American film directors
2 min

Life moves pretty fast

Whew!  I'm still reeling from Black Thursday — the day that Twitter, Facebook and LiveJournal were all down!  Simultaneously!  For hours!  I HAD TO GO OUTSIDE!

Who was responsible?  San Francisco columnist Mark Morford says some hope it was Jesus, while I'm more inclined to blame the scary Egyptian-statue-that-looks-like-Michael-Jackson:


I mean, without Facebook or Twitter, I might not have discovered the final word on this year's Friends for Life Bike Rally — for those of you who've asked me about it since I got back, this video from writer/editor Jaime Woo sums up the whole wild week beautifully:

Without social media sites, I was forced (forced!) to watch TV soap operas — though mind you, 'One Life to Live' is getting awfully interesting lately:

But the one seriously sour note about yesterday was the untimely passing of writer/director John Hughes, not as big an '80s icon as Jackson but arguably just as influential.  Hughes created some indelible comedy characters like Ferris Bueller, Clark Griswold and Del Griffiths but will be best remembered for his teen films including 'Sixteen Candles' and 'The Breakfast Club.'

I don't recall a single gay character from Hughes' movies (only some unpleasantly frequent use of the word 'fag' in 'Weird Science') but as a budding homo in the '80s, I was inspired by them anyway.  Not only were Hughes' movies stuffed with freaks, geeks and outsiders but these people were actually celebrated.  Duckie in 'Pretty in Pