Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Richard "Dick" Vernon Disasterpiece

"And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through"

The Breakfast Club --- Yes, a great piece of cinema that still holds up to this day... and for that reason alone it can go fuck itself... when in the FUCK did I become Principal Vernon? Are you kidding me?

Now, I'm not being literal, I don't use expressions like "mess with bull..." so on and so forth... but while watching the movie with my daughter, I quickly realized The Breakfast Club was no longer meant to be my movie (the way used to be at least) - now, 99% of it belongs to my kids until they reach my age and will be relegated to the 1% of "Dick" -- they then will pass it on to their children.

While I love the film, there is now but one scene that is meant for me (and I gladly take it because to try and say I'm still one of those kids in detention would mean I'm even more eff'd up). I'm no longer in High School... I've grown... I've lived and continue to live life... I'm an adult and embrace adulthood... The only scene left in The Breakfast Club for me is the scene in which Richard "Dick" Vernon and Carl, the master of custodial arts, are drinking beers in the basement file room. Dick sees the kids as changing and becoming more "arrogant" and it's Carl who tells him it's he who is actually changing. God damn I love this movie.

I'm at a place in my life where I'm watching my daughter close in on her teenage years and I'm clearly losing touch -- There are just things occurring that I'm no longer meant to understand... I watch her listen to Lady Gaga and just doing all that girl stuff... This must have been what it was like for parents of the Madonna generation....HOLY SHIT! I mean, I do like Lady GaGa, but I'm a grown adult not an easily influenced tweenager... UGH, this is SO difficult.

I don't think we all behave like the parents in The Breakfast Club (at least I hope I don't), but I'm starting to think that no matter what we do, at a certain point our kids start down their own path and part of that path is separating themselves from us to a certain degree -- it's something I believe is necessary in order for kids to become individuals (some do it sooner and some do it later -- sadly, some never do it all). Our hearts and guidance may be selfless to the point where we can't fathom the idea that our kids could find fault in the way they were raised... believe me, they will... it's evolution, hot stuff...

I can picture it, my daughter sitting around with her friends and bitching about her parents...I am sooooo FUCKED! We all are.

The Breakfast Club is for the young, it is an amazing film that humanizes the various dynamics we encounter in High School and gives them depth... yes, even Dick... briefly, but it's there... and it's a very sad telling moment. You can say "Well, Greg, then the movie is still for you if you're finding something relatable". OK, you may have a point, but the film isn't about Principal "I'm a swell guy" Vernon. It's about those kids in detention. I'm sure John Hughes was tapping into something and knew it was important to have that basement file room scene, but it's not the spine of the film. The Dick realization is but a little gift he left for those of us who care to notice and are willing to accept what is happening around them.

Will I watch The Breakfast Club again.. of course, but I will watch the brain, the jock, the princess, the criminal, and the basket case from afar (like a memory from High School) because it is not who I am anymore... and I will wait for my scene where I get to say to myself "YES, speak the gospel, Carl, the master of custodial arts." And I will watch as the reality sinks in with Dick and actually feel a little sorry for him... does he act like a jerk in the film... yes... but I think it's done out of fear and sense that he is losing touch... relevancy perhaps... and he too becomes more than just a villain.

Thank you John Hughes for the celluloid gift that keeps on giving...

Sincerely yours,
The Breakfast Club

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