"All kids in the future wear their pants inside out."
October 21, 2015 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Doc Brown: We're descending towards Hill Valley, California at 4:29 PM on Wednesday, October 21st, twenty-fifteen.
Marty: Two thousand fifteen?! You mean we're in the future!
posted by leotrotsky (130 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
 
Apologies to bojos waiting until 4:29 PM to post some insane years-in-preparation megapost.

I love this movie trilogy more than any other thing committed to celluloid. I still remember getting my special pair of future sunglasses at Pizza Hut in preparation for the opening when I was 10, thinking that when the future came, I would be so old. 35.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:26 AM on October 21, 2015 [30 favorites]


Apologies to bojos waiting until 4:29 PM to post some insane years-in-preparation megapost.

I didn't have the scroat to wait for it, so I got that out of my system two weeks ago.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:29 AM on October 21, 2015


Apologies to bojos waiting until 4:29 PM to post some insane years-in-preparation megapost.

Butthead!
posted by Fizz at 6:29 AM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


I find the fascination with this particular piece of pop culture odd and I'm firmly in the generation where I saw this movie as a kid when it was released.
posted by Kitteh at 6:30 AM on October 21, 2015 [19 favorites]


98% of my social media friends have long since posted the "OMG TODAY IS THE DAY" thing that, now that the day is actually here, they're saying nothing about it.

Marty and Doc Brown never predicted how little people would care about actual facts in 2015.
posted by bondcliff at 6:31 AM on October 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


Currently posting this at work (and not via fax) and the only people that seem to care about this day are me and my boss. We're also older and nerdier than many of the other people in this office, and most people are shrugging/commenting: "Yeah, I saw that thing on Facebook/Twitter."

I think its just a fun piece of nostalgia to engage with. Happy future day buttheads!
posted by Fizz at 6:33 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ah, I left out Doc and Marty at a diner chatting about how accurate the predictions were.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:34 AM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


I live near/occasionally work at Universal Studios Orlando. If my day job didn't keep me here I would totally go to check out the Deloran on display at 4:29. Although as far as I know, they aren't doing anything for it. So it will probably be just a bunch of people posing with their watches in front of it, although that happens every day. They do have the proto-steampunk train from part 3 there as well.

My facebook feed is already filled with posts about it.
posted by Badgermann at 6:35 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


The reason none of us are seeing flying cars today: We're all stuck in Biff's alternate 1985 timeline.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:38 AM on October 21, 2015 [39 favorites]




I've been using nothing but Siri all day since hands-on interfaces are the mark of a baby's toy.
posted by dr_dank at 6:40 AM on October 21, 2015 [17 favorites]


I think the thing that amuses me most about what they imagined the future to be like are the clothes. Rather than the futuristic clothes they thought we'd be in - so much shiny! - we're in the middle of an 80s revival (at least where I live). So Marty McFly would actually have seen loads of people in high tops and high waisted denim, crop tops and crimped hair. He'd have felt right at home, which is the definition of irony. That's all I got.
posted by billiebee at 6:40 AM on October 21, 2015 [38 favorites]


Looks like the Cubs are working hard to defy the prediction, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:41 AM on October 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


You can tell it's the future now because we no longer think it's a good idea to 'hide' your unconscious girlfriend behind a dumpster in a strange, dystopian future.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:41 AM on October 21, 2015 [24 favorites]


Windigo, that's surprisingly affecting.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:41 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think the thing that amuses me most about what they imagined the future to be like are the clothes fax-machines.

READ! MY! FAX!
posted by Fizz at 6:43 AM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Seriously, Jennifer spends so much of that movie unconscious and being left in horribly unsafe places without a thought, it's kind of a wonder they decided to have her in it at all.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:44 AM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


Fizz: Currently posting this at work (and not via fax) and the only people that seem to care about this day are me and my boss. We're also older and nerdier than many of the other people in this office, and most people are shrugging/commenting: "Yeah, I saw that thing on Facebook/Twitter."


Remember those old guys when you were young who thought Abbott & Costello and Laurel & Hardy were the epitome of comedic cinema? Remember being a kid wondering what they saw in that thirty year old junk?

Yep.
posted by dr_dank at 6:45 AM on October 21, 2015 [19 favorites]


Oh man, I am about to defend the fax machine thing.

The prescient thing about the ubiquity of fax machines is that, in fact, we all communicate using electronically transmitted text all the time, but email was a niche thing for nerds and academics, and everyone knew about fax machines. If Marty had gotten a bunch of emails, and Facebook messages, and texts, all saying "YOU'RE FIRED", no one would have had any idea of what was going on. Also, he has three fax machines, all of which send him the same message, but when I get an email, I get notified on my computer, and my phone, and my iPad, and my work computer! It's the same joke!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:46 AM on October 21, 2015 [56 favorites]


Seriously, Jennifer spends so much of that movie unconscious and being left in horribly unsafe places without a thought, it's kind of a wonder they decided to have her in it at all.

