Don't Be A Biff
Here we are. It’s the future. Not Marty McFly’s future like so many fans of the Back to the Future films had hoped.
Our hover boards aren’t actually hover boards. Cars have yet to fly. Smart appliances have become a thing, but they haven’t come close to the wonders portrayed in future Marty's house. I don’t even see any Deloreans.
The closest parallel to Back to the Future I can draw is that our president does kind of resemble Biff Tannen. Specifically in the sequel.
For those of you not up on your Back to the Future canon, in the sequel Biff isn’t just a bully. He’s Super Biff, if you will. It’s a sequel thing. You take the bad guy from the original storyline and up the ante. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles did it with Super Shredder. Terminator did it with T1000. Super Biff is the grown-up bully. Much sleazier. He reeks of evil.
Check out these excerpts from a British online publication from November 10, 2016 with reference to Super Biff. It's worth noting that this originally came out just two days after the election:
"It was the dystopian future Marty McFly was desperate to avoid.”
“Biff Tannen, the bully and bad guy of the series, becomes a billionaire businessman with an enormous 27-story casino and an influence in US politics.”
Eerie, right? Well this same article reported a not-so-stunning bit of insight from the Back to the Future creative team:
"Back to the Future writer Bob Gale revealed Biff Tannen was based on Trump last year during celebrations of Back to the Future Day (October 21, 2015)."
At present, we’ve created a future in which Super Biff has an influence on not just US politics, but has attained it’s highest political office. Let that sink in for a moment. The archetype for the sequel-style, super bad guy is President. And whether you feel responsible for that turn of events or not, it is the current reality in which we are living.
Modern media paints the same picture daily. A country split, dead-even. Good versus evil, right versus left, wrong versus right. But that can’t be so, can it? 51% got Super Biff into office, but I refuse to believe that 51% of our population are Biffs.
I keep thinking of this video I saw on Facebook of an extremely Biffy woman’s happy reaction to President Trump’s “shithole country” remarks, saying that he’s “refreshing” and that she “loves this man because he’s saying what we’re all thinking.”
“Refreshing” is he? “He’s saying what we are all thinking” is he? Fuck this lady. Shitty thinking like this needs to die away. Media fuels the fire of division because it’s dramatic and people can’t resist watching the inferno blaze. People love a big shitty dumpster fire!
Regardless of what the actual reality is, all generations need to see the error in thinking this way and speak up to people that express sentiments such as these. Tell them, "Don't be a Biff." Break the mold. Change the future. Create examples of compassion and kindness for younger generations, who may then escape unmarred by such outdated thinking.
Remember, this country is nobody’s. We stole it when we came here.
And despite our country’s often sordid history, not to mention our president’s impact on our international reputation, there are still people, the whole world over, that believe in that ever-elusive mirage of the American Dream and their right to the pursuit of happiness. That’s one of the few things left that makes me well up with pride for our country.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
We were once a beacon. We were once a warm and benevolent mother. But it’s the future now. We are a cold, selfish old man. We are Biff.
We need to remember our past. We need to choose a new future.
If you want a world with less Biffs, engage and make it so. Peer behind the curtain of your constant info-streams. Pierce the veil by looking around in your community and talking to people. Humans are far more likely to have productive conversations in person anyway. I still believe you’ll find more good than bad. My heart keeps hoping that this presidency is in many ways a symbol of the Biffs experiencing their death throes, angry little men and women hooked on hate.
There are incredible young people out there right now, many of whom immigrated here, light years ahead of where I was at their age, ready to take on this shitty Back-to-the-Future-dreamscape. We are standing on a precipice of the next shift. If you’re like me and you’ve got no love for the Biffs of the world, all we've got to do is keep pushing. Do something good, even if it seems tiny and insignificant. It all matters. Just do something, please.
If not for me, do it for Marty McFly.