We are living in the Multiverse Ideology
I came across a Tik Tok the other week, as one does, on a creator talking about how our film media has begun to shift into showcasing the idea of the multiverse.
Dr. Strange was not the first superhero to show alternate universes on screen.
On-screen, shows like Doctor Who and The Flash, or films such as Inception, and Interstellar, have an iteration of confusing versions of alternate timelines, alternate Earths, and 4th dimensions, however you would like to call it.
But now more than ever, we see more shows and films come out with the Multiverse Ideology.
First, there was war
The uptick of superhero comics was rooted in the immediate reaction to WWI and WWII. The Cold War brought out films such as Doctor LoveStrange and various Marvel and DC heroes that emerged out of defeating villains that were carbon copies of Hilter, Stalin, and Russian enemies.
There is a theory that the increase in Superhero films were birthed out of the attack on 9/11. Again, this idea of reinstalling American nationalism and patriotism with the same characters that carried our nation through the 20th-century wartime era.
And then, a Pandemic
While the influence of the real world was always directly correlated to media produced, the idea of alternate realities and worlds was no stranger throughout.
From Black Mirror to Wall-E and even Westworld, there is always the ideology circling within the realm of Sci-Fi and viewed as another branch of escapism.
Because at the end of it, the question is: What If?
and not so much as exploring other universes but just simply:
What If I went to college and moved away instead of staying at home?
What If the pandemic never happened?
You see, the pandemic made that question mark even bigger.
- Where would I be if I stayed in Berkeley after graduation?
- Would I still be at the same job?
- What would have happened if I stayed home instead of moving across the country?
- What if I accepted this job instead of another?
- What would have happened if I never got sick?
Being in quarantine made us sit in these thoughts and the decisions made because of them, and then once we were “free”, more branches of direction unfolded, therefore made the life we’re living vs the one imagined all the more paralyzing.
Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, and most recently, Everything Everywhere All At Once, is unearthing a new idealogy on screen.
The idea is the concept of navigating The Multiverse, Alternate Realties,
The “What If”?
Everything Everywhere All At Once shook me to my core in many ways.
For one, it led me to write this essay.
Two, it had me in a spin of just how much everything is happening everywhere all at once in this life I am living. How much it would consume me if I let it.
And most notably, how much my every decision led me to where I am today. How much freedom I do have to change certain aspects of my life. How much I have already done so. Thinking how I wish I could go back and see where some other timeline could take me.
The pandemic opened up a Pandoras box of all the many lives we could have had.
Some are for the better,
but many will remain a mystery.
I try not to think about those timelines that faded into dust. But the presence of the millions of possibilities represented in media right now leaves me dizzy.
And I can’t get over the feeling that I might be living in the wrong one.