Monday, March 29, 2010

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off - Part 2

If you haven’t read Paul Begala’s harangue about our generation yet, please take a moment to do so here. Begala’s rant provides a fundamental statement of what I believe is a seething hatred so many in his generation believe about you and I. Couple that thought with the drama playing out now on the national stage noting that what passes for leadership consists largely of people of his generation.

Carrying on with my Part 1 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off introduction of the thought (See Part 1 first), the film starts with Ferris working a scam on his parents—he fakes being too sick to go to school. Next, Ferris scams his friend, Cameron, to induce him to take his father’s very expensive Ferrari out on the day’s lark, then he scams the school to get his girl friend out early, next he scams the exclusive restaurant for preferential seating, scams a Chicago downtown parade for a place miming the lead singer on one of the floats, and closes with a series of quick dodges to preserve his full day of scams.

The stars of the film are a trio of neatly dressed preppies of that day, shown barging around Chicago in a stolen Ferrari and conducting a series of scams. As interesting as the film, are the reminisces of the cast, producers, director, and others that are contained in the “special features” section of the DVD. One after another, they wax fondly about the film, its execution, and the premise—everyone involved in the film are the from Begala’s “generation” born roughly 1955 – 1965; among them Matthew Broderick (b.1962), Barak Obama (b.1961), and Paul Begala (b.1961). And they hate us—Begala terms us that “garbage barge of a generation.” What a thoughtful little fellow.

Wrapping this Part 2 up, it’s very interesting to note that in the crowd rousing scene the song that got everyone up and partying was “Twist and Shout”—one of the anthems of our generation…and few, if any of us even knew what a Ferrari was. But an Eat Me Float? Chances are we knew various versions of those:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off - Part 1

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a cute 1986 film but not one or our generation’s classics was a good buy recently on the $5 DVD shelf. It was interesting to view the “special features” section which included a number of both vintage and contemporary commentaries by those involved with making the film. I’ve always enjoyed this movie if only for its impertinence which somewhat mimicked that of our time; but I have never considered it the icon in the same way some others consider it.

It struck me that there may be a deeper story in Ferris Bueller. Remember when, during the recent health care debates, Obama made the quip that it might be time to “give granny a pill” when she got too expensive to care for? That comment reminded me of a notorious 3000+ word piece written by Paul Begala for Esquire magazine in 2000 entitled, “The Worst Generation.” Begala’s contemptible rant railed against our generation. If you want to read his ugly harangue, you can easily find it using a Google search using key words: Esquire Begala Worst Generation.

I mention these thoughts only to introduce a notion that I think there is a real hatred for us and our times that rests in today’s 50-somethings—those born roughly from 1955 to 1965. Something seems to have affected this generation of 50-somethings that has yielded a thoroughly loathsome group of people—and they hate us. As for me…I’ve never given them much thought. Maybe that’s what has them stirred up...few of us gave them much thought.

Did you notice about 25-30 years ago when these 50-somethings started coming on line as new adults in the late seventies to mid eighties and were staffing the local fast food drive through windows? It was about then that you had to start checking your bag because if you didn’t, you invariably got home only to find that you had been shorted—you could no longer trust them to get things right.

The problem was wide spread enough that the national press even coined a name for it…”scamming,” and wrote a number of articles about the growing problem. Some of the stories I recall reading involved interviews with the youngsters of the time telling of their various scams, and they were proud of their cleverness.

See Part 2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – a film about scamming!