They had to, she was in the Delorean at the end of the 1st movie. I've read that Zemeckis and Gale regretted that in retrospect, because the story was really about Marty. That's why she gets knocked out and sidelined so quickly in the 2nd movie, and is entirely absent for the 3rd.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:46 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, re: the kids are alright: I have seen multiple students today wearing Back to the Future shirts and hoodies.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:47 AM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


it's kind of a wonder they decided to have her in it at all.

The ending to the first movie was just the writers of the first script having fun. They weren't trying to set up a sequel, and when it came time to write one, they found that they were straightjacketed by the original script saying she should go to 2015 with them, when really they just wanted to make a movie about Doc and Marty bouncing through time.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:47 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Remember those old guys when you were young who thought Abbott & Costello and Laurel & Hardy were the epitome of comedic cinema? Remember being a kid wondering what they saw in that thirty year old junk?

I remember listening to Abbot and Costello on road trips and thinking they were amazing when I was a kid in the 1980s. So, no.
posted by absalom at 6:48 AM on October 21, 2015 [18 favorites]


I, for one, am wearing a salad spinner basket strapped to my head all day like Biff's son.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:51 AM on October 21, 2015 [13 favorites]


I woke up this morning, looked at the TV guide and was annoyed when I noticed none of the BTTF movies were going to be marathoned in TV. Good thing I have them on this space-age computer of mine!
...says something about the state of live television, I guess.
...I don't have a fax machine. Just a side note.
...or a smart television so I could get 20 youtube videos, netflix and weather at once. Because thanks to BTTF I thought that's all they're good for. I mean, who needs all that?
...been a while since I saw the Jaws films but I think I'll finally finish watching Sharknado instead.
...Also need to play some Kinect games, believe it or not. I need an achievement on my XBL account that says that yes, today was the day I played video games without hands.
posted by wwwwolf at 6:52 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


wwwwolf, Don't forget to refer to everyone you talk to today as a butthead, butthead!
posted by Fizz at 6:55 AM on October 21, 2015


Remember those old guys when you were young who thought Abbott & Costello and Laurel & Hardy were the epitome of comedic cinema? Remember being a kid wondering what they saw in that thirty year old junk?

Yep.


Literally the best thing on television right now is a direct visual homage to these films, so I don't think that's entirely fair.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:55 AM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I work in a hospital and I can assure you fax machines are still being used constantly by people who don't quite understand that there is absolutely no good reason to still use a fax machine. Seriously, thousands of pages a day are printed out, then faxed to a fax server, dropped in a folder, where they go into a document management system (that is licensed by the page) so that they can then be viewed on a screen. I'd bet at least half of these documents are eventually printed and faxed. It's the fucking human centipede of paper.

We also have a pneumatic tube system and I still wear an actual beeper. I think we finally stopped using leeches last year.

The future is more bizarre than any movie could have predicted, which is something I just typed to a bunch of strangers all over the world who are currently connected by a magical network of appliances, any of which can instantly call up an infinite supply of the sickest, most depraved pornography that nobody could have ever imagined in 1985.
posted by bondcliff at 6:55 AM on October 21, 2015 [61 favorites]


Re: faxes, they make perfect sense since it was a alternate continuity in which the Japanese economy never burst in the 90s.
posted by sukeban at 6:56 AM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


The future is more bizarre than any movie could have predicted, which is something I just typed to a bunch of strangers all over the world who are currently connected by a magical network of appliances, any of which can instantly call up an infinite supply of the sickest, most depraved pornography that nobody could have ever imagined in 1985.

...also cats.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:57 AM on October 21, 2015 [9 favorites]




98% of my social media friends have long since posted the "OMG TODAY IS THE DAY" thing that, now that the day is actually here, they're saying nothing about it.

Same here. This day could have been a lot more fun, but all the false postings kind of deflated it. THIS IS WHY YOU FACT CHECK BEFORE CLICKING "SHARE," BUTTHEADS.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:58 AM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


In 1985's defense, there were plenty of people on UseNet imagining plenty of sick, depraved pornography.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:59 AM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


They weren't trying to set up a sequel, and when it came time to write one, they found that they were straightjacketed by the original script saying she should go to 2015 with them, when really they just wanted to make a movie about Doc and Marty bouncing through time.

Having an action comedy film with a feeeeemale character? MADNESS.
posted by sukeban at 6:59 AM on October 21, 2015 [17 favorites]


I've never seen any of the BTTF movies and wouldn't recognize any footage from them. So it's a sign of how ubiquitous those movies are, and how ingrained they've gotten in our culture, that I still get most, if not all, the references.
posted by ardgedee at 7:00 AM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I fax and receive faxes at work every damn day, although fortunately it's via email on my end and not through the physical fax machine that's been collecting dust under my desk since I convinced my boss to switch to digital faxing.
posted by griphus at 7:01 AM on October 21, 2015


Guys, their solution was to throw her unconscious in a dumpster in the future and leave her on a possible stranger's porch with bullets flying around everywhere in Biff's 1985. I'm not sure retconning the last five minutes of the first film would have been worse writing if they really wanted to keep themselves from having to write a female character.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:02 AM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


P.S., you know who really relies on faxes to the almost complete exception of any other sort of correspondence save for actual mail?

