You get to choose one superpower. Pick one of these, and explain your choice: the ability to speak and understand any language, the ability to travel through time, the ability to make any two people agree with each other.

I’m always slightly jealous of the people I meet who can speak another language fluently.  This was a subject I would often discuss with Dutch friends as they tended not to see the skill in what they were doing because their use of English was natural to them.  Saying it was forced on them is probably wrong, but they always have a lot of exposure to the language so learning it as a second one to them was very similar to me learning it as my primary language.

I was never great at languages at school.  I could get by.  I got an A for my French GCSE which wasn’t too bad.  My friends taught me some Dutch, but it was more along the lines of how to tell someone that if she was hamburger, she would be the McBeauty, how to tell her she had a nice arse and how to ask for sexual favours.  That’s only what I would call “conversational” under a limited set of circumstances.

Oh, and I also know that “lul” is Dutch for an English colloquialism of penis.  That was an awkward conversation.

I’d like to learn more languages, sure.  I always felt a little guilty assuming everyone speaks English.  I’d want the practice though so it doesn’t go to waste because I think it is one of those skills that you lose over time.

Time travel is always an interesting one.  I’ve also written about it here.  My original theory was that I wouldn’t like to be able to travel forward.  It would be far too tempting to see what happens and there’s that whole butterfly thing to worry about.  Traveling back but would be more useful, but the butterfly is still there.  Do I wish I could go back and redo something?  Most definitely.  Do I wish I could travel forward to see what happens? At the moment, yes.  Do I really want to do either?  Honestly, right now, yes.

Making two people agree… Hmm… Possibly more interesting than time travel.  In Un/Faithful I said that a “problem” I have with religion is the lack of acceptance that some people have of other people’s religion.  Lack of acceptance is a problem everywhere and it’s not just in different areas of thought, but there’s even a range in people who fundamentally share the same belief, or at least sit under the same banner.  I studied feminism (as an example) at University and that has a massive range of opinions from women not needing men and the world would be a better place without them through to gender equality through to feminism just being the only thing that can right all the world’s wrongs for the betterment of all irrespective of gender or sex.  To be honest, while the radical feminism is a plainly strange subject, gender equality is well worth the fight and I can understand the last bit too even if I have to venture in to a gender stereotype to do so.

But acceptance isn’t the same as agreeing.  I think the world would maybe be a more boring place if everyone agreed.  I’m still going to stick with my views on acceptance though.

So which would I rather have? At the moment, selfishly, time travel.

I’ll be sitting on the left side, you’ll be sitting on the right
Dying to share our problems, make everything alright
Then I see a darkness, you see the blinding light
Will Oldham’s in the corner moaning “Can’t you write your own lines”

If we don’t know where we belong
It’ll make no difference from where we started
Look out kid because here it comes
You’re not the lucky ones

There’s a dozen corpses on the left side, I swear one’s smiling at me
Compliments on your confessions baby, wow you really showed me
You think that you’re full of conviction, really you’re just trying to survive
Tie them up then spit them out it’s good to help the boy shine

If we don’t know where we belong
It’ll make no difference from where we started
Look out kid because here it comes
You’re not the lucky ones

Saturday Superhouse by Biffy Clyro

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