Anna Gregoline | April 14, 2005
What would you place in a time-capsule to allow people opening the capsule 1,000 years from now to understand life in the 1980's? The 90's? Now?

Kris Weberg | April 14, 2005
The present: The complete works of political theorists Leo Strauss (teacher to Perle, Wolfowitz, etc.), Carl Schmitt (Strauss's own intellectual forebrear), Giorgio Agamben's treatise Homo Sacer, and Hardt and Negri's book Empire. An iPod, a picture of Paris Hilton, and a copy of Windows X; next to a chart showing the fall of record sales, the decline in American literacy, and any article noting that Macs sell worse than PCs but are much, much better. Al Gore. The actual person. Grant Morrison's complete Invisibles run. Oh, and Don DeLillo's novel Mao II, which, although from the 1980s, is the best reading of the cultural status of terrorism I've ever seen.

The 1990s: Footage of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The complete 1990s films of Richard Linlater, especially Slacker. News coverage of the Kathie Lee/sweatshop scandal. The complete works of Jacques Derrida, Nirvana, Naomi Klein, and the sole remaining copy of the Macarena single. Any and all movies by Jerry Bruckheimer. Will Smith. The actual person. The complete Jim Lee X-Men run.

The 1980s: The speeches of Reagan, Thatcher, and Gorbachev. The movies Wall Street, Broadcast News, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. A DVD set of the Cosby Show and Cheers. A complete run of the Chris Claremont/John Byrne X-Men comic. A book by Donald Trump paired with news stories on Trump's nbankruptcy and the SNL scandals. And every 80s album by U2, Madonna, and the Smiths.

Amy Austin | April 14, 2005
You forgot an actual person of the 80s, Kris...

John E Gunter | April 14, 2005
[quote]You forgot an actual person of the 80s, Kris...[/quote]

Hey! ;-) :-P

John

Amy Austin | April 14, 2005
Did you think I meant you, John???

Although, I did mean to express my complete disbelief over your having a grandson of school age... WHAT?!!! So, then... wouldn't this automatically disqualify you from that requirement? Doesn't this actually make you a person of the Stone Age??? ;DDDDD ;-P ;-)

Jackie Mason | April 14, 2005
[hidden by request]

Kris Weberg | April 14, 2005
My take on the 80s is that no one of note at the time really WAS an actual person.

Amy Austin | April 15, 2005
Ouch. And you thought my comment was cold, John? ;-)

Scott Hardie | April 15, 2005
This is becoming a cooperative effort. To Kris's excellent list I might add the following. (And I'm presuming we're only considering American culture.)

Now: "Speakerboxxx / The Love Below." Books about the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet. DVDs of "The Passion of the Christ" and "Fahrenheit 9/11." Lisa Beamer's Let's Roll and the film version of "The Guys." The first and final episodes from the debut seasons of "Survivor" and "American Idol." A cell phone with a digital camera and some video game on it. "The Diary of Alicia Keys." A pennant from the Red Sox championship. One of Lance Armstrong's yellow bracelets. A scrapbook of one-page printouts from 50 prominent blogs. The "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack. News accounts of the invasion of Iraq, mixed with stories told by actual soldiers on the ground. A collection of "Boondocks" strips from 2002-2003 and "Doonesbury" strips from 2004-2005. I could be talked into including "The Marshall Mathers LP."

1990s: As Jackie wisely suggested, box sets of the complete series of "My So-Called Life" and the collected mythology episodes of "The X Files." News articles about the murders of Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. A red flannel shirt and a Raiders Starter jacket. "Ray of Light." Linda Tripp's tape recordings mixed with Clinton's public admission of adultery. One absolute must is "Pulp Fiction," and it wouldn't hurt to toss in "Groundhog Day" and "Titanic" with it. Again, news accounts of the invasion of Iraq, mixed with stories told by actual soldiers on the ground. Nirvana's "Nevermind." A Jesus fish and a Darwin fish. Printouts of the early home pages of Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, Craigslist (not that it's changed much), the IMDb, the Smoking Gun, and the Drudge Report. Mariah Carey's self-titled debut. "The Blair Witch Project." Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. "Philadelphia," "Boys Don't Cry," and news accounts of the murder of Matthew Shepard. Somehow, a video clip of that dancing baby. Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation. A video of 2-3 episodes of Oprah. "The Chronic." Out of personal interest, "The Matrix."