Something like half of the state governments in the U.S.
posted by griphus at 7:02 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]




I'm not sure retconning the last five minutes of the first film would have been worse writing if they really wanted to keep themselves from having to write a female character.

The real sad part is, here were are 30 years later, and Hollywood is still faxing in those same kinds of scripts.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:11 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Uh, Neil deGrasse Tyson is livetweeting all day about BttF.

oh cool they're roughly as obnoxiously pedantic as the rest of his tweets
posted by griphus at 7:11 AM on October 21, 2015 [12 favorites]




Just as long as this tumblr (the source of all those preemptive facebook posts) keeps posting in perpetuity I'm cool with it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:16 AM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


Something like half of the state governments in the U.S.

Also, the medical community. (Faxes are still considered a HIPAA-compliant method of sending information, and in many jurisdictions carry more legal weight than electronic copies.)
posted by tocts at 7:17 AM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


P.S., you know who really relies on faxes to the almost complete exception of any other sort of correspondence save for actual mail? Something like half of the state governments in the U.S.

There was a great audio documentary on NPR a few years ago (cannot seem to find it) about the ubiquity of the fax machine in the modern era, specifically places like the doctor's office, and Japan. Asia still uses the fax machine in a big way.
posted by Fizz at 7:20 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


P.S., you know who really relies on faxes to the almost complete exception of any other sort of correspondence save for actual mail?

Also, it's how high school football players commit to colleges. The bigger football schools have webcams on their fax machines on National Signing Day.
posted by Etrigan at 7:22 AM on October 21, 2015


Amazon Prime has all three movies available.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:23 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Me in 1985: "So you're me from October 21st, 2015! You've gotta tell me, what's my life like? What am I thinking about? What am I looking forward to?"

Me in 2015: "Star Wars, mostly."
posted by PlusDistance at 7:23 AM on October 21, 2015 [88 favorites]


says something about the state of live television, I guess.

Oh yes. On the 100th anniversary of World War I, the History Channel had nothing but a Pawn Stars marathon.

I want one of those things where you say "fruit, please!"
posted by Melismata at 7:25 AM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


I work for a major retail chain and sadly we still use faxes as well. Mainly for Vendor POs and expense reporting. That being said, we here at the office receive our faxes digitally through our email.


Still though, Happy BttF Day, Buttheads!

Also just yesterday I used "You mean you have to use your hands? It's like a baby's toy" in some context or another.
posted by Twain Device at 7:28 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Hoverboards" have wheels, shoes don't lace themselves, and the Mets are kicking the hell out of the Cubs in the playoffs.

The future is a bunch of bullshit is what it is.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:35 AM on October 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


I think we finally stopped using leeches last year.

Wellll....
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:37 AM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Given that link about the ubiquity of fax machines in Japan to this day, it makes BTTF2 look eerily prescient. But that seems like more of a case on standardizing on a technology too quickly, too soon, like France did with Minitel.

But from the perspective of 1985, the fax machine was such an exotic, expensive item back then that the prospect of having 1, let alone 3, in your own home-- and knowing other people you could fax to because they ALSO had one-- seemed almost impossible, and it seemed really futuristic that this would be possible in 2015.
posted by deanc at 7:43 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


RIP The Dissolve.

Also that one tumblr managed to still be subtly wrong even today.

Lastly, the Cubs aren't winning (oops).
posted by sparkletone at 7:48 AM on October 21, 2015


It was the year 2015. Jayden woke to the sound of his pocket computer - electronic music from a virtual reality pop idol that he enjoyed with equal measures of irony and sincerity. Bleary eyed, he silenced the thin mechanical voice, and checked the time. 8:00 AM. He bent upwards in his bed, worked saliva in his mouth, and rubbed his eyes. Today was the day - they were launching the new trading algorithm. Acquisitions had given them a pipeline closer to the exchange, and his work over the past two years had been optimizing their natural language processing software to better understand, analyze and action the day's headlines into financial decisions. Around 1,000 decisions per second, to be precise. Carried out with invisible digital logic, shot at the speed of light across wires, understood only by other machines that then shifted a few numerals within a massive database comprised of hundreds of computers whispering invisibly to one another through the air. It was boring work, Jayden thought, but it paid a lot of money for a person just a year and a half out of his undergraduate in computer and data science.

He contemplated taking a shower. There was a teleconference later in the day - he had gotten out of the big launch event by pleading extra time to "tighten up" the code. That meant that he didn't have to take an early flight into New York, and could work from the comfort of his home in rural Vermont. His other friends had flocked to various cities after graduation, but Jayden could do his job from anywhere, and he chose to do it in a place with a nice view, no traffic noise, and a blazing fast sattelite Internet connection that he split between several other teleworkers in what could loosely be called his neighborhood (less loosely: half a dozen other mansions on 2 acre allotments inside of a gated community). Nope. No shower today. He would put on a shirt and tie for the teleconference, straighten his hair, but otherwise he was taking it easy. The tightening up was a lie. The code had been done for a while, and his part in the project was essentially complete aside from troubleshooting which he was already determined to half ass. His work had paid him well enough that he was checked out long ago, and he was planning his off year traveling before he came back for another job with some other firm desperate to play catch up to his previous work.

