Return Now to the Past That Never Was

The Chinese recently banned time travel shows from Chinese television. Which sucks for a quarter of a billion Doctor Who fans, to be sure. But then a group of Chinese scientists went one step further and “proved” that time travel is impossible. So there.

What’s got the Chinese government all in a twist about time travel? Like any good authoritarian government, they are obsessed with what the common people are thinking. And in China, there are a lot of common people who, if they got it in their heads that things could be different, could lead another revolution against the comfortable despots in Beijing. I suppose the rational is, that if people can’t watch time travel shows, they won’t imagine a past where the glorious people’s revolution never happened. The worst fear of any authoritarian is not that they will loose power but that the power they have is irrelevant. Sure, you may have a billion and a half subjects to command bodily, but if they are secretly dreaming of going back in time and making you not exist, well, you don’t control their hearts and minds now, do you?

And so, like all paranoid governments before them, the Chinese have decided to try and outlaw day dreaming. Because that always works.