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  #101  
Old 01-20-2020, 11:13 AM
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Having made contact with, and being taken in by, 1990 family/weirdos, they have to go out because plot, giving him use of their house and stuff. Marty sits alone in a dark, cold living room. “OK google, turn on lights, set temperature to 67”. Nothing. “Alexa?” - “Siri?” Bummed out, he gets up to go find some legal weed. But backing out of the driveway he hits a car driving by, because the collision alert didn’t beep at him. In the hospital, he needs to call his local-time hosts, but doesn’t remember the number. Not having anything to interact with, his anxiety is through the roof, baffling the doctors
  #102  
Old 01-20-2020, 11:34 AM
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Much as I would never down grade the absolute horro4 of 9/11 and the Boston Marathon terror murders, I think Oklahoma City would strike Marty as worse--a terroristic mass murder committed by an American citizen against his own country?
  #103  
Old 01-20-2020, 02:12 PM
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It's hard to think of a premise as unfunny as trying to save a present real-life dystopia by correcting bad things in the past. At the end of the movie you'd be reminded that's impossible, and we're still stuck here.
  #104  
Old 01-20-2020, 02:52 PM
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Marty goes the arcade and shows of his skills on Virtua Cop.

Kid: "Wow! You're really good!"
Marty: "Yeah, maybe I'll go pro."
Kid: "Ha! Who would pay to watch someone play video games?"
  #105  
Old 01-20-2020, 03:23 PM
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And what car would the present day Doc make into a time machine? I'm thinking maybe a Tesla. The Model X even has gullwing rear doors like a De Lorean.
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
The Cybertruck would be good for this.

And perhaps instead of needing 1.21 gigawatts, perhaps the latter-day equivalent needs some amount of computing power that is easily achieved today but would be difficult in 1990.
Using a Tesla suggests a semi-obvious technical issue for them to overcome. Tesla start with a phone app or a little RFID card. Doc probably mounted the phone in the car for the test run, but maybe he had the card in his pocket. So when Marty gets back to 1990, once he turns the car off he can't get it started again because the Tesla servers are nowhere to be found.

The resolution (something something encryption) isn't nearly as cool as hooking up a power cable just in time to catch a lighting strike, though.

You could replace the "just give me something without sugar" diner scene with him asking for something with no carbohydrates and getting served like a steak with a stick of butter on it? A little dated for 2020, though. Better 5-10 years ago.

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Originally Posted by Annie Xmas
Much as I would never down grade the absolute horro4 of 9/11 and the Boston Marathon terror murders, I think Oklahoma City would strike Marty as worse--a terroristic mass murder committed by an American citizen against his own country?
One of the Boston Marathon bombers was an American citizen.

Also, I don't think there's anything written in stone that a BttF reboot has to be exactly 30 years.

I like the idea of a gay Marty as fitting into the major cultural clash of the time, although I expect it would be pretty hard to fit into the mold of BttF. It's going to be a very fine line to portray early 90s homophobia as comedy without turning modern audiences off. I'm not sure how it fits into the broader themes of Marty helping his parents. Like, does Marty need to be a positive gay role model for his parents so they don't end up bigots? Again, seems hard to do as comedy. Maybe it's actually Marty's dad who is gay, and the parent/child love triangle is flipped, which also fits the "Marty screwed up his own existence" plotline. Except... you then have the conflicting necessity of Marty's dad hooking up with his mom, but also learning to not be closeted. Maybe it's a shorter trip back and Marty's mom is already pregnant but Marty has to convince his dad that he doesn't need to marry her (and be unhappy and closeted) but also can still be a great dad. That doesn't feel right either. It's... kind of a mess. Can anyone sketch out the plot here (I'm not saying it can't work. I'm just saying I've been brainstorming a bit and can't figure out how it would work).

The "Alexa" joke should definitely be the "Marty wakes up disoriented in a dark room and is assured that's fine, and he hasn't gone back in time, it's 1990" joke by mirroring an early present day scene where he asks Alexa to do something for him from bed. You maybe need a character actually named Alexa (or something close to it) for that to work.

