’m in office, I promise not to misuse it. Instead, I’m going to throw a party with the greatest minds in history, including Socrates, DaVinci, and Bill & Ted of Wyld Stallyns. You’re all invited, too, but nobody in the Chinese government gets to come.



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*I’m not really a scientist or a politician. This is a work of social satire. Don’t actually vote for me: if I really wanted your vote, I’d just use my mind-control ray.

About Sechin Tower

Sechin Tower is a teacher, game developer, and author of MAD SCIENCE INSTITUTE, a novel of creatures, calamities, and college matriculation. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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One Response to Why China Hates Marty McFly

  1. Tim OBrien says:

    They don’t want competition in the history rewriting business.

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