The darkest timeline?

Certainly feels that way. Thank goodness for Scarfolk.

I think the phrase comes from an episode of Community, but if there is such a thing as the multiverse, then a non-negligible number of people think that since 2016 at least, we’ve been living in what’s been termed the darkest timeline: an alternative reality where our choices have dropped us into the worst of all possible worlds.

Why 2016? A spate of pop culture deaths: Bowie, Prince, loads more. Brexit. Trump. (Yeah. Political heart on sleeve there. Sorry.) And the slide since then into populist shoutiness and wholly inept (when not actually malevolent) leadership from far too many directions at once.

Put that together with where we are now, sheltering in place with Covid-19 ravaging lives and economies, and the idea that somehow we’ve slid into the darkest timeline rather makes sense.

Before that drives me to despair and drink, thank goodness for Scarfolk, which came to me via Cory Doctorow’s newish linkblog Pluralistic. For the uninitiated, Scarfolk is a site which celebrates (wrong word entirely) an imaginary English community stuck in a hideous, timelooped version of the 70s. (Do yourself a favour and just have a look around. Although be warned – like XKCD, the rabbit hole is effectively bottomless. You may be a while.)

Its take on social distancing is apt, hilarious, and depressing. Perfect for these times of ours.

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