Marty probably should not be a musician, because music is no longer the cultural vanguard that it was in the 1950s-80s. He could be a Youtube personality, or a video game streamer, except how do you weave that into the 1990s story? elanzi, great joke!
  #106  
Old 01-20-2020, 03:36 PM
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You could replace the "just give me something without sugar" diner scene with him asking for something with no carbohydrates and getting served like a steak with a stick of butter on it? A little dated for 2020, though. Better 5-10 years ago.
I feel like there's a sushi joke to be made. While not unheard of in the 90s, it was still sort of yuppie elite food. "Ew, raw fish." was a pretty easy punchline back then.
  #107  
Old 01-20-2020, 04:36 PM
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Having made contact with, and being taken in by, 1990 family/weirdos, they have to go out because plot, giving him use of their house and stuff. Marty sits alone in a dark, cold living room. “OK google, turn on lights, set temperature to 67”. Nothing. “Alexa?” - “Siri?” Bummed out, he gets up to go find some legal weed. But backing out of the driveway he hits a car driving by, because the collision alert didn’t beep at him. In the hospital, he needs to call his local-time hosts, but doesn’t remember the number. Not having anything to interact with, his anxiety is through the roof, baffling the doctors
And because he has a hipster beard and tattoo sleeves, everybody thinks he’s just out of jail.

(I’m trying to riff off of the joke where everyone thinks he’s in the Navy due to his jacket. Any better than my water bottle debacle?)
  #108  
Old 01-20-2020, 04:44 PM
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Come to think of it, there was a scene in Captain Marvel where they go on Netscape to do an altavista search and Carol is frustrated by how long it takes. Of course she's an alien
SPOILER:
(or so she thinks)
not a time traveler.
  #109  
Old 01-20-2020, 04:56 PM
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I could see the sushi joke working, although it's a few years past its prime on the early side (it'd work better 2015 to 1985). You could also make more of a meta-joke about the proliferation of food choices, like people looking weirdly at Marty when he wants to get Ethiopian food or something. Maybe it's the analog to the "Nobody has two televisions" joke.

"Have you ever had Thai food, Marty?"

"I love Thai. There are like three Thai food restaurants downtown."

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Originally Posted by Moriarty
And because he has a hipster beard and tattoo sleeves, everybody thinks he’s just out of jail.
He'd have to not be a teenager for this to work. I don't think a lot of 17-year-olds have tattoo sleeves and hipster beards. Could work, though.

One comment on some of the generational jokes that people have mentioned and why they won't work at all: You can't make the main character the butt of the jokes. Marty is cool! He's in a rock band. He has a hot girlfriend. He's a scrappy iconoclast rebel skateboarder guitarist with dreams!

To the extent that people in the past think he's weird and laughable it's because the normal mainstream stuff he does is weird and fish-out-of-watery.

You can't make a Back to the Future movie where the lead character can't figure out a payphone or read a map or accomplish basic tasks. "Kids today are incapable internet-bound weaklings" is not a compelling message here. His encounter with a payphone should be him phreaking it, not being flummoxed.

Vaguely relevant, because it's the best "Pepsi Free" sort of joke I've seen in a while, is in the movie Yesterday, where the main character finds himself in a parallel universe where, in addition to the Beatles not existing, Coca Cola doesn't exist, and the best use of the joke is in a scene (maybe an outtake?) Where he's on a private jet with a star musician and asks the flight attendant if she has any Coke, which she makes a face at because she thinks he's asking for cocaine. Not sure how you translate that to the 1990s, but it was a good bit.

ETA: Sorry for mangling your name before enalzi

Last edited by iamthewalrus(:3=; 01-20-2020 at 04:57 PM.
  #110  
Old 01-20-2020, 05:49 PM
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Except he's carrying 'fake' money. You can tell because it's dated from the future.
And what the hell was he thinking when he put a first term Senator from Massachusetts on the fake Half Dollars?
  #111  
Old 01-20-2020, 08:02 PM
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The equivalent of "No one has two televisions" in 1955 would probably be computers in 1990. Back then if you had a computer at home at all (as mentioned upthread a lot of people still didn't), you had one computer that everyone in the family had to share. Noways it's not that uncommon for everyone in a family to have their own computing device, if not an actual computer at least a smartphone or tablet.

