I’ve had a few days now to ponder the passing of John Hughes. There have been a bunch of specials and tributes and that sort of thing, which we’ve all gotten freakishly used to over the course of this summer (Did you know Michael Jackson died?).
For me, though, I like to focus on exactly what all the tributes I’ve seen don’t focus on. They always talk about how his movies impacted teenage blah blah and how he fit into the 80’s and what he was like as a man and his life’s story. Which I suppose serves a purpose but it seems sort of empty to me. He was an artist, a storyteller, and for me it’s his characters and stories that we should be focusing on since his passing. More importantly his impact on us as individuals. For me that’s what being an artist of any sort is all about. It’s about me (and you but I can’t tell your stories) literally dropping my backpack on the ground in my college apartment and deciding that class wasn’t necessary that day because Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was on HBO. It’s about how I can look at any number of people in my life at almost any given moment and shout, “You’re going the wrong way,” and get a, “Oh, you’re drunk. How would you know where we’re going?” in return. It’s about how Bender’s fist pump from the end of The Breakfast Club went from awesome upon first viewing, to sort of corny by the tenth viewing years later, then right back to awesome again to something I’ll actually do nowadays whenever a small victory sneaks its way into my life (whether that’s awesome or corny I’ve long since stopped caring).
These are the things I want to see and hear about whenever an artist passes. And, yes, I get that NBC probably doesn’t care to interview my college roommates for their take on John Hughes but you get my point.
I have no problem talking about John Hughes the man (though as an author the notion that people will focus on me and not my stories after I’m gone does seem a bit like some fresh slice of hell…I mean my god I gave you Epp, let me fuck up my life in peace thank you) but it doesn’t do as much for me as the personal memories of how his characters have bounced around in my own little world. That for me is what’s important and that seems to get lost somehow the larger the tribute to someone becomes.
Anyway. I’ll leave off with a clever little montage of John Hughes films set to Baba O’Riley that someone sent to me. Enjoy: