Goodbye John

By , August 12, 2009

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

I don’t know if I have ever blogged merely to link to another blog, but that’s sort of where today’s post is going. I’ve been trying for six days now to think of what to write about John Hughes’ death, but haven’t been able to craft anything worth sharing. Then today I read this blog and I realized why John Hughes mattered to me. It wasn’t merely that he created so many great films; he was a genuinely great guy.

I tend to ignore celebrity-related news and issues, and certainly don’t blog about them. I can’t bring myself to care. Michael Jackson’s recent death felt like such a non-issue to me, and the resultant hysteria was mystifying and disappointing to me. But last week John Hughes died, and, like I suppose most Americans my age, I took notice. Here’s an artist who actually contributed something lasting to our culture.

There is little I can offer that likely hasn’t been said before. The Breakfast Club certainly presaged the era of reality television, and the first film I’m aware of that dealt with teen issues in such a starkly real way. It is also a rarity in that it cast actual teens as teens. Weird Science is on some level a starkly realistic insight into the psyche of the teen male, as well as a too-real depiction of life for two uncool guys.

Hughes’ true masterpiece, however, as far as I’m concerned, is Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. I’ll spare you a long-winded exposition on why Generation X made the world a better place, despite the efforts of the Baby Boomers that came before them, and the OMG’ers that came after. Instead I’ll offer Ferris as the Gen-X everyman. From his day off you can glean most everything you need to know about the topic. Consider– he spent his day off attending a Cubs game, visiting the Chicago Institute of Art, watching a parade, and eating a nice lunch. Think about that for awhile, then get back to me.

As the trip to the museum is one of my favorite of all moments cinematic, I am including it in today’s post.

Finally, as a teen, and even still as an adult, I wondered– did the popular kids, portrayed in such unflattering light in his films, also like John Hughes? How could they? How dare they? Those movies were made for me… and Alison.

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7 Responses to “Goodbye John”

  1. Decipher Me says:

    I read that blog too. It made me fall in love with him even more. Thank you John Hughes for 16 candles, the breakfast club, pretty in pink, and weird science.

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    Peasprout Reply:

    @Decipher Me, Can you imagine the kind of pen pal letters high school girls would get from most male celebrities?

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  2. I was saddened when I learned he died…even sadder when hardly anyone mentioned him unlike Michael Jackson. But one thing they both have in common is that they made the 80s: John with his timeless movies and Michael with his music. Since then, I’ve been watching his movies almost daily–especially 16 Candles since it holds a special place for me (it was given to me by my brother on my 19th birthday.

    I think no matter what everyone likes John Hughes’ movies.

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  3. Thank you for the reminder about the museum scene. I suspect you might enjoy this clip as well – it’s the same scene, with commentary from Mr. Hughes.

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  4. John Hughes was a genius. The death of MJ didn’t affect me much either, even if he is the King of Pop, but I always felt a connection with Hughes as if he was sitting next to me and saying, “I understand.”

    I like your music taste, by the way (:

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    Peasprout Reply:

    @Jus de Pommee, Judging from all the albums you have reviewed on your blog, I like your music taste as well.

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  5. It’s been really cold here in Maryland–the mornings anyway. Like winter o:

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