Back to the Future
We’ve done it. We’ve all traveled back to the future… to October 21, 2015.
On this day, Biff Tannen pulled a sports almanac out of the trash, committed grand theft auto on a 30-year-old DeLorean, broke a walking cane, and changed his fate. It’s also on this day when his grandson destroyed a historical landmark, while a loser and his idiot son traded places to shove punks around.
No, we don’t have hoverboards or Pepsi Perfect or a female President, but this blog post isn’t about policing the horrific fashion choices in that movie, or nitpicking how many of the predictions about our future came true, almost true, or were flatly missed. Plenty of other sites around the Internet have done that today.
I just wanted to take a moment to add my own reflections about Back to the Future Part II. BTTF2 came out in 1989, when i was 8, and it is the oldest memory I have of seeing a movie in the theaters. It was also my favorite movie for some time, to the point of even dragging my grandmother to go see the sequel a year later.
I think I liked BTTF2 so much because of two specific elements. First, it was the futurist idea that spectacular new inventions are just around the corner if we are ingenious enough, optimistic enough, and gosh darn willing to give it a try. Secondly, it was the idea that your destiny is not set in stone by your past or your family’s past – so no matter what mistakes you may have made in the past, there is always a chance to move beyond regrets and take action to correct your mistakes.
That theme plays out in a lot of what I’ve done or stood for in the year’s since. “Carpe diem” was a favorite phrase of mine in high school. “Stand out!” is the name of my book on leadership. And even my long-running character Mike Adams, at his core, is a protagonist who is always trying to live up to what his best friend thought he could achieve if he put aside his doubts and just tried.
BTTF2 is hardly flawless, but remains as great a film today as it was a generation ago. And its themes are no less relevant today.
Now go out and build me a hoverboard, dammit! 🙂