Dear Future Historian

This is the letter that you’ve been waiting for…

It’s the one that tells you what you already knew, from a person who almost certainly cannot have known.

Firstly, we owe you a posthumous apology. It must be an arduous process – having to trawl through our endless Facebook messages, trying to interpret what this President and that Prime Minister meant when, at the age of ten, he or she decided to share a meme involving a cat and a multicolored frisbee. You are right to resent the long hours you must have to spend trying to decrypt every ambiguous emoji, every ‘like’ on every questionable profile picture, every ‘it’s complicated’ relationship status. What did we mean? We don’t know.

It is also unfortunate that we ended up calling the 20th century flirtation between the USA and the USSR the ‘Cold War’. It must be an irritating misnomer for you, future historian, when right around the corner was an actual war against temperature. We made too little a fuss about climate change, but we made up for it by making a lot of fuss about 9/11, it really did seem like a game changer at the time, right up until antibiotics failed.

Perhaps a contentious area of your historiography, future historian, is the thesis that none of us here in the 21st century where much convinced by any particular ideology. Although it may seem hard to believe, none of us Millennials really knew what to believe in. Tesco worked for most of us, and while few of us were nostalgic for socialism, even fewer of us knew what socialism actually felt like. Apparently the contemporary consensus was that we should all be relativists. In our 21st century mind, subjectivity reigns supreme, and in an absolute and objective manner, which means that we cannot really believe in anything – not even in our own institutions, not even in ourselves. We also can’t hate anybody, because everybody has a point. Of course, the only problem with absolute relativism is that it is in itself relative… oh dear… but as long as we don’t look at the contradictions directly it’s all okay, everything will be okay until it’s all too late, and we realise not only did we not choose the right side but we didn’t choose any side at all. You, future historian, know this now; now that the record shows that eventually Evian did what ISIS could not, and subjected the world to global tyranny. It turns out that Moloch’s love was not endless oil and stone but was actually bottled water.

If there is one thing that we did believe in, it was the popular hero. The resurgence of the hero-cult from antiquity might be hard for you, future historian, to understand. It wouldn’t be amiss to try and compare us to the simplistic social-structures from the ancient world, for just as Hercules could be identified by his lion cloak so too can Macklemore be identified by his coat from the thrift shop. Pop figures – Justin Beebs and others – should perhaps be classified in your records as ‘really really famous’, because, of course, everyone here in the 21st century is famous to some degree or another. Everyone is fighting for more twitter followers, instagram likes, and facebook friends.

To answer your question – no – by the end it was evident that we had no standards by which to hold Hollywood, and would happily suck up whatever spitballed superhero script they could rustle up.

If history is doomed to repeat itself, then so to is this letter, because we end as we began, with an apology. This one comes directly from myself – and it’s an apology for this very letter. This slightly too knowledgeable letter will mess with your future historiographical consensus that psychics and seers were complete frauds. Rest assured that they are and they were.

Je vous prie d’agréer, l’expression de mes sentiments respectueux,

An early 21st centurier.

P.S. Further apology is required for the trend of ‘anachro-archeologists’ who thought it would be funny to bury dogs in full military garb. It’s hilarious to confuse your future selves. I assure you that dogs did not engage in warfare as humans did. The movie ‘Cats and Dogs’ is not historical drama and the phrase ‘man’s best friend’ should be handled with an ironic leash.

















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