I should confess that I’m amused by the incredible response of the people in social media celebrating the arrival of the character of Marty McFly to the hypothetical year of 2015. I should not be surprised considering it was a trilogy that marked an entire generation. My generation.
The most relevant ingredient of Back to the Future (BTTF) saga is the element of time travel, not a novel concept if we consider The Time Machine of H. G. Wells, but in contrast, BTTF certainly nailed the point of making time travel relevant to our individual lives, and how we can become better making a change to our past decisions.
I believe having the possibility to change the outcome of our regretful decisions it’s everybody’s dream that by now only exist in Sci-fi.
But can we predict the future in real life? Or change the events in our past?
Obviously the first seems more feasible than the later, but from a certain point of view I do believe we as civilization unconsciously had devised a way to make it possible, but the problem is that we are not aware of it.
If we analyze the first and second film of BTTF, the first installment deals with young Marty struggling with helping his parents to become successful considering the American Dream standards, I want to point out it was not a film of getting-the-girl because Lorraine was already Marty’s mother at the beginning of the film, and even with his actions he endangered his own existence by tempting her own mother. The second Film deals with Marty traveling into the future (the distant 2015) for aid his future son to stop being a “loser” because his future self (Old Marty) was able to help his parents back on the first film but unable to help his son in the second, and Old Marty ended becoming what he loathed so much from his father at the beginning of the first film.
Who is responsible for the past and future of a person? In some way each one is the sole responsible for their own past and future, but considering that during our early life we are not capable for deciding the best for us, our parents are the ones responsible—in a degree—of our past, in the same way we will be responsible for our children’s past. We can make changes in our past in a collective way, aided by our parents.
What about our future?
I believe the first thing to consider here is to get rid of that wrong conception that when something happens to us, we are the first person in the whole world to experience it. The truth is that somebody (if not everybody) had experienced it earlier, and most probably your parents had experienced it some way or in other.
In the ancient cultures, the old men and women were considered the most important people in a tribe, because their life experience gave them wisdom in exchange for their scars. But today, that position was abolished and the respect for elders’ figure had been forgot. Now old people are a nuisance. The newer generations live on an extended period of adolescence and struggle, in the same way Marty McFly did, fighting his dad (George) and trying to control his son, by imposing rather than advising.
Why we as culture have this dislike for have the advice in our elders to forestall the future? And why we don’t change our collective past, helping our offspring in not committing the same mistakes?
The truth is the by our nature is that both are contradictory and confusing, just in the same way in BTTF Doctor Brown in 1955 rejected the advice of himself from 1985. If we were able to travel to the past and say something to ourselves, most probably we would not take ourselves seriously. How do I know? Because we never took seriously our parents when they gave us good advice coming from their past that is our future.
Maybe we should forget of the ideas of time travel.
It appears we can’t handle it.
M. Ch. Landa