Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rediscovering the Past: Two Types of People

So if I have one burgeoning social theory, begging to be fleshed out even more entirely than I will endeavor to undertake in this entry, it is that there are two types of people in this world. No, not cat people and dog people. Not Type A and B personalities. Not even men and women--hermaphrodites, anyone?

No, the entire world can be broken up into two kinds of people:
  • those who prefer Back to the Future Part II for the complexities that arise from screwing with the space-time continuum and the chilling vision of Dark 1985 as brought to life by Robert Zemeckis
  • those who prefer Back to the Future Part III for the rollick of our beloved characters Marty McFly and Doc Brown in the Old West and the beauty that is Seamus McFly
I can understand both sides of this argument that shall forever plague the world, causing insufferable strife between the warring factions eternally grappling with one another over this divisive issue. I can certainly see the appeal of the in-depth exploration into the temporal complexities inherent in jumping around from 1985 to 2015 to 1985 to 1955, and the suspense derived from watching Marty tiptoe around the progress made through acts of space-time manipulation already performed. I can understand the horror that one feels when the see the effect of what can happen to the world if one corrupt soul uses the gift of time travel to his own selfish benefit.

I get that.

I am not in that camp.

At the end of the day, I want the inception of the frisbee. The action on horseback. The Wild West shootouts. The ingenuity of the modern man in a frontier setting. The overcoming of a crippling inability to rise above goading and peer pressure. The modification of the steam engine into a time machine. The riding of the hoverboard off into safety as the train is hurtling towards the canyon. The juxtaposition of ZZ Top in 1885. The actual fear that a Tannen is able to instill in the relative lawlessness of 1885 California.

These things grab a hold of my imagination and tickle my fancy.

The coup de grace, though, is the stellar turn of one Michael J. Fox as Seamus McFly. It is his revelatory portrayal of Marty's great-great grandfather, the even-keeled Irish Catholic immigrant who is not susceptible to the same flaws that often get his four-times-removed descendent into trouble and got Seamus' brother, Martin killed. It is the love Seamus is effortlessly able to summon for the stranger from a strange land that overwhelms me. Seamus has a concern for his fellow man and a willingness to open up his home to those in need that gives hope to me for a better future, even if it does all occur in the past.

So, yes, I am a Seamus McFly Man. What do you plan to do about it, naysayer?

3 comments:

Little Brother said...

Agreed. Wasn't a fan of the Part II. Not as strong of story aside...the make up job done to Lea Thompson was awful. I know the makeup technology wasn't as great back then, but it was as though they didn't make any effort for her rack and and aged face to be believable.

weibel said...

I liked Part II because it did a great job setting up Part II. However does this mean you are a fan of the 3rd inception of a Triology? You know the final conclusion, where good ultimately triumphs over evil. I feel I am starting to make the same argument made in "Clerks" All Jedi had was a bunch of muppets.

weibel said...

Part II did a great job setting up Part III

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