I stopped for Chinese food on the way home, so I will be spending some quality time with General Tso. Then it’s out to the Think Tank for this week’s Philosophical Exercise.
Speaking of hanging with General Tso, I thought it was time to have a Think Tank Time Travel adventure. Doc Brown is definitely down with the idea, as are my old pals from San Dimas, Bill and Ted.
Please tell me you’ve seen Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Modern Philosophers. We watched that flick way too often at NYU, but I justify it because I was a Film Major, and I was studying an American classic.
If you don’t know the premise, Bill and Ted are high school kids who use Time Travel to complete an oral report for their History final. They go back in time, grab some famous historical dudes, and bring them back to San Dimas High School to ace their exam.
Interesting fact about Austin’s life: When I first moved to California, I lived in San Dimas, home of Bill and Ted. The house where I stayed was just down the block from the only Circle K in town, and if you’ve seen the flick, you’d understand the most excellent significance of that fact.
I’m going to eat dinner, and then head out to the Think Tank. Who’s going to join me?
This week’s topic: Steal a page from Bill and Ted’s playbook, and go back in time to visit three historical figures. Who would you visit, at what point in their lives would you arrive, and what would you want to learn from them?
The first person I’d visit in my Time Travels would be Julius Caesar when he was at the height of his power.
I’d want to see a fellow toga wearer kicking ass and taking names, while also making quite the fashion statement. I’d take notes on how to look like a powerhouse in an outfit that modern folks just don’t seem to understand.
Then I’d grill Caesar on how he selected the members of his inner circle. Knowing that Brutus would go on to literally stab him in the back, I’d want to learn from Caesar’s mistake so that I could do a better job of deciding who I should trust.
Next stop would be to hang with President Abraham Lincoln during the darkest days of the Civil War. From Honest Abe, I’d want to learn how to keep my head held high and to never give up, even when the world around me is being torn apart at the seams.
I’d hope that some of his wisdom, patience, and confidence would wear off on me. If there was time, I’d get his opinion on rocking a stovepipe hat with a toga.
I know Doc Brown would be very mad at me for this, but I’d also try to warn him away from the Ford Theater on a certain fateful night.
My final destination would be to call upon Orson Welles while he was filming Citizen Kane. The film is arguably the greatest of all time, and Welles was only in his mid-twenties when he made it. Did I mention it was his first movie?
I’d want to learn anything I could from Welles about the film making process, from screenwriting to directing to producing. I’d have to find the source of his incredible self-confidence and figure out a way to bottle it and bring it back to the present.
After that most excellent adventure, I’d return to The House on the Hill and try to use what I’d learned to be a better Modern Philosopher.
Who are you going to visit on your journey?