1980s: This is too big a field to survey, so I'll skip it. One easy-to-overlook entry I would probably include would be season one of "The Simpsons" and a "proud to be an underachiever" t-shirt.

Scott Hardie | April 15, 2005
Oh, duh: To today's capsule I would also add The Da Vinci Code.

Steve Dunn | April 15, 2005
Surely the actual person of the 1980s would be Cyndi Lauper?

John E Gunter | April 15, 2005
Watch it Amy & Kris, I'll be siccing my T-Rex or Velociraptor on you. ;-P

John

Amy Austin | April 15, 2005
Oh. "Jurassic Age". Thanks for clarifying. ;-D

Lori Lancaster | April 15, 2005
[hidden by request]

Kris Weberg | April 15, 2005
Madonna and Michael Jackson are not "actual people." They are, in fact, highly sophisticated synthetics -- in Michael Jackson's case, possibly a Bizarro duplicate.

John E Gunter | April 15, 2005
Would that make Michael a Bizarre Bizarro?

Clairity is my middle name! Ok, maybe not really, but I just want to make sure we're on the same page! ;-P

John

Amy Austin | April 15, 2005
They had middle names back then???

John E Gunter | April 15, 2005
No, I added much later to fit in with the recent trend. LOL

John

Amy Austin | April 15, 2005
;DDDDD

Aaron Shurtleff | April 15, 2005
Is there anything left of the original Michael Jackson?? You can't put into a time capsule something that does not exist.

Can we put Larry the Cable Guy in a capsule...just so we don't have to hear from him anymore?? PLEASE!!!

Aaron Shurtleff | April 15, 2005
I just had a scary thought of some bizarre race digging up one of the capsules 1000 years from now and thinking (as an example) the Al Gore must have been like a god to the humans of 2000, since we buried him in a fine tomb with so many possessions to honor him! Or Will Smith?! HA!

Kris Weberg | April 15, 2005
Wait...so Al Gore's not like a god to the people of the present?

(Begins disassembling massive golden Al Gore statue.)

Anna Gregoline | April 15, 2005
(Quietly extinguishes candles on Al Gore altar)

I don't worship him, but I always liked him, I think he's a nice guy. And that was only cemented when I met him - got only good vibes off that man.

Scott Hardie | April 16, 2005
I like Al Gore as much as the next baby-killer, but am I the only one who can imagine him climbing out of a time capsule perfectly healthy after a thousand years, not a single hair on his head out of place, and really pissed off?

Anna Gregoline | April 16, 2005
I can't, really, because it's hard to imagine him really pissed off in any threatening way - he's more of the stern type.

Kris Weberg | April 18, 2005
Likewise. Al Gore isn't the kind of guy who takes names and kicks ass. He's the kind of guy who crafts policies and delivers lectures.

Amy Austin | April 18, 2005
So this might be something that's already been thought of and/or done, but this discussion has made me wonder if Scott would consider a few decade themed weeks for the goo game?

Scott Hardie | April 18, 2005
Been thought of, yes. What has stopped me so far is partly that I tend to think foremost of criminals from each era, especially the 80s and 90s. But mainly, I can't decide whether I want to do the decades as a series, or as individual installments with a break between them. When the game was still played weekly, Jackie suggested the excellent idea of a "Goos Through History" round. But a themed round is a lot less appealing with the game running daily; there are only so many black-and-white historical goos I can stand at once. If a themed round is too long to be fun, and a themed week is too short to incorporate Jackie's idea, maybe we should have a themed month instead?

Amy Austin | April 18, 2005
Suits me fine...


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