We lost Michael Jackson a month ago* and yesterday, we lost John Hughes. Hughes is a much bigger loss for me. I had only a passing interest in MJ’s music during the 80s. I was exposed to Thriller and Bad only because they were like icebergs in the North Atlantic. You couldn’t drive a cruise ship through there without hitting at least one.
But Hughes spoke for my generation. He made the films that managed to both give a voice to the angst and loneliness that teenagers have always felt, and to show us a model for how to not take ourselves too seriously and find a way to make a connection, any connection to others who were in the same boat. Whether its escapist fantasies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Weird Science, or the farcical melodrama of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, he gave us movies that made all us sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies and dickheads feel like we belonged.
* As the Onion pointed out, we actually lost MJ quite some time ago But that’s ancient history now.