Live the Rest of Your Life in 2002

Tired of watching the planet die? Don’t want to deal with another election cycle? Worried that future technological innovation will rob you of your free will?

We’ve got the solution to all your problems: Go live in 2002. For a limited time only, you can travel back 20 years in our time machine and never come back!

2002 has a lot to offer. Instead of dealing with a looming sense that everything is getting worse, you can enjoy NYC mayor Rudolph Giuliani being knighted by Queen Elizabeth (Feb. 13), the D.C. sniper attacks (October 2-24), and the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan—over and over again!

Your life essentially becomes a slightly more varied version of “Groundhog’s Day.” Things never get “better” or “worse,” they just remain 2002! George W. Bush is your forever president and the Patriots win the Super Bowl every year. “The Apprentice” isn’t even a TV show yet and Amazon settles lawsuits with Barnes and Noble.

In short, it’s a simpler time. No need to worry about about proper gender pronouns. Heck, gay marriage isn’t even legal yet. Living in a major American city doesn’t cost half your paycheck and TV can’t be streamed through the internet. The only thing the internet was good for was setting up a Friendster account. Nobody was glued to a screen that took 16 seconds on average to load.

Also, nobody felt safe. But we didn’t fear greenhouse gases or white nationalists. We were far more concerned with being blown up in the next terrorist attack. Our collective fear prompted a $2 trillion dollar military occupation of the Middle East that led to untold amounts of pain and suffering. But by living in 2002 forever, you never have to see those chickens come home to roost.

To be clear, you’ll still age—but everyone around you will remain their 2002 selves. If you’re a teenager, you can wear low rise jeans and rock out to “One Thousands Miles” by Vanessa Carlton. Reach adulthood and discover the gender pay gap was wider than it is today. Retire and probably die two years earlier than you otherwise would have if you chose to live in the present day.

But that’s a small price to pay for gas only costing $1.50 a gallon, and people actually being hopeful for the future. Remember hope? We had it before we made massive strides in gender and racial equality, created affordable and widely available sources of renewable energy, effectively ended famine, reduced homelessness, reduced global poverty, developed cures to everything from COVID-19 to HIV, increased the minimum wage, invented electric cars, found water on Mars, improved child mortality, reduced the cancer death rate, reduced the violent crime rate, increased global literacy, and saved the pandas, white rhinoceroses, grizzly bears, sea lions, and snow leopards.

But instead of focusing on this progress, we drown ourselves in the relentless negativity of modern day social media and the 24/7 news cycle. 2002 is for the folks who would rather sacrifice real improvement for the false sense that everything is OK. We may not have been doing as much to combat climate change, but at least we didn’t have to feel bad about it all the time.

So if you’re one of the people who was like “2016 was the worst year ever,” then said the same thing for ’17, ’18, ’19, ’20, and ’21—come join us in 2002! Chances are, you’ll find it also sucks. If that’s the case, for an additional fee, we’ll send you to 1932 so you can experience the Great Depression. Or 1772 when slavery is still legal. Or 2022 B.C. so you can live as a hunter-gatherer and get killed by a pack of wolves at age 13.

Maybe then you’ll realize there’s never a “perfect” time to be alive. You just live when you live (well not you, you’re now stuck in 2002). You can either be super negative about every bad thing that happens, or be part of the solution.

Or, step into my time machine.

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