So in 1990 you could have the family gathered around the computer.
"Hey, we're about to dial into Prodigy for the first time. This is so exciting!"
"Does your family have a computer at home, Marty?"
"Yeah, I have a laptop for school, and so does my sister, and my dad has a laptop for work."
"You mean you have three computers?! You must be rich!"
  #112  
Old 01-20-2020, 08:07 PM
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Weirdly, a few years before 1990, I shared an off-campus apartment with other students and there were actually more computers than people. Of course, we were all big-time nerds, and some of us were members of ACM.
  #113  
Old 01-20-2020, 08:32 PM
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And that could work as the joke, too. "You each have your own computer? What a bunch of nerds!"
  #114  
Old 01-21-2020, 08:14 AM
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The equivalent of "No one has two televisions" in 1955 would probably be computers in 1990. Back then if you had a computer at home at all (as mentioned upthread a lot of people still didn't), you had one computer that everyone in the family had to share. Noways it's not that uncommon for everyone in a family to have their own computing device, if not an actual computer at least a smartphone or tablet.

So in 1990 you could have the family gathered around the computer.
"Hey, we're about to dial into Prodigy for the first time. This is so exciting!"
"Does your family have a computer at home, Marty?"
"Yeah, I have a laptop for school, and so does my sister, and my dad has a laptop for work."
"You mean you have three computers?! You must be rich!"
Or:
"Does your family have a computer at home, Marty?"
"I think my Dad still uses his laptop - I just use my iPad these days"
"What's an iPad?"
  #115  
Old 01-21-2020, 12:20 PM
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I'm in my fifties, and I struggle to remember what life was like before we had the answer to everything at our fingertips. I can remember 1990 clearly - yet drop me back there today and so many things would amaze. To watch a movie you have to go to Blockbuster and rent a VHS? In standard definition and 4:3 aspect ratio? And you have to rewind the tape? To check the football scores or weather forecast you have to either be watching the news, or sit waiting for the Teletext pages to scroll round?
This is the stuff that raises a big, pulsating question mark over my head. I was 13 in 1990. I remember it like yesterday. Everything I do today was doable back then, only a little different. Back in 1990, I was interested in archery, archaeology, wilderness skills, playing bass and reading through classic novels. To do that, I would browse through our home library, then head to the local public library, a 10-minute walk from my home. There I'd find the best, latest books on my subjects of interest, read them through and start applying the info, with expert instructions.

If the net crashed tonight and for good, I'd head to my present-day local library, a 10-minute walk from my home, to brush up on pertinent info off their shelves. That, or delve into my personal couple-thousand-item strong library. The internet is vast but surprisingly shallow, in many parts. I need books on a daily basis.

The last time I walked to a Blockbuster to rent a film was only like five years ago. Wouldn't have any trouble falling back on it.
  #116  
Old 01-21-2020, 12:42 PM
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Marty was 17 when he went back, which means he would have been born in 2003 if he went back today. What is life like for a typical 17-year-old today? Likely he would have grown up with cell phones, internet, streaming, computers and all that. He might have had a home phone, but he may have just had his personal phone as did all of his friends. He may not have watched TV with full commercial breaks, as many people in 2003 had DVRs and now kids just watch streaming and youtube.

One funny thing might be him calling the house of someone back in 1990 and having the parent answer. Most kids today have not had to to deal with the "fun" of calling a friend and having to make uncomfortable small talk when the parent answers the phone.

There would also be the difficulty of hearing a specific song. Back in 1990, your options were limited if you didn't have the song yourself. You could request it on the radio and they might play it, you could see if one of your friends had it, you could go to a record store and maybe hear it on a demo, etc.
  #117  
Old 01-21-2020, 12:43 PM
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If the net crashed tonight and for good, I'd head to my present-day local library, a 10-minute walk from my home, to brush up on pertinent info off their shelves. That, or delve into my personal couple-thousand-item strong library. The internet is vast but surprisingly shallow, in many parts. I need books on a daily basis.
My library is about 30 minutes from me on foot - but it doesn't have the physical card catalog that it had in the 1990s, which might make finding a particular book difficult.
  #118  
Old 01-22-2020, 08:06 AM
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One comment on some of the generational jokes that people have mentioned and why they won't work at all: You can't make the main character the butt of the jokes. Marty is cool! He's in a rock band. He has a hot girlfriend. He's a scrappy iconoclast rebel skateboarder guitarist with dreams!

To the extent that people in the past think he's weird and laughable it's because the normal mainstream stuff he does is weird and fish-out-of-watery.

You can't make a Back to the Future movie where the lead character can't figure out a payphone or read a map or accomplish basic tasks. "Kids today are incapable internet-bound weaklings" is not a compelling message here. His encounter with a payphone should be him phreaking it, not being flummoxed.
Hmm. Could you maybe get some mileage out of portraying ‘20s Marty as a dedicated MMA enthusiast, in a world where UFC 1 is still years away?
  #119  
Old 01-22-2020, 09:36 AM
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This is the stuff that raises a big, pulsating question mark over my head. I was 13 in 1990. I remember it like yesterday. Everything I do today was doable back then, only a little different. Back in 1990, I was interested in archery, archaeology, wilderness skills, playing bass and reading through classic novels. To do that, I would browse through our home library, then head to the local public library, a 10-minute walk from my home. There I'd find the best, latest books on my subjects of interest, read them through and start applying the info, with expert instructions.
Yeah, but our hypothetical Marty is someone who was born in 2003 and has a relatively mainstream mix of hobbies, not someone who remembers 1990 and has very low-tech interests. The fact that someone who eschews technology and grew up before most of it was around would know how to do certain specific activities isn't really a good guide to 2020 Marty trying to operate in 1990.

What if, instead of archery which has been around for tens of thousands of years, 2020 Marty is into paintball or Airsoft shooting instead? They existed back then, but were not something a 17 year old would casually find equipment for at a sporting goods store or places to play outside of a handful of specific sites. What if instead of an outdoor sport, he likes playing multiplayer FPSs - which you can do now on a home computer with an internet connection, but at the time required you to get people together and use expensive (and unusual) home network equipment, and were a niche interest of barely developed games.

How would you talk to an actual archaeologist doing work in the field? In 2020 it's quite possible for a 17 year old interested in the field to go online and casually visit a forum with professional archaeologists around the world. Marty in 1990 is not going to be able to do that, and while he could arrange an appointment to talk to someone at a nearby college or university (presuming there is one), it's going to require a lot of steps that he's never done before.

In 1990, how would Marty going about recording and mixing a song on his bass at home? 2020 Marty is going to expect to be able to do this, as there is cheap and readily available hardware and software to do extensive recording and mixing at home. In 1990 this gear only exists in studios and is not something you casually play around with.

What if instead of reading 'classic' novels, he liked reading novels that weren't 'classics' or extremely popular? Most paper libraries would have books by traditional white male authors and some famous other books, but new novels by minorities were much more difficult to find in a 1990s library. And what if he wanted to find a discussion group to talk about the novel? They might exist, but none of the tools that he would be familiar using to find such a group do.

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The last time I walked to a Blockbuster to rent a film was only like five years ago. Wouldn't have any trouble falling back on it.
I'm glad you live near Bend, Oregon, but that's the location of literally the last Blockbuster left in the world (and thus the only one you could 'fall back on' today). Anyone not living within walking distance of Bend, Oregon could not walk to a blockbuster to rent a film. Most people born post 2000 have not walked to one to rent a movie before so wouldn't know how to fall back on it. And what if, instead of wanting a big release or one of a few classic movies, 2020 Marty wanted to watch an independent or foreign film, or perhaps a season of a TV show? There wasn't a whole lot of that in Blockbuster.
  #120  
Old 01-22-2020, 10:02 AM
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"You mean kickboxing! Like Cusack in Say Anything, right?"
"Who? What? No, whatever you said, it's not like kickboxing!"