He dressed quickly - a black shirt and pants made of space age moisture wicking fabric perfect for running a marathon, and also perfect for sitting on the couch. He took out his pocket computer and checked his social feed - nothing worth mentioning. People from his project team were vacantly celebrating and fretting over the launch today. People who would actually be there. Jayden made a guttural sound, and rolled his eyes. He spoke into his phone to his personal robot assistant, "Weather for Branbury State Park," he said. It reported back, "The Weather for Bradbury New York will be Clear, seventy degrees, 10% chance of rain later in the day." Jayden cursed, and instead typed 'wether branbury st prk' into the computer, getting an answer within seconds. Coincidentally it was nearly the same as wherever Bradbury was, and therefore perfect weather for a hike.

He popped a capsule into the machine, put a mug underneath, and pressed the button as the spout sputtered out coffee into it. He took the mug and a doughnut that he'd gotten delivered from Oregon the night before (a sort of celebratory token, since Portland was his destination next week), and loaded up his virtual library containing nearly every movie ever produced spread across a number of services. He browsed disinterestedly for a few minutes before putting on a classic he'd never seen, Back to the Future. He'd heard it was good.

It played in the background as he compulsively did one last check on a few places his boss had tagged as URGENT in the code that was launching later in the day. He used his brushed aluminum secondary computer, with a full keyboard and slightly larger screen. They were nonsense, of course. His boss had been out of programming for so long that he was mainly just doing things to seem like he was doing anything. His suggestions and worries weren't grounded in any sort of reality, but Jayden made a few cosmetic fixes, complimented his boss's knowledge, and then made personal notes to jog those changes back next month and bill the company for his effort.

With his work for the day done, apart from the teleconference, he dunked the last bit of his doughnut in the weak, chemical tasting coffee while checking the news. A sky robot had attacked a wedding accidentally in Pakistan, a multinational bank had had its customer data stolen (most likely by the Russians), and the virtual reality console that Jayden's friends worked on had announced the date for its first public release. Jayden skimmed over it all, noting that the virtual reality console sounded cooler than it was, and then closed his secondary computer. He looked up at the 55 inch pane of glass playing the movie with theater quality picture. A frizzled hair man was shouting about the future. Jayden laughed when he noticed the date on the time machine matched the date on the front of his pocket computer. He sent a text communication to the girl in New York, that he had met on his casual sex computer application, that relayed this fact, since he couldn't think of anyone else to tell but wanted to tell somebody. She nearly immediately replied with 'i kno right, lol'. Jayden forced a smile, and thought that he couldn't wait to be in Portland, where the people were so much more real.

He planned the rest of his day: checking that he had enough electrical charge in his car to get to Branbury, packing for his hike with nutrient bars and electrolyte water, doing the opening ceremony thing at 1:00PM, setting up lodging at a stranger's house for his west coast trip. He checked the social feed of his co-workers one last time and felt a brief sense of nausea he couldn't place. The chemical taste of coffee and doughnut came back up his throat for a moment. He felt unsatisfied in a non-specific way, and thought about how much better it might be to write letters, talk on a phone with a wire, have to rely on cable TV for entertainment, not constantly be in contact via his pocket computer... like his parents had done. That must have been so much better, in many ways. He shrugged it off, and went upstairs to get dressed.
posted by codacorolla at 7:54 AM on October 21, 2015 [87 favorites]


It's USA Today Blue, but this is kind of charming.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:00 AM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's USA Today Blue, but this is kind of charming.

You don't get the paper printed on demand, but hyper local news is definitely a thing they got right.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:03 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Back to the Future got a lot of the sociological stuff right, even if the technology isn't quite accurate. Hell, we're even deep in the middle of 80s retro kitsch.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:06 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


codacorolla: that's funny, but it reads like a 1950's lesser Asimov suffering from over-explanation disease:

"Will we be flying one of the wide body commercial jet-propulsion airliners, Professor Scott?"

"No Timmy, the widebody jets are primarily for cross-oceanic flights, for our short jaunt we'll be taking a turbo-prop airliner driven by a turbine."

"Gee Whiz, that's neat!"

posted by leotrotsky at 8:10 AM on October 21, 2015 [13 favorites]


I work in a hospital and I can assure you fax machines are still being used constantly by people who don't quite understand that there is absolutely no good reason to still use a fax machine.

I don't work for the health system here, but I work closely with it, and faxes are ubiquitous. I spoke with someone about it at some point, and the basic reasoning is:

-health care has pretty stringent rules around patient privacy
-as a result, electronic transmission of patient information is forbidden
-this rules out using just about any email or web-based methods of communication both within the health system and with services outside of it where patient information needs to be sent
-faxes, however, are considered secure by health because they are point-to-point means of communication. So they fax everything, because everyone's workflow is based on having quick communication of needed information.

