Back to the Future: Stop Playing with Manure

Biff. Griff. Mad Dog. Does it really matter what we call him? We all know he’s a crazy bastard. A huge guy, ready to rip apart everything around him to get what he wants. Whether it’s bullying poor George McFly, harassing Lorraine or chasing down Marty, he seems bent on destroying everyone’s life. This guy is pure ego.

Things can only go badly when Biff is in control. When he owns the huge casino, the entire town of Hill Valley has completely fallen apart. Lorraine is married to him, and George is dead. Doc is soon to be committed.

Inside of us is this Biff. This guy who has a hunger a drive for destruction and food and all the grub things under the sun. All he wants is to sit in hot tubs, shoot guns, push people around. Love, growth, giving: these words are not in his vocabulary. He defines his world by one thing: himself. There’s that guy in us, and he’s aching to push us around. Whether it’s when we’re looking at a chocolate cake or trying to figure out what websites to check out on the internet.

Some people see Biff as evil. Someone that needs to be punched in the face repeatedly, who needs to be thrown into the manure over and over again. This is how Marty deals with him. Over and over again, in all three movies, Marty fights Biff head on, face to face, throwing as much crap at him as possible, getting into fights and confrontations. And for a time, it works. Biff leaves Marty alone for a bit. But then, there’s another movie. And another Biff. Or Griff. Or Mad Dog.

It would seem it’s the same thing with that Biff within. We throw manure on him, push him, scream at him, but somehow every time we beat him he just comes back. He comes and demands entrance into our souls, trying to make us do the things we know are wrong. And he knows just how to do it. He’ll call us chicken, or threaten our children or whatever else it takes. And soon enough, we’re back in his snare, back in an argument, back in a fight.

Sure, sometimes we have to give Biff a good ol’ whack. Sure, sometimes he needs some poop to put him in his place. But this only happens when he’s already entered our house. Only once he’s already entered our heads and we’ve screwed up. At that point, there’s no other choice.

But when we’re at that point where he’s calling us chicken, where he’s taunting us and trying to make us do something that will only get us in trouble, the best thing we can do is to just let him scream. To just ignore him. To just let him waste his energy.

Because if we don’t, we end up like Marty in his future. Old, depressed, and worn out. Marty injured his hand because of a game of chicken he played. That stopped him from playing guitar. And led him to lead a life he never wanted.

We all know the people whose entire lives are spent in a constant struggle, always looking for a reason to yell. The reason they live like this is because they are doing the same thing with their inner Biff. And in the end, they feel just like Old Marty: lonely, depressed, and without energy for the rest of the things they care about.

See, Biff wants us to waste his energy on him. Why else would he play chicken? He wants us to fight him. Because then we can’t focus on what really matters. On the things he hates, like growth, like G-d, like the life we always wanted.

When we realize that, when we learn to ignore Biff, we avoid the fate of Marty. We remember that life is not about fighting enemies but about creating ourselves and the world around us.


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