Ed Driscoll

The Eloi Emerge

Shot:

The Time Traveller had in fact gone very far into the future, looking to discover the ultimate fate of the earth, but he spent most of his time in the year 802,701. There he was greeted by strange descendants of humanity, the Eloi — small, childlike, sexless, pasty people, all of them having “the same girlish rotundity of limb.” They spoke an uncomplicated, mellifluous language and all dressed similarly. (Here is the antecedent for that Star Trek trope, noted by Jerry Seinfeld, wherein everyone in the future always wears the same outfit.) The Eloi were strangely uninquisitive, apparently fearless, and they seemed to live in a sort of paradise, where man had thoroughly subjugated nature to his needs and, having nothing further to fear or for which to strive, had become soft. So, at least, the Time Traveller thought at first. But his first impressions turned out to be horribly mistaken, and the novel, in the end, is deeply pessimistic about the ultimate progress of mankind, Wells having taken the development of the relationship between the haves and the have-nots to its distressing extreme.

—From a 2009 review of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine.

Chaser:

“Justin Bieber Looks Slightly Like Miley Cyrus,” Ace of Spades, today, who adds, “Creepy, isn’t it?”

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