I pointed out that while fax machines might be "point-to-point", most fax machines are sitting in relatively unsecured areas of offices and are used by multiple people, so the faxes are still being picked up and potentially read by people other than the intended recipient. I got a shrug. Anyways, that is my understanding of why health care settings still fax like crazy; I have seen some efforts at introducing encrypted emails, but that is slow going.

Anyways, Back to the Future, hey?
posted by nubs at 8:13 AM on October 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


I was just thinking about BTTF being all in the past soon (couldn't remember the exact day, I fail at nerddom) a few days back, but how creepy is it that I find the first internet meme/reference that it's today pretty much exactly at 4.29 pm (here in good old Germany at least). @.@

Okay, it was a total concidience since I was busy today with babysitting and couldn't get earlier on the interfax.
posted by ZeroAmbition at 8:16 AM on October 21, 2015




Pacific Time, and when it happens, most of California will shear off into the Pacific.

Because of how time lines diverge, but want to confirm to causality, the in-movie events will not happen in our time line; but both time lines end with massive geological disasters worldwide. It's just accelerated in our line.

Thanks Marty. Smooth move.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:25 AM on October 21, 2015


HR thought it would be cute this morning to stream BTTF to all the wallboards (gigantic remotely controlled LCD screens) globally at work. Our TV was a max volume. No one could use their phones, I had to get off a support call at my desk because OMFG Marty just played the guitar and blew up the amp HARDY HAR! I got up, found a stool and unplugged the goddamn monitor. It was irritating as fuck. Fuck this whole idea and day as a result of that, lol.
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:32 AM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Clearly your HR department needs to make like a tree...and get outa there.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:39 AM on October 21, 2015 [12 favorites]


I wish days like this could pass without #brands doing cringeworthy #content.
posted by grahamparks at 8:44 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am looking forward to the #content in four years when we do this all over again, but for Blade Runner.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:46 AM on October 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


Since I'm a geek and a fan of cyberpunk and just because:

"Carried out with invisible digital logic, shot at the speed of light across wires,"

A lot of trading is now done with point-to-point microwave networks because apparently it's faster than a fiber connection. Cool stuff.

"a blazing fast satellite Internet connection"

I'm pretty sure that these don't exist. You can have local wifi with a microwave tower backbone ("again with the microwaves! It's like he's obsessed with microwaves! Somebody give that man a hot pocket!") but blazing fast satellite internet is not around as far as I know.

Oh, and when I wake up in the morning, I don't even have to open up my eyes to check the time. I bought a voice-activated alarm clock about 4 or 5 years ago and it's been the best thing ever for lazy mornings.

Oh, and I'm thinking of getting a VR headset soon. ...from Mattel. So, yeah, the present future's weird.
posted by I-baLL at 8:57 AM on October 21, 2015


but for Blade Runner.

As long as Google has a new model of Nexus 6 out on the market, I'll put up with the rest. I won't even complain if it has an appallingly short battery life.
posted by radwolf76 at 8:59 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


As long as the low battery message is "Time... to... die..." I will join you.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:03 AM on October 21, 2015 [16 favorites]


You can crack on faxes all you want, but they saved payroll for 600 people here yesterday when the Interweb went down on a clear blue sky day. I also have a teleype for Real Weather Emergencies. The future is about redundancy.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 9:06 AM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


The hoverboards are needing a bit of work.
posted by Devonian at 9:06 AM on October 21, 2015


Uh, Neil deGrasse Tyson is livetweeting all day about BttF.

We don't have drones powerful enough to pull a dog somewhere it doesn't want to go, but I'll bet you could train a dog to stay with the drone holding its leash.
posted by straight at 9:11 AM on October 21, 2015


I'd like like to see a list of stuff in BTTF2 we can't do versus stuff we don't want to do.
posted by straight at 9:14 AM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I only wish I were going to be around in 23XX when Star Trek will be in the past, and everybody will be all "OMG, how ridiculous! WARP drive? Hahahahahaha! Hey, can you go get that fax off the fax machine for me?"
posted by briank at 9:16 AM on October 21, 2015 [32 favorites]


Anyone see cracked.com today? Nice homage with the font and all.
posted by Melismata at 9:20 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]



I wish days like this could pass without #brands doing cringeworthy #content.


I liked Google's though.
posted by zabuni at 9:29 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Looks like the Cubs are working hard to defy the prediction

No team takes failure more seriously. You have to respect this.
posted by rokusan at 9:43 AM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


I work in a Federal agency, where we receive faxes constantly, which are then immediately (well, for government values of "immediate") scanned into .tiff files before anyone really reads them. Sometimes if we're lucky attorneys will use the new fangled barcodes we provide them to save us the step of physically scanning in their faxes (but still requires faxing on their end), but not nearly as often as you'd imagine. There are A LOT of old attorneys that barely understand faxing, much less electronic records management. And A LOT of them still use the USPO to physically MAIL us thousand page documents. Which are then scanned before we read them.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:46 AM on October 21, 2015


It's USA Today Blue, but this is kind of charming.

