Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Don't You Forget About Me

I love John Hughes. I’m a sucker for a smart high school movie that celebrates the underdogs. Hughes expertly appealed to the nostalgia that exists in all of us, but has a particularly large residence in me. I remember the first time I saw Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with my best friend Crystal Palermo, when we were no older than 9. After it finished, we immediately rewound the VHS and watched certain parts over and over again. (The one I remember specifically is a three second shot in the parade scene where a baby in a stroller dances up and down. Certainly not the most genius or hilarious moment, but there’s no accounting for a 8-year-old’s humor.) I even sang a Simple Minds tribute at karaoke last weekend.

As much as John Hughes spoke for a generation (and many thereafter), as much as he is loved and mourned so soon after dying young, I think we need a bit of perspective.

In a statement last week, Bill Paxton said, “Like Orson Welles, he was a boy wonder, a director's director, a writer's writer, a filmmaker's filmmaker. He was one of the giants." Really, Bill Paxton? Orson Welles? The Breakfast Club is an excellent movie about the emotional repercussions of taping a kid’s butt cheeks together, but I hardly think it bears comparison to Citizen Kane, which is widely accepted as the greatest film of all time.

And wasn’t his close relationship with teenage actors a little creepy? According to Molly Ringwald’s op-ed in the Times today, he took cast members to concerts and told her – over and over again – how wonderful she was. An extremely complimentary man who makes mixtapes for teenagers (the aural alternative to a “Do you like me, check yes or no” note) and never wants to grow up might set off little warning bells in a parent’s head. I’m sure these gestures were perfectly innocent – the man had a family – but you have to admit, the situation seems a little shady when looking at it from the outside. I wonder what the Ringwald family thought of his fascination with her.

That said, I’m glad to finally see a lengthy statement by Molly Ringwald on all of this (though I can't help but notice that she finds the most meaning in her own movies). I can hear her reading it like a voice over in my head, and I’ve been wondering about her reaction. In addition, the blog post from Hughes’ 16-year-old pen pal is beautiful, and I’m still thinking about it days later. John Hughes genuinely sounds like an amazing person – thoughtful, loyal, relatable, fun. Let’s just not put him on a pedestal…unless it’s firmly on the ground in Shermer, Illinois.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Silver anniversary

I turn 25 today. For some people this seems like a significant milestone, but to me this birthday never really seemed like a big deal. In fact I've been feeling pretty young -- at the romance conference where I spoke two weeks ago, I was the youngest person there by no less than 8 years. Sure, I got my nose pierced in what is presumably some sort of subconscious quarter-life crisis, but it seems like the only thing that changes at this age is that I can't be on the Real World (demo: 18-24). That, and I'm at a lower risk for domestic violence (highest: 20-24), so my mid-20s really seems like a good place to be.

It was only when I Googled "turning 25" to get some context that I started feeling less positive about the birthday. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune, this year I can look forward to loneliness, insecurity, and baby envy. And I should probably go to grad school.

One guy rowed across the entire Atlantic Ocean at 25. I haven't even read anything on this random Amazon list of books to read before turning 25 (sorry, I just couldn't finish On the Road). By contrast, this guy died at 25 using Wii Fit. Maybe I should stay away from video games and exercise?

But then there's the post from PeopleWhoDeserveIt.com: "Should you catch 'Loser Who Laments About Turning 25' crying over his candles, politely remind him that some people have real problems, one face punch at a time."

Let's call this birthday a draw.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Kumar goes to the White House

According to Entertainment Weekly, Kal Penn is taking a break from acting to work in the public liaison office on the White House.

I've always thought he was probably a pretty cool, smart guy (hell, he taught a class at Penn last year). And let's be honest, his acting resume isn't anything to write home about (for every genuinely funny movie -- Van Wilder and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle -- there are too many Son of the Masks and Bachelor Party Vegases).

Let’s hope that his political career is better than the pandering disaster of a stoner flick (which isn’t even funny if you’re stoned) Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, but that Camp David is just as awesome.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Obama bubble

Obama lives in Liz Lemon's boyfriend's hot guy bubble (though maybe he's in it cuz he's Commander in Chief or whatever).



Friday, March 20, 2009

Jenga Pistol

Things Geeks Love #129: Cheating at Jenga.



I want one.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Presidential Address

"Tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American."

I think this means I need to go to grad school. Or maybe...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Best in Show

Even Christopher Guest couldn't make this stuff up:

"Stump, officially named Ch. Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee, might have surprised aficionados, who had their eye on a giant schnauzer..."

"Yes, a standard poodle who won best in the nonsporting group, was conceived using 25-year-old frozen sperm from another champion standard poodle who died 13 years before Yes's birth."

"A puli, Ch. Cordmaker Field Of Dreams, was judged best in the herding group."

via NYT's Westminster photo spread