Last edited by JohnT; 01-22-2020 at 10:05 AM.
  #121  
Old 01-22-2020, 10:16 AM
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Something vastly different from 1990 to today is photography. Remember when going on vacation or to some event, you were limited to a few dozen photos, so you had to police yourself on taking them? And you had to wait until they had been printed to see if you got your shot or not? If you didn't have a "One Hour" type place nearby, you would have to send them off and wait days? And showing people photos required phycically showing people photos? And a camera was something extra you would have to have and carry around instead of something always in your pocket?
  #122  
Old 01-22-2020, 10:20 AM
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Oh! And you had to anticipate the lighting conditions ahead of time and buy film with the appropriate ISO and color temperature.
  #123  
Old 01-22-2020, 11:14 AM
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Something vastly different from 1990 to today is photography. Remember when going on vacation or to some event, you were limited to a few dozen photos, so you had to police yourself on taking them? And you had to wait until they had been printed to see if you got your shot or not? If you didn't have a "One Hour" type place nearby, you would have to send them off and wait days? And showing people photos required phycically showing people photos? And a camera was something extra you would have to have and carry around instead of something always in your pocket?
Having 2020 Marty mess up taking pictures because he's used to taking a dozen shots, picking the best one, then retouching it could form a comedy bit or a plot point (like he needs a picture to prove something). Similarly 2020 Marty is going to expect anyone to just 'take a pic' or 'take a video' and not need drag along a camera, flash bulbs, and film or a camcorder and tapes. And to be able to show his pics on a tv screen or computer without much trouble, instead of either holding a bunch of prints or getting a slideshow made and dragging along a projector and screen for it.
  #124  
Old 01-22-2020, 12:22 PM
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Except he's carrying 'fake' money. You can tell because it's dated from the future.
My original thought was 'who actually looks at the tiny 'Series 1985' note on a bill - I've never looked at it outside of times like this thread, and I've never seen anywhere that has cashiers look for the date on bills. You might catch it on coins, but I really don't think that anyone would look for that tiny date on a bill And I expected that the 2020 Marty would be unlikely to be able to pass off anything but $1 bills in 1990 because the design of higher bills have all gone through major changes. However, when I looked up the history of the dollar bill, there were major changes to all denominations in the 1960s - notably the 'Federal Reserve Note' and 'In God We Trust' were added, the border was changed, and the design and color of the treasury seal was changed. So 1985 Marty actually probably would get caught for 'fake' money, not because of the dates on dollar bills (which no one looks at in the normal course of business) but because the bills would look significantly different at a glance.
  #125  
Old 01-22-2020, 02:08 PM
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I remember that from Dennis Miller (“Is it any coincidence that Evian spelled backward is naive?”) but google tells me that Carlin made the reference, too.

The Carlin bit about water bottles comes from a special he did in 1996
I was stationed in Germany 1991 to 1993, and we had plentiful Evian in 1.5 liter bottles, because the German water supply on base was hard and just not really all that good to drink. We joked that it was "'naive' backwards" even though, but bought it anyway, because in Germany, it was just cheap, bottled water like Nestle is here.

Also, Capri Sun didn't come in stupid, little envelopes, but was sold in large bottles, too.
  #126  
Old 01-22-2020, 02:18 PM
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I have to agree with those that say it can't be all tech-based and has to be cultural. Smoking was a great choice to pick. No need to retread the same jokes - him ordering a drink, etc. Maybe people driving drunk, but not sure there'd be an occasion for him to see it (maybe the dance).

And I disagree with all those who are making jokes that either make him look like moron or don't reflect ordinary 2020 living - most middle or working-class American teens know how to use a light-switch. And dial-thermostats would be probably as understandable as rotary phones in 1985.

Last edited by Tzigone; 01-22-2020 at 02:19 PM.
  #127  
Old 01-22-2020, 08:38 PM
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My joke script in my head for this was always Doc Brown is Neal Degrasse Tyson and Marty is Jaden Smith, and most of the jokes are about finding out the fates of early 90s celebrities.

