On the second day of 2015, or the Future (as featured in the 1989 film Back to the Future II) most of us are sitting a little dazed as the mayhem of the festive period in 2014 fizzes out on the horizon in a last pop of a Prosecco bubble. The tree sits wilting in bedraggled tinsel and the outside lights that looked so magnificent at Christmas flicker disconsolately. The cards gather glittery dust on the window sills and half opened boxes of chocolate glisten unappealingly on the table. If we saw Marty, Doc and Jennifer screech into our lives, big hair, smiles and shoulder pads looming, we would assume wearily that we were hallucinating, and that the dodgy eighties tribute band from down the local pub had got lost again…
Let’s face it, what does a film made in 1989 about our year to date really know? 1984, in which George Orwell famously described a world in which we were controlled by a Big Brother state in which there was an Inner Party that controlled the 85% of us Proles, despite a lot of accurate insights into the working of modern governments and industries, came and went. We refused to die in May 2000, or December 2012 – both of which were ancient predictions for the end of the world. So what is it about 2015 that will make it stand out as the Future? What is it that will make us think, at the end of the year, that it was worth waiting for?
Back to the Future II starts off in 1985 where the original film ended, with Marty and Jennifer getting married. But Marty and Doc have to travel forward in time to 2015 to rescue his future son from being jailed. And then all the complications arise. So in effect, they arrive where us 80s kids are today. Yes we are older, fatter, have kids, family, mortgage and responsibilities. We get more tired nowadays, and a hangover lasts a few days rather than a few hours. And now its me cooking the Christmas dinner instead of my mum, and I don't do a bad job of it either.
But our true friends are still with us, and we laugh at the same stupid things, dance much to the embarrassment of our teenagers to the 'new music' before a couple of glasses of wine necessitates slamming on the Greatest Hits of the Eighties. And we would fight tooth and nail for our kids, rather like Marty.
Perhaps we can’t stand around waiting for the hover boards and flying cars to appear. Perhaps what we have to do is make just one prediction – that this year, the year of the Future, we will do something worthwhile to us and to us alone. It may be dropping that dress size, it may be getting that job, it may be leaving that job, it may be learning to be patient with your aging parents, or curbing your frustration with your difficult teenage child, or learning a new skill, dumping a toxic friend, hitting the gym, or resolving to make some ‘me’ time every day.
Whatever it is, this year make it worth it. The Future is here, and it’s yours for the taking.
And if you smell burning rubber and hear screeching tyres up above your heads, duck as fast as you can, ‘cos Marty and co have arrived…