ooooh yaaaa


   A while back I said that my favorite movie was The Wizard of Oz.  It’s still a pretty great flic, but the way I now constellate things has been eclipsed by Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  The latter has recently been all over the movie channels due to the untimely death of director John Hughes.

  Ferris opens and closes the film succinctly summarizing his approach to life, as well as the best work of many philosophers that I particularly admire:  “Yep, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Life moves by pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around you might miss it.”

  There is an early allusion to his predecessor Huck Finn.  Ben Stein, as teacher taking roll reads: “Bueller, Bueller, Bueller.”  No response.  Same thing happens in Twain’s book when Huck skips class.  Guess which one said of his ploy: “it’s childish and stupid, but then so is high school”.  Could be either.

  The storyline is also like that of Ulysses (Joyce’s that is) in that while a rich and deep tale, it only spans one day in a life.  There is even a counterpart to Molly Bloom’s famous soliloquy at its end: “…first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes”.

  After following Ferris across Chicago (instead of Dublin) for a day his girlfriend, Sloane Peterson, is amazed and totally taken by his preternatural wisdom, adroit maneuvering, and incredible joie de vivre.  This is a high school comedy though and so at the end, watching him with confidence enter a gauntlet impassable for all but he, she simply offers:  “He is going to marry me”.

  As sort of a coda after the narrative is complete Bueller looks at us and says “You still here?  It’s over.  Go home, go.”  He has committed  day of his life to show us how to take hold of our own.  He figures that those who’ve learned something are on with it and those who haven’t will never get it. 

Only that thing is free which exists by the necessities of its own nature, and is determined in its actions by itself alone.
Happiness is a virtue, not its reward.
Thus shall you think of this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.
-Diamond Sutra as translated by the Dalai Lama
What, me worry?
– Alfred E. Newman

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