Time Capsule Teaches Valuable Lesson In Never Getting Your Hopes Up Ever

By Matt Novak on at

Time capsules can sometimes be pretty cool. But more often than not, they’re boring as shit.

As this editorial about a recently opened time capsule in Concord, New Hampshire explains:

After months of fanfare and speculation, the time capsule entombed beneath City Plaza on Main Street was finally opened and its contents revealed – largely to yawns. The lackluster nature of the contents was perhaps a reflection of the times, and of far greater importance to the community of civic organisations, churches and major employers.

It may be that the members of the time capsule committee were very serious people laboring under a weighty responsibility. It could be that the spirit of the sixties, which was moving east from California and north from New York City and Boston, hadn’t made it to Concord by 1965, for there’s no sign of a sense of humour in the capsule.

It didn’t have to be that way.

A reflection of the times? It didn’t have to be that way? A bit over the top, but sure, those of us who follow time capsule news feel you, Concord Monitor. It doesn’t have to be that way. Except that it does. Why don’t people put cool things inside time capsules? Because cool things generally cost money.

Want to show the people of 100 years hence what an iPhone looks like? Well, go ahead and pop it in your time capsule. What? You’re not excited about putting a $600 gadget into a time capsule that people may or may not eventually see? Well, there’s your problem right there.

So, if the Concord Monitor was disappointed, what did they want to see from their recently opened 1965 capsule? More boring shit, actually.

There were things that we wish would have been in the capsule: a can or label from SpaghettiOs, which came out that year; a program from the 1965 Celtics championship team led by Sam Jones, John Havlicek and Bill Russell; music of the day by the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Dylan on 45s; a movie poster from the old Concord Theatre run by the Cantin sisters; a menu from the lunch counter in Woolworth; and a copy of the first Medicare card issued to a Concord resident. Others no doubt have their wishes.

A label from tinned spaghetti hoops? C’mon guys. Your own premise is that you can dream up whatever you’d like to see in a time capsule from in 1965 and the best you can do is a menu and some soup can labels?

And it gets worse.

A Concord Historical Society committee is collecting suggestions for what to put in the time capsule, which will be reburied. We have a few.

How about a small piece of the Sewalls Falls bridge; a roster of city residents who served in Iraq and Afghanistan; a list of the movies shown at Red River Theatres; a thumb drive with music from Concord bands; a copy of a gay couple’s marriage license; photos that depict the city’s increasing diversity; and pictures taken on Main Street during Market Days with a focus on people’s tattoos – a fashion statement that may have run its course by 2065.

Pictures of people with tattoos? That’s the best you got for your new time capsule? I dare say that they’ll have plenty of pictures of people with tattoos from 2015 to comb through. And tattoos, even if they’re less common, certainly won’t be some mysterious thing.

You’re part of the problem, Concord Monitor. You’re part of the problem.

Image: Screenshot of the time capsule in question from WMUR


This article originally appeared on Paleofuture, a Gizmodo blog looking into the future that never was