When you grow up...your heart dies
Did anyone else hear that John Hughes had died? I hadn’t, at least not until today. I guess mainstream white teenage middle class Americana film doesn’t mean much here on this tiny little volcano in the Pacific. For me “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club” are two of the reasons I survived high school. It felt as though someone was listening, or paying attention. I didn’t realize then that it was John Hughes who had tapped into my teenage soul.
Funny how just last night I’m half-assed reminiscing about my high school years and early this evening I fall into the news that John had passed away from a heart attack last week. It was Molly Ringwalds great Op Ed piece in the NY Times that I stumbled upon sadly and now feel kinda sorta bummed out as the sky gets dark here in Honolulu.
I think I’ll be downloading a Hughes movie to surprise June with tonight. Zoey’s sleeping and we’ll be eager to find something quiet to do. Watching “Sixteen Candles” sounds like as good a way as I know to waste away another wet evening in Paradise.
There were so many Hughes moments that felt like our own. I think my favourite John Hughes scene is post-party at Jake Ryan’s house in ”Sixteen Candles” when Jake and Anthony Michael Hall have a heart to heart in the kitchen. Hall’s “King of the Dorks” is mixing martinis and giving Jake advice on women that wanes between forced cool and incredulous geekdom…awesome. My absolute favourite barrier breaker between high school’s haves and have nots. I love it.
There are dozens more…The very beginning of The Breakfast Club, our very first glimpse into what we immediately knew was going to be awesome…the Bowie quote glowing white on a black screen…
"...and these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through...
- David Bowie"
The custodian, Carl, setting Dick Vernon straight in the basement file room…
What did you want to be when you
When I was a kid, I wanted to be
Carl don't be a goof! I'm trying
to make a serious point here...I've
been teaching, for twenty two years,
and each year...these kids get more
and more arrogant.
Aw bull shit, man. Come on Vern,
the kids haven't changed, you have!
You took a teaching position, 'cause
you thought it'd be fun, right?
Thought you could have summer
vacations off...and then you found
out it was actually work...and that
really bummed you out.
These kids turned on me...they think
I'm a big fuckin' joke...
Come on...listen Vern, if you were
sixteen, what would you think of
Hey...Carl, you think I give one
rat's ass what these kids think of
Yes I do...
You think about this...when you get
old, these kids; when I get old,
they're gonna be runnin' the country.
Now this is the thought that wakes
me up in the middle of the night...
That when I get older, these kids
are gonna take care of me...
I wouldn't count on it!
Kinda makes me wonder what Zo will think of these films someday, if they'll still apply to her, if there'll be any resonance at all with her generation? If so then we've lost something more than just an incredible director, we've lost a voice that crossed generations more easily than even the Rolling Stones. I don't know one person within a fifteen year age gap who doesn't adore at least one of Hughes films...National Lampoon's Vacation; Ferris Bueller's Day Off; Weird Science; The Breakfast Club; Some Kind of Wonderful; Sixteen Candles; Pretty in Pink; Uncle Buck; Home Alone...the list is heavy with two decades of memories. I dunno what it all has to do with this blog, or if any of this matters at all in the world of Zoey, but it just struck me hard today and I can't believe I hadn't heard until now.
Maybe it's like what Allison says in "The Breakfast Club", when she faithlessly retorts, "When you grow up your heart dies. Maybe some of that is true? I just know that I'll do anything to avoid it. Zoey helps, Hawaii hasn't hurt, June is like a fountain of youth, but with Hughes gone, well, for some of us maybe despite our best efforts a little bit of our hearts did die.