The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Friday, May 16, 2008

Back to the Future, then the Past, then...

Tonight I watched what is probably my favourite movie of all time for maybe the 5th time.

It may seem cheesy, but, for me at least, this film is profoundly nostalgic, and it leaves me with that warm, fuzzy feeling that is desperately lacking these days.

Among other things, the film reminds me that the 80s was a generally optimistic decade. Starting in the 90s, we entered the age of irony and pessimism. That reminds me: I hate the baby boomers! Why? Because they had it all: they grew up in the golden age of America (50s); had free love and drugs in the 60s; did coke and disco in the 70s; made money during the real estate boom. By the time the world went to hell in the 90s, they were too old to care (I must credit Dennis Miller with this analysis).

The mind-blowing experience of Marty meeting is parents as teenagers still gets me everytime I watch the film. Wouldn't it be great if we could all go back and see what our parents were really like?

As I watched the film tonight, I was started thinking about how much the world has changed in the years since the film was released in 1985. The differences between 1955 and 85 are obvious, but oddly enough, in the 23 years since the film came out, not much has changed. We have cellphones, computers, portable music players, etc, but earlier forms of those devices existed back then. If Marty (or Doc) came to the year 2008, it wouldn't look all that different from 1985. Unlike the the span between 1955 and 1985, there have not been any epochal or monumental changes between 1985 and now. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, just something to consider.

Poor Michael J. Fox: he was one of my favourites growing up, and now he's plagued with Parkinson's. That hurt me as much as finding out that Christopher Reeve (Superman) got paralyzed back in 1992. If what I have said about our current zeitgest, which originated in the 90s, is true, then their fates are somewhat symbolic manifestations of it.


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