Taking a Historical Mulligan
In life, we rarely get do-overs. Especially for really, really bad things.
In Greece, however, authorities are giving it a go. As crazy as it sounds, investigators there have elected to re-enact the Cypriot airplane disaster that killed more than 120 people in August.
You may recall that Greek fighter jets intercepting the wayward flight looked into the cockpit and saw only a co-pilot slouched over and a flight attendant with an oxygen mask at the controls. And then they watched the plane smash into the side of a mountain. Researchers suspect that air decompression restricted the airplane’s oxygen, rendering most of the crew and passengers unconscious and leading to the horrible crash.
The authorities believe that the re-enactment will shed light on the cause of the accident.
I believe that it gives me ideas for other fruitful historical do-overs:
1. The O.J. Simpson Trial. Something tells me that the whole proceeding would have gone a little better if we had a different cast of characters involved. How about the cast of Law and Order instead of Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden? Let’s see Miles Massey (George Clooney from the movie Intolerable Cruelty) defending O.J. in place of Johnny Cochran. And I always thought Judge Ito’s role would have been better played by The People’s Court’s Judge Wopner.
2. The Titanic. No, not the ship—I just want to remake the schmaltzy movie. Only this time, we will put James Cameron, Leo DiCaprio, and the others involved in making of this film on the ship itself as it goes down. Or we could just keep the ship from sinking in the first place, removing the impetus for this blight on the landscape of American cinema.
3. The Fall of the Roman Empire. A global imperium may not be the ideal form of government, but its disintegration is a bitch. All kinds of raping and pillaging and barbarian invasions, you know. Then centuries of technological and cultural decline. It seems like most of the world’s problems started with Rome’s decay, so maybe we can try again with a few revisions—like fewer crucifixions and more toga parties.
Who knows … if the Romans had stuck around longer and made earlier advances in jurisprudence and transportation, we might not even have seen the O.J. trial. Or the sinking of the Titanic. Or the airplane crash in Greece. Many future catastrophes could have been avoided.
Surely, for example, the Romans would have thrown James Cameron to the lions.