"Ice T plays a cop on TV?!? And Michael Jackson touches kids!??"
"Gweneth Paltrow is selling what???!!!"
  #128  
Old 01-22-2020, 09:02 PM
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In the original BTTF they show a lot about how the town of Hill Valley changes over the decades: In 1955 there was a thriving downtown business district; In 1985 there's a big shopping mall on the outskirts of town and downtown was decaying. A reboot could probably flip that around: The hip, gentrified neighborhood where Marty hangs out today was a scary, crime ridden, inner city neighborhood in 1990. Meanwhile the mall that's struggling today was thriving in 1990.
Maybe there could be a bit where Doc makes some snide remark about how only bums, hookers and crackheads live in some rundown tenement in downtown Hill Valley, to which Marty says something like, "Really? In 2020 studio apartments there go for two grand a month." Which prompts Doc to say "Great Scott."
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:47 PM
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I was stationed in Germany 1991 to 1993, and we had plentiful Evian in 1.5 liter bottles, because the German water supply on base was hard and just not really all that good to drink. We joked that it was "'naive' backwards" even though, but bought it anyway, because in Germany, it was just cheap, bottled water like Nestle is here.
Well, I've been to Evian. Nice casino, spa, yachting, hiking, etc. And Evian water just CONTINUOUSLY POURS OUT OF PUBLIC FOUNTAINS! For free!! And comes out of everybody's tap at home!!!
  #130  
Old Yesterday, 10:42 AM
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What if, instead of archery which has been around for tens of thousands of years, 2020 Marty is into paintball or Airsoft shooting instead? They existed back then, but were not something a 17 year old would casually find equipment for at a sporting goods store or places to play outside of a handful of specific sites. What if instead of an outdoor sport, he likes playing multiplayer FPSs - which you can do now on a home computer with an internet connection, but at the time required you to get people together and use expensive (and unusual) home network equipment, and were a niche interest of barely developed games.

How would you talk to an actual archaeologist doing work in the field? In 2020 it's quite possible for a 17 year old interested in the field to go online and casually visit a forum with professional archaeologists around the world. Marty in 1990 is not going to be able to do that, and while he could arrange an appointment to talk to someone at a nearby college or university (presuming there is one), it's going to require a lot of steps that he's never done before.

In 1990, how would Marty going about recording and mixing a song on his bass at home? 2020 Marty is going to expect to be able to do this, as there is cheap and readily available hardware and software to do extensive recording and mixing at home. In 1990 this gear only exists in studios and is not something you casually play around with.

What if instead of reading 'classic' novels, he liked reading novels that weren't 'classics' or extremely popular? Most paper libraries would have books by traditional white male authors and some famous other books, but new novels by minorities were much more difficult to find in a 1990s library. And what if he wanted to find a discussion group to talk about the novel? They might exist, but none of the tools that he would be familiar using to find such a group do.
Don't know your age (I have a guess), but here goes:

How does one get to talk to an archaeologist in 1990? Well, been there, done that. Excavations not far from my home were in progress from the mid-70s into the early 90's. Our local library (again) had a small exhibition about the finds, which I found fascinating. Provided was a map that told me exactly where to go. Walking there, I found a team of archaeologists at work and started asking questions. Had I not visited the library all summer, our local newspaper ran articles on the excavations, so there was no way I was going to miss this, and no way I did not get into contact with professional archaeologists.

How does one get to know other niche hobbyists in 1990? Been there etc. Reading the newspaper, I saw an ad for an archery demonstration, a busride away from my home. I went there, and started asking questions. In the couple of hours there my views on what kind of archery I liked (very niche) and how would I proceed from there solidified. Then - get this - I exchanged addresses with the guy who had the most interesting archery gear and stories, and we would do correspondence for a year while I was learning the ropes and more. Then I would attend my first archery competition, invited by my (then) only contact.

Not everyone has a home recording studio even today, and that is no biggie. Who needs to record and mix songs before they are in a band? Back in 1990 I was learning the bass. To get into auditions, I would record myself on a cassette, using a cassette player everyone had, and (gasp) mail copies of the tape to bands I was interested in to join. Then I would join bands and eventually we would book studio time, nothing to it. Any 2020 teenager could do it.

I spent my childhood in public libraries. Trust me, there were new, non-popular novels on the shelves all the time. I would learn about oppressed minorities, drug culture, kinky sex etc. from them. Where does this straw man of "a few bestsellers by white males in libraries" in the fucking 1990s come from?

It is laughable to think, and simply not true, that without the internet, a 17-year-old would miss out on these things.

Quote:
I'm glad you live near Bend, Oregon, but that's the location of literally the last Blockbuster left in the world (and thus the only one you could 'fall back on' today)
Yeah, I shoulda heeded the pedantry here, and use "Blockbuster-equivalent" in my post. Attacking this reeks of clutching at straws, to be honest.

Last edited by Toxylon; Yesterday at 10:44 AM.
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