Thursday, August 6, 2009

John Bender is Dead - he's spilled his last can of paint in the garage

John Hughes wrote, directed and otherwise made a bunch of movies in the 80s that pretty much defined adolescence in that decade.

They rang true for me as well, though I ostensibly played my adolescence out a decade before that. Of course, I claim a certain prepubescent Dorian Gray sensibility to this day and may even be suffering from DG Syndrome (if I'd known, I'd have had it treated).

Like many, 16 Candles and Breakfast Club are my two favorites Hughes flicks. Though it isn't as well known, I also really loved 'Some Kind of Wonderful': Mary Stuart Masterson, wailing on her drum set, pining for the post-Mask/pre-Pulp Fiction Eric Stoltz who only has eyes for Lea Thompson. And 'Pretty in Pink' - classic. Hughes also wrote Lampoon's 'Vacation' and 'Uncle Buck' (great stuff) but also afflicted us with 'Home Alone' and the 'Flubber' remake (let's not talk about those in the eulogies, okay?). Still, it was the middle-class suburban teen comic joy and crises of a particular time and place that he put an indelible stamp on.

All-in-all, there aren't many writer/directors who defined a genre more than John Hughes. Just as Hitchcock owned mystery and suspense, Hughes was 80s teen angst.

School's out. The 80s are now truly over. And to underscore that, Grandpa Steve Tyler broke his shoulder falling off the stage, presumably trying to get up out of his rocker to sing. Sorry, Steve: if I'm old, you're old.

But let's get down to what the media really want to know: How would Michael Jackson have felt hearing about John Hughes death? Perhaps Larry King will have Germaine on to give us a take on MJ's favorite John Hughes movie.

Boy, it was a bag-o-laughs watchin' the boys and gals in Congress do the final preen, howl, mumble and let-go-my-ego tango prior to the Sotomayor vote. Both sides of the aisle outdid themselves in hot air, purple prose and piles of steaming horseshit. Watching CSPAN this evening (and then some of the highlights on the Daily Show) was truly entertaining. That's where my head is at.

Bringing my thought process (process?) full circle, I wonder if Sotomayor could fairly and impartially judge a John Hughes movie contest? Or would her viciously racist and radical latino-only agenda come to the fore and compel her to keep writing in La Bamba even though didn't have a hand in that? I'm sure some variant of that is on the minds of the right wing bozos bouncing around Congress. Actually, that's probably too reasonable for most of that ilk.

We all know what a melting pot of humanity a Hughes film festival would attract, given the rainbow of diversity threading through that jumbo DVD box set (if by rainbow, I mean white, Anglo-Saxon upper middle class suburban Chicago teenagers). Some were tall, though. And some short. At least shorter than the taller ones.

Hughes was about as white bread (and white bred) as they come. Which makes him compadres with most of the Supremes (Thomas included, let's be frank now - I'm sure he's rockin' Barry Manalow and Perry Como on the iPod, occasionally getting 'ethnic' by slipping in some Bee Gees).

Will Sonia be able to deal with movie night at the courthouse? I think she needs to come clean here.