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Twitter Imagines Explaining 2020 To Time Travelers From the Past

Bad news: we're living in the future dystopia pop culture warned us about.

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Remember that scene in Back to the Future where Marty McFly is trying to convince 1955 Doc Brown that he has traveled back in time from 1985? Doc Brown asks him who the president is, and Marty replies “Ronald Reagan”, an answer so ridiculous that Doc responds, “Ronald Reagan! The actor? Then who’s vice-president, Jerry Lewis? I suppose Jane Wyman is the First Lady!”

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It’s a clever joke in the film that belies an existential truth: just because something is absurd, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. And the election of movie star Ronald Reagan to the highest office in the land is both things. But Reagan transitioning from film actor to president is positively tame compared to the absurdity of our current reality TV host president.

When looking at the dumpster fire that is 2020, we can’t help but wonder: how will we explain this to future generations? And how could we have imagined we’d end up here? Sure, Trump’s election was as ominous a warning sign as we could ask for, as were predictions by scientists and environmentalists from across the globe. But 2020 has gotten so bad so fast, we’re still reeling from each new tragedy that hits the news.

Now, folks on social media are imagining how they would explain our dystopian present to time travelers from the past. After all, we have a lot to unpack here: global pandemic, orange skies, a president who encourages citizens to commit voter fraud. People are posting striking images of 2020 and wondering what our former selves would have to say about it. We have a lot of explaining to do, McFly.

(via Twitter, image: JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.