For the most part, genres of film, games and the like based on historical time periods frequently take hold after the time period is over. Over time, the time period will remain the same size while the "genre"'s lifespan will grow, eventually leading to the genre being as long as its origin. In this case, the Western genre is not equal to nor double but TRIPLE the size of the time period it is based on. While this might be taken to suggest that we have used up everything good in Westerns, it probably is more Randall looking at time passing.
A horizontal timeline spanning between the years 1840 and 2020. Every decade is indicated by a tick below the line, and labeled every 50 years. Two ranges are highlighted by brackets and labeled:
It's weird to realize that the Western genre has now existed for three times longer than the period it's based on.
How many times longer than the Regency era (a decade) have Regency romance novels existed? A fair bit more than three, I'd guess! (Perhaps 8.4, if we credit 1935 as the start and the Regency period as ten years) JohnHawkinson (talk) 05:41, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
- A similar question has been answered about WW2 by Randall: https://what-if.xkcd.com/100/ Lupo (talk) 08:53, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
- Trivia about What-if #100: in another example of xkcd-inspired achievements, there now exists a short movie about the Anglo-Zanzibar war (http://www.imdb.com/keyword/anglo-zanzibar-war/). Plot keywords: stupid world record, cell camera, anglo zanzibar war.18.104.22.168 10:14, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
The M*A*S*H TV show lasted more than 3 times the length of the Korean War.
Barmar (talk) 14:36, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
"Golden Age of Piracy": 1650's to 1730's, roughly; modern "pirate genre" pretty much entirely derived from Treasure Island, 1883, but fiction and romanticized-to-the-very-edge-of-fiction histories of the still-famous Golden Age pirates date to at least 1724. -- C.Robin (talk) 05:56, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
I would have thought Randall would understand the difference between "longer than" and "as long as". Mattcoz (talk) 14:53, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
- Hmmm... "A is as long as B" means pretty much the same as "A is as short as B". But "A is 3 times as long as B" is very different from "A is 3 times as short as B". English is weird. --22.214.171.124 15:47, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
- That leads onto a personal bugbear. "Lasts three times longer (...than competing product)" logically means 4x the duration ("lasts one time longer..." would be original plus the new claim, or 2x, etc), not triple. And, in the same (mis)spirit of above there's the closely associated "five times less (...thing that each product tries to banish/destroy/mitigate)". And there are even worse phrases (either badly composed or deliberately weaselish misinforming advertising/etc) that I won't even try to perpetuate by directly quoting. 126.96.36.199 00:03, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
- I've concluded that "X times longer" just doesn't make sense, period. If product A lasts for time period 1, product B lasts for time period 3, and product C lasts for time period 4 (units are equal, I don't care which -- nanoseconds, decades, Jupiter years --) **neither B nor C** last 3 times "longer" than product A. Or "4 times longer." 3 is not 3 times bigger than 1, it's 3 times as big. Same with any other number. 188.8.131.52 08:49, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that using the same logic as this page, Trojan War, a 10 years long conflict which started to be depicted in Greek no later in 8th century BC when Illiad was written and continuing to be depicted in poems, literature and movies up to today, would easily win this. There could also be several contestants from Rome - while both Roman Republic and Roman Empire lasted hundreds of years, the time period depicting fall of the Republic and rise of the Empire, starting with First Triumvirate 60BC and ending with Nero's death AD 68, is 128 years heavily depicted in literature and movies since it happened to, again, now. -- Hkmaly (talk) 22:32, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
This makes me think of how the British TV show Dad's Army lasted for longer than the Second World War. --OliReading (talk) 23:12, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
- Dad's Army aired from 31 July 1968 – 13 November 1977 (A period of 9 years, 3 months, 14 days.) However, it had a run-time of only 2445 minutes (40 hrs, 45 minutes) [List of Dad's Army episodes.] That's a distinction that most of these comparisons are overlooking. These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 04:58, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
The famous pony express existed only for 18 months. --184.108.40.206 02:19, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Bill Cody alias Buffalo Bill pulp and shows started around 1870
220.127.116.11 06:32, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
I hate ambiguity when dealing with "mathish" language. This is not as irritating as when people say things like "three times as cold" or "twice as small", but it still bugs me. Does "three times longer" mean the same as "three times as long"? Given an initial event time of "t" and the longer time of "x", if "x" was "two years longer" than "t", that would mean "x-t= 2 years". It feels like "three times as long" means "x=3t" while "three times longer" means "x-t=3t" thus "x=4t". J-beda (talk) 12:59, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
- I agree, that three times longer than 40 years should be 160 years, not ~120 as in this case --Lupo (talk) 13:55, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
- Actually, this description seems to say the left bracket is THIRTY years - 1865 to 1895 - while the right bracket seems to indicate roughly 1900 until now, which is indeed nearly 120 years and indeed about 4x as long. :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:06, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
The commentary about how the Wild West segued from being "contemporary" to "historical" entertainment without a lapse in popularity reminds me of how Sherlock Holmes did the same. When the first Holmes story was published in 1887 it was contemporary, the popularity of the stories have never flagged, but now the antiquarian aspect is a key part of its appeal. BTW, I think the commentary is stretching it too far to assert that the "Wild West" extended into the 1920s. This is presumably because of the "Posey War" in 1923, but this is rather similar to the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot - it was just white vigilantes running non-whites off their land on a pretext. Even the 1918 Bear Valley War is too late, just a short Mexican border skirmish involving 60 people total. The 1915 Bluff War is about as late as can be credibly claimed for an event that is anything like the Wild West period, and it was really just an extended manhunt. Usually the last real Indian conflict was Battle of Kelley Creek in 1918.104.22.168.42 16:49, 3 August 2019 (UTC)