There are times when I realise how little connected I am to pop culture, especially American pop culture. I seldom go to movies, don’t watch all that many US TV shows, and don’t listen to the radio so I hear pop music mostly through the few TV shows I do watch. I am, it’s fair to say, pretty disconnected from much of pop culture.
So today I saw all these folks on Twitter making jokes about Skynet becoming self-aware today (April 19 in the US). I knew that Skynet was ultimately the villain in the Terminator movies, but I just didn’t get the significance of the date because I knew that in the original Terminator movie, the date was referenced as being in the 1990s.
So, of course I tried to find out what they were all on about, and first up, I saw that I was right: In the original Terminator movie, Skynet became self-aware on August 29, 1997, some 15 years after the 1984 release of the movie.
This timeline was altered by the first movie, and again by T2: Judgement Day—in fact, every movie messed with the timeline in some way or other. So, where did this other date come from?
It turns out it was from the TV series, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which I never watched. That series follows on from the end of T2, making it, in essence, an alternative timeline to the movies.
So, in the end, I did find out what people were Tweeting about, and it was actually more interesting than many of the other pop culture/zeitgeist things I have to go research (probably because I saw all the movies).
It may surprise some to hear that I don’t really mind being out of the loop on American pop culture. The reason is simple: I don’t live there anymore, and I don’t really need to know about it (except to play QRANK, of course).
However, there is one thing from my research that I found disturbing. That Skynet that became self-aware on April 19? It launched a war to destroy humanity two days later.
Been nice knowing you!