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Today in Tabs: The Future Was Then

When will then be now? Soon.

Today in Tabs: The Future Was Then

Film buffs will recognize today, October 21, 2015, as the day Logan made his titular “Run” in Michael Anderson’s 1976 sci-fi thriller about the staff of Tumblr. You probably also knew that today is the day Charlton Heston discovers that we blew it up and that Soylent Green is people. It’s the day Rutger Hauer reminisces about his vacation, Malcolm McDowell goes to the pictures, and Sylvester Stallone goes for a drive in the country. It’s the day Luke Wilson does some gardening and of course, most famously, the day Jennifer Lawrence will lead her team to victory in the ultimate dance battle.

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But what you might not have known is that October 21, 2015 is also the future that Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and some girl who will be unconscious soon anyway travel back to in dystopian sci-fi horror epic Back to the Future II. That’s right, we’re not in the past or the present anymore. This is: The Futch. Fortunately, today offers such an irresistible opportunity for inoffensive pseudo-humor that it can even be celebrated by brands, the police, brands, the police, drugstore circulars, and BuzzFeed (with brands and the police). The film continues to resonate because it obviously got a lot right about 2015 America. Humans are still bilaterally symmetrical, for the most part. Clothing is still worn. Eagle-eyed viewers will note that the people of Robert Zemeckis’s future have five fingers on each hand, just like many of us do today! And of course, our girlfriends are generally left unconscious in an alley as much as possible.1

If you only have time to read one thing about today’s marketing and law enforcement holiday, make it Matt Zoller Seitz’s post about how the Back to the Future series has aged along with us all, which is genuinely a good piece of film writing and won’t make you yearn to join George Taylor in the Forbidden Zone. And remember, it’s almost Mole Day !

Today in Nepotism: Tabs Intern Emeritus and senior contributing editor Bijan Stephen wrote a feature for Wired about Black Lives Matter, the civil rights movement of the ’60s, and how the technologies of resistance have changed. I would be obligated to tab it out of loyalty, but fortunately it’s very good. Bijan also wrote a pretty good Trake yesterday, and edited Tabs friend Kevin Nguyen’s “Hideo Kojima Is the Jonathan Franzen of Video Games,” which I hope leads to a whole series of articles about who else is the Jonathan Franzen of their field.2 So if you’d been wondering what Bij is up to, he’s keeping busy.

In The Awl, Mark Slutsky’s “Lossless” advanced the fictional gadget blogging genre. In the Times Magazine, Elon Green wrote about the forgotten history of gay adult adoption, which is hard to believe was ever necessary even now, when it is so newly unnecessary. Mary Matalin likes Donald Trump’s . . . what? Today in webs. Today in Webbs. Alanis Morissette and Lena Dunham are both launching podcasts, which are definitely things that need to exist. Tragically, John Cook was named permanent executive editor of Gawker yesterday. He will be missed. Sarah Jeong on the end of the Carl Mark Force trial. “Should we ban killer robots?” Hmm, tough call. Joe Biden announced he will not run for president, and also confirmed that it’s Liquid Swords.

Today’s Nightmare Fuel: Crunchy candy teeth! Probably don’t watch this.

Today’s Game: @leyawn made a Choose Your Own Adventure game on Twitter.

Today’s Song: Future, “Same Damn Time

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~Nobody. Calls me. Tabs.~

Today in Tabs will be back in the future, on Fast Company and in your email.


  1. And are suddenly Elizabeth Shue for some reason? ↩

  2. I am the Jonathan Franzen of email newsletters, for example. ↩

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