I notice they changed the top right corner. RIP Queen Diana.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:47 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


The ending to the first movie was just the writers of the first script having fun. They weren't trying to set up a sequel, and when it came time to write one, they found that they were straightjacketed by the original script saying she should go to 2015 with them, when really they just wanted to make a movie about Doc and Marty bouncing through time.

Which any decent writer could've worked around in a dozen ways, including pulling a Fenchurch.

*Delorean phases in, with a soft "poof" sound from the now-empty back seat*
Marty: Hey, wasn't Jennifer with us?
Doc: ...Jennifer who?
Marty: ...*looks* Yeah, I'm not thinking straight. I don't remember knowing any Jennifers.
Doc: Time travel does weird things sometimes.
posted by delfin at 9:52 AM on October 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


"It's your kids Marty, we gotta save your kids!"

"are they trapped in a horrible alternate future timeline?"

"no it's just they're buried under a lifetime of student debt, no paying jobs, uneven access to health care and a planet becoming increasingly unpredictable and toxic to human life! At best they can numb themselves with a variety of entertainment options, at worse fall into hopeless despair not just for themselves, but the future of civilization!"

"That's terrible! Am I helping?"

"No! You just keep saying they need more elbow grease and to stop being lazy while supporting reactionary political parties that border on naked fascism because you're terrified of everything and the world is beyond your control!"
posted by The Whelk at 9:54 AM on October 21, 2015 [67 favorites]


And if the audience going AWWW over Jenny would've been a concern, flash back to her standing in the middle of the street in 1985. She looks around in confusion, then notices a tag on her shirt:

THIS TAG NOT TO BE REMOVED FROM THE TIMESTREAM UNDER PENALTY OF LAW

There, she's fine. Carry on with space-time misadventures.
posted by delfin at 9:57 AM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I woke up this morning, looked at the TV guide and was annoyed when I noticed none of the BTTF movies were going to be marathoned in TV.

You're in the wrong place. My town, Reston Va., is having a marathon at our local movie theater today, complete with a Delorean time machine parked out front. Christopher Lloyd's coming. And we've even officially changed the name of the town to Hill Valley. We're making a pretty big to-do about it.

I work right around the corner from the theater and that Delorean has been popping up for weeks now, getting photographed in various places around the town center, complete with an owner who dresses in Marty's jeans and orange stuffed vest outfit.
posted by Naberius at 10:08 AM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


As long as Google has a new model of Nexus 6 out on the market, I'll put up with the rest. I won't even complain if it has an appallingly short battery life.

Basic pleasure model.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:09 AM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


I work in a hospital and I can assure you fax machines are still being used constantly by people who don't quite understand that there is absolutely no good reason to still use a fax machine. Seriously, thousands of pages a day are printed out, then faxed to a fax server, dropped in a folder, where they go into a document management system (that is licensed by the page) so that they can then be viewed on a screen. I'd bet at least half of these documents are eventually printed and faxed. It's the fucking human centipede of paper.

I work in financial services and it's pretty much the same... getting banks and credit unions to stop using fax machines is pretty much impossible. Buttheads, the lot of them.
posted by palomar at 10:10 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


(And I STILL regularly have to teach people how to read the little symbol on the fax machine that tells you how to insert the document that you're faxing. STILL. I don't even know what emotions to have about that situation.)
posted by palomar at 10:14 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


deanc: "But from the perspective of 1985, the fax machine was such an exotic, expensive item back then that the prospect of having 1, let alone 3, in your own home-- and knowing other people you could fax to because they ALSO had one-- seemed almost impossible, and it seemed really futuristic that this would be possible in 2015."

It's a reference to the tv joke from the first movie too. "Nobody has two televisions!"

delfin: "Doc: Time travel does weird things sometimes."

This would have totally changed the tone of the latter movies to something horrific.
posted by Mitheral at 10:17 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Welcome to the Future (IT SUCKS!)
posted by alex_skazat at 10:19 AM on October 21, 2015


One nice thing about Rick & Morty is they started including Summer in the adventures and oh my god it didn't ruin anything so boo screenwriters of 1985, boo.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:19 AM on October 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


Re: faxes

Also, the medical community.

Also, the legal community.

WE ALSO STILL USE TYPEWRITERS, FOR PETE'S SAKE.
posted by Lucinda at 10:31 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]




WE ALSO STILL USE TYPEWRITERS, FOR PETE'S SAKE.

So you're an "artisanal" lawyer?
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:37 AM on October 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


Mods should definitely edit the post time to be the correct one Pacific time.
posted by sparkletone at 10:56 AM on October 21, 2015


So you're an "artisanal" lawyer?

