Year after year, at least a couple of times a year, I see somebody blindly post a still image of the digital time clock inside the Delorean from Back To The Future. Each and every time, it has been photoshopped to correspond with whatever day they are posting it on, claiming that the date that protagonist, Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) traveled into the future in the first sequel has finally arrived. This inaccurate claim is typically followed by the complaint that, since the future has arrived, they want to know, “WHERE IS MY HOVERBOARD?!!” Well… first of all, we already explained why you don’t have a hoverboard more than 8 years ago, when we wrote about it on this site — we wanted to know, so we looked into it ourselves. And that brings me to my second point, instead of just clicking “share” and reposting this stuff constantly, we, as a people that actually exist within this digital age, should probably be a little more thorough before spreading false information. I mean, while you’re complaining about not having a device, which your dumb ass is almost surely guaranteed to break your damn neck on — just because the board hovers, doesn’t mean that if improves your coordination — you’re making these complaints from a tiny hand-held super computer, while rolling around on one of those corny as fuck underlit self-balancing electric space scooters that Wiz Khalifa was handcuffed at the airport, while riding. All of the information of the universe is available at your fingertips, so how does this technology and ignorance go hand in hand? The answer: this technology is based on convenience and laziness, so while it’s more convenient to track down information than it has ever been in the past, the lazy route is to not even bother. Meanwhile, the ones making the effort to even use something like photoshop, are doing so to piss in the well and pull the wool over the eyes of everyone else, with no real discernible benefit. This should be simple; the first film was set — and released — in 1985, “present time.” In the first one, Marty goes back in time 30 years, making it 1955, while in the sequel, he jumps forward 30 years to 2015 and, more specifically TODAY, October 21. [In part 3, he goes 100 years into the past to 1885, but… that’s not important, right now.] That’s right folks, the day is finally here, and while you have access to endless technology beyond what Dick Tracy, or even Star Trek, could have ever envisioned, you’re still not getting your floating death plank — you’ll just have to continue staring at your 3D flat screen and mashing buttons on your controller to simulate exercising with an actual skateboard.
But while that meme, that people weren’t completely aware was just a meme, has irritated me for both its inaccuracy and its ability to emphasize how increasingly easy it has become to stir us up into angry mobs, while becoming more and more difficult to get anyone to actually research the accuracy and merit of what we are complaining about, before launching complaints and all out attacks — we all have our own digital platforms to scream from, even if we have nothing to say — there is some stuff that I’ve really enjoyed about the anticipation of this date and our expectations built on the potential future that was offered up to us 3 decades ago. Right now, people are losing their goddamn minds over the new Star Wars trailer with “new hope,” after widespread disappointment with the prequel trilogy, as the groundbreaking film series returns in December. But that world, as long ago and far away as it may be, is not set in our own, so we see it more as a fantasy world than the the potential for an inevitable evolution of our technological society. I’m a big fan of retro-futurism and the concepts offered up to us in the mid-century, and even before that, with films like Fritz Lang‘s German Expressionistic sci-fi classic, Metropolis. This is not only because I love the look of those designs — specifically, the “kitchens of the future” — but because these are still concepts that we look toward to determine whether or not something looks “futuristic” in the present day, even though they were presented to us 60 years or more in the past. Meanwhile, the reality of the future was not the 1957 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, or even a Delahaye 175S Roadster from 1949, it was the K-Car and the Ford Taurus. The filmmakers of Back To The Future, specifically chose the Delorean DMC-12, because they considered how “futuristic” what was our present day technology, at the time, would have appeared to people of the 1950s. Similarly, we should probably be considering how tripped out the shit that we actually do have now would look to people in 1985 — we have cell phones, for chrissakes — rather than bug out because we don’t have shit like jetpacks for civilians, when most of us can’t even handle the responsibility of the things that we do have. But today’s a great day to reflect on the past and how we do exist in the present, because no other film has offered us such introspection in quite the same way. The Ray Bradburys, Harlan Ellisons, and Philip K Dicks of the world packed in a remarkable amount of brilliant social commentary and speculation about where we were headed in society, throughout their sci-fi works, but in the modern day — can I still refer to it as the modern day, 30 years later? — Robert Zemeckis‘s film is far and away the most iconic offering that we’ve seen, as far as large scale impact allowing us to simply monitor, evaluate, and compare our evolution in a technological sense, albeit it through the lens of a fairly narrow pop-culture context. Idiocracy has since begun to take on the role of becoming our primary reference for the byproduct of this technological obsession, with a power structure that is Orwellian, to an extent, yet minus the competence.
One of my favorite predictions from Back To The Future 2, which has been popping up a lot lately, is the reference to the Chicago Cubs winning the world series. The team, which, infamously, hasn’t won a World Series since 1908, is in the position to win the National League Pennant for the first time since 1945, if they don’t get knocked out by the Mets tonight — talk about film nostalgia, the star of the 1993 film Rookie Of The Year will be in attendance for the game with the intention of bringing the notoriously “cursed” ball club good luck. A lot of Chicago fans have their fingers crossed that “Back To The Future Day” itself, will, somehow, also bring that luck. But my favorite absurdity surrounding this whole thing isn’t this superstitious foretelling of the future of a sports franchise, or even my own theory about Parkinson’s being a horrific side-effect of time travel, it’s actually a completely different conspiracy surrounding Robert Zemeckis and the attack on the World Trade Center, which occurred back on September 11th of 2001, in case you forgot (you weren’t supposed to forget). So, while I have, seemingly, laid plenty of attacks on our present day culture of digital consumption above, the truth is that I truly do appreciate it and recognize that, without something like Facebook, and especially youtube, then I, more than likely, would have never seen the following video, which a friend of mine tagged me in a couple of days ago, knowing that I would eat it up. So, buckle up folks and tighten up the power laces on those Air Mags, because you just might get knocked out of them; this one is going deep. Not only is Back To The Future 2, arguably, one of the greatest sequels in history, it, apparently, also holds a connection to one of the most infamous terrorist attacks in history (if that’s what it really was), according to this video. But, perhaps, the most important suggestion that it offers is why somebody would release a film like The Walk, featuring the kid from 3rd Rock From the Sun doing a bad French accent, when there’s already a really tremendous documentary about the subject that you could be watching instead.
[Obviously, we see this video as just good solid entertainment, but if you’re the type to get sucked into this conspiracy shit way too hard, or to react inversely, becoming so furious about the fact that anyone would even suggest something “so fucking ridiculous,” then we suggest cooling off afterward by clicking HERE to a clip of Doc Brown’s sons, Verne pointing to his little kid junk on their time train at the end of the final film.]