Thursday, August 6, 2009

John Hughes 1950-2009

I originally wrote this in college and then last year went back and rewrote it. Tonight it seems like a fitting tribute.

“When the causes of the decline of Western Civilization are finally writ, Hollywood will surely have to answer why it turned one of man’s most significant art forms over to the self-gratification of high schoolers.”

-review of The Breakfast Club, Variety, February 13, 1985

the eighties were the fifties
an aids free adventure in innocence
the promise of a good life
with video games

Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, and Jackie Coogan
the Dead End Kids, the Bowery Boys
Debbie Reynolds and Natalie wood
the depression years of adolescence

then movies were made in the eighties
movies made for kids
by adults
born in the sixties

mr. dumb horny thirteen year old
at one time we fought over the draft
we feared the paranoia
JFK blown away
now we worry over being popular

Vietnam once our enemy
now we are at war again
this time with our parents
at home alone with the radio turned on

maybe it was home video that started the rage
we could hide out with slumber party massacre
turn off the lights
grab microwave popcorn
and watch fright night

our parents got rich
from the stock market
they got greedy
but greed did not play a part
in our subculture of film
our schoolyard
where jock could hang with the geek
and the princess could walk away with the bully

maybe it's in the faces
the looks
the blue of her eyes
the way he blinks
the way she sits alone on the grass

maybe it was the names
the stars and the sunglasses
we knew who they were
even before they did

maybe it's in the smile
or the way she swallows
how she crosses her t's
how he drives his new car

but it didn't have to be this way
we could have continued the way it was
Mash Nashville Taxi Driver
Sunday Bloody Sunday

We didn't need to pay Wes Craven
and John Hughes
to entertain us
we didn't need Ferris Bueller
or Jeff Spicoli
to tell us how to live

but maybe there was something missing
a dance
maybe we wanted to know
how to cry
maybe we were just confused
and needed a day off
to sleep

and yet these films were bad
cast away to one am spots on tbs
left to die

but yet they rise

they come back again
they can't let us forget
The Last American Virgin

our own father needs to feel worthy of living
validation for his part in this world
so in a way the best movies
the eighties most remembered times

we grow up still as who we were
and we remember times
through images
the prom lives again
is that what her eyes are for?

just like Lego's and Weird Science
GI Joe and License to Drive
Barbie and Heathers
Cabbage Patch and Halloween

like Carson and The Lost Boys
Cheerios and Real Genius
Scooby Doo and Teen Wolf
the Smurfs and Hardbodies

the eighties were the fifties
or maybe they weren't
maybe they meant nothing
just ten years of waiting
a decade lost on itself

"when you grow up, your heart dies"
we've heard it before, but Ally Sheedy was wrong
or maybe we've never grown up

RIP John.

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