Hey now, a least we don't use quills.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:59 AM on October 21, 2015


Wait, seriously? Typewriters? I thought that was a font.
posted by griphus at 11:22 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think that, for a certain generation of people, today is like the day I realized that the incoming freshman college class, at the time I was a junior in college, was the Class of 1984.
posted by janey47 at 11:25 AM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


there is absolutely no good reason to still use a fax machine.

Signatures. Still. So many things still require actual human being signatures today.

I have dealt with so many law offices and accounting offices and government departments in five countries that ask for faxes, and sometimes I gripe about it, but if I'm honest, faxing is usually still easier than the alternative, even today.

Otherwise, sure you can sign a 20-page document by hand, then scan it, possibly stitch those scanned pages together into something like a PDF, e-mail it, get your message bounced because you just tried to e-mail a 14Gb file and the recipient's e-mail server can't handle that. So you break it into pieces, compress it, e-mail it again, and then answer the phone when the person on the other end doesn't know what to do with a .bz2 file. So you walk them through decompressing it, kick yourself for not using zip, and then wait while the other person makes sure they can print it and back to that it's all there. But that's a lot of steps, and a lot of time, and a lot of points of failure, and that's even assuming your scanner isn't a piece of crap like, oh, every scanner I have ever owned. More often that not, an hour has just passed.

Or you could fax it and forget about it. Old-fashioned or not, sometimes it's just so much faster and easier.
posted by rokusan at 11:37 AM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


My lawyer always prints the document, scans it to PDF, then emails the PDF to me.

The scanned document image is always sideways.
posted by clawsoon at 12:09 PM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's an stupid Adobe Acrobat issue and I will kiss on the mouth the person who tells me how to actually rotate an entire document and have it stay rotated.
posted by griphus at 12:11 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Put it in the scanner correctly.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:20 PM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


So you're an "artisanal" lawyer?

Sure is. Plea bargained me down to six hours in the stocks!
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:21 PM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Nice to see the Government of Canada get into the spirit today.

Although I'm wondering if "affect" is a typo or an extra in-joke, considering the difference is covered here.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:42 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]




Jon Bois knows very well that the only reason Marty and Doc would have time-traveled to 2015 would be to have a glass of milks with Clarence Beeftank.
posted by delfin at 1:55 PM on October 21, 2015


> Remember those old guys when you were young who thought Abbott & Costello and Laurel & Hardy were the epitome of comedic cinema? Remember being a kid wondering what they saw in that thirty year old junk?

My grandsons (eight and eleven) absolutely love Laurel and Hardy; for a long time they insisted on watching a grainy VHS tape of a few movies (one of them cut off) we had lying around, and I've rarely seen them so excited as when we bit the bullet and got this set. So, poor example.

Also, I've only seen the first BTTF. I am a bad citizen of the 21st century.
posted by languagehat at 2:16 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't usually plug my own stuff here, but I'll make an exception on this holiest of days because I'm very proud of this one. Today we released a podcast episode discussing all of the various Back To The Future video games that have been released over the years, from the primitive MSX adventure games to the pitiful NES games to pinball with bad artwork all the way up to the modern Telltale episodic series. We also talk some about the films and have general fun with the trilogy. I hope you'll check it out.

Power Button - Episode 187: Where We're Gaming, We Don't Need Roads
posted by Servo5678 at 2:45 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Marty: ...*looks* Yeah, I'm not thinking straight. I don't remember knowing any Jennifers.

You know, I can suspend a lot of disbelief, but the idea that a kid born circa 1968 doesn't know any Jennifers... way too farfetched.
posted by Flannery Culp at 2:46 PM on October 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


The truth comes out!
posted by blurker at 2:52 PM on October 21, 2015


Nice to see the Government of Canada get into the spirit today.

Alas, it's gone, but the Wayback Machine caught it.

Harper just had to have one last chance to screw us over, I guess.
posted by suetanvil at 4:21 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Uh, I'm not the only one wearing my pants inside out, right? Right?
posted by trip and a half at 4:59 PM on October 21, 2015


Saw Back to the Future II for the first time today.

It was ... really quite bad.
posted by kyrademon at 5:07 PM on October 21, 2015



My lawyer always prints the document, scans it to PDF, then emails the PDF to me.

This is deliberate. Lawyers are overly paranoid. They do this so you can't copy/paste the text of the document (and because they don't know how to use Acrobat).
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:21 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Taught a webinar today about working remotely, including tips for videoconferencing. Opened with an image of 2015 Marty talking to his boss via videconference. The future is now!!!

(Not the scene with him being fired though, that would probably not be so inspiring!)
posted by platinum at 5:30 PM on October 21, 2015


"a blazing fast satellite Internet connection"
I'm pretty sure that these don't exist.


And can't, at least not by any standard definition. Speed of light delay means high latency is baked in. Even if you go asymmetric with a ground-based upstream (which you pretty much have to) whatever you use for the control channel still has that high latency to orbit then back to Earth that'll kill your interactivity. Physics: not even once.
posted by scalefree at 5:35 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Uh, I'm not the only one wearing my pants inside out, right? Right?


We've still got to wait a few years until Kris Kross Day.
posted by downtohisturtles at 7:37 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


"a blazing fast satellite Internet connection"
I'm pretty sure that these don't exist.


I wasn't sure, but I went with it. YOLO, as they said in 2013.
posted by codacorolla at 7:54 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pope Guilty: Amazon Prime has all three movies available.

Which I see they're promoting with the first of six cycling banners on their site, that links to a chopped up clip for "Back to the Future Day" (screenshot), taking a few different pieces from Back to the Future 2.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:06 PM on October 21, 2015


So, tonight another mefite and I might have solved the discrepancy between what you see as the world today and what we were promised 26 years ago.Once you really consider it, it's not a problem at all.

See, when Doc Brown arrives at the end of the first BTTF film, he's agitated, babbling about how something needs to be done about Marty and Jennifer's kids. He's acting weird and rashly, even for him, taking Jennifer along with them and then knocking her out and dumping her on some trash (for no good reason at all, that I can tell) and getting tetchy about rules that don't seem like they should matter as much as he thinks they do.

He knows a lot about the future, has spent enough time there to know to the second when the weather will change, and has gotten the Delorean fitted with flying capabilities and a Mr. Fusion, which can't have been cheap. Doc Brown is basically destitute at the beginning of the first movie, having spent his family fortune (and, as Cracked has noted today, probably pulling a bit of insurance fraud) to fund his invention. If he's got money for the Delorean (and he's got stacks and stacks of bills from different time periods) he's been earning it, and knowing him, he hasn't been earning it honestly.

Yes, of course I'm getting to the point.

A man as smart as Emmett Brown knows that, given the McFly family situation in 2015, which is a lot more problematic than just Marty Jr.'s legal troubles, Marty Sr.'s plan to take back a sports almanac and bet on winners a lot is probably a better long-term solution. He trusts that Marty is a good-hearted kid, and he knows that he doesn't have what it takes to make it in the real world, so... what's going on here?

I argue that here we reach a key little-discussed aspect of time-travel that I've actually thought about enough to have written a short story about. Basically, once you've got access to all of time, at what point do you decide a beginning and an end? Moreover, where do you draw the line at your responsibility for the multiple universes you're creating?

Is 2015 as far as Doc Brown has gone into the future? That seems unlikely, right? But he seems okay with setting that as the point at which we can change things without troubling ramifications. And he's been traveling around a while...

My point, and most of you are probably already with me, is that Doc Brown stopped 9-11. He got to the future, saw what we see today, and realized that as the only person who could change things, it was his moral obligation to do so. That's not easy, though, and he probably came at it a ton of different ways, trying to keep a hold of all the strings. Finally, though, one day he got it. It worked, and he travelled forward to Hill Valley, 2015, to see where the world was.

And that majestic world is the one we see in BTTF2. In most ways better - there are flying cars that the FAA would never have permitted, consumer instant hydration technology that a continued massive military buildup allowed for, and FAX machines back at their rightful place at the top of the communications food chain. The only problem is the McFly family problems.

Doc can't risk messing with anything he did to fix the global scene, but he can't leave that one loose end hanging, so he heads back to 1985, an agitated mess, to handle things in a harebrained scheme he pulled together while stressed out of his gills. And he freaks out about the almanac because messing with anything in 1985 could undo all of his work.

Fast-forward to the end of BTTF2, and it's all gone to hell. Of course he heads back to 1885 there, with no interest in returning. He's seen what the future can bring, and has washed his hands of it. He's happy enough with the past, thank you.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:12 PM on October 21, 2015 [13 favorites]


So it's Back to the Future meets Primer then.
posted by scalefree at 8:21 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


IMPORTANT QUESTION:
Did anyone die from falling litter yesterday?
posted by littlesq at 12:23 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]




Oh man. I'm going to have to enhance my calm at that thought.
posted by tocts at 4:54 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


My son would be a regular at Cafe 80's in a heartbeat. Also, a lot of older Deaf people rely on faxes. Personally, I still think faxes are super cool. It's like the low-fi version of a transporter but for paper. That's heavy.
posted by h00py at 7:34 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


“The Horrifying Truth About How Doc Brown Used Time Travel”Cracked After Hours, 21 October 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 8:03 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Having an action comedy film with a feeeeemale character?

Well, they sure did that in Part 3 — which was written at the same time as Part 2, and filmed back to back.
posted by John Cohen at 10:51 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hoverboard from Ikea, and other BTTF-themed Pepsi Blue.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:23 PM on October 22, 2015


I just remembered about the Back to the Future cartoon and so I googled it and, holy shit, it came out on dvd 2 days ago!
posted by I-baLL at 3:29 PM on October 22, 2015




Soundtrack to the (depressingly familiar) future: Talamasca - "The Time Machine" (a new [?] psytrance remix of "Popcorn," the 1970s synth pop instrumental + vocal snippets from Back to the Future II).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:18 PM on November 4, 2015


« Older Crickets chirp around the door   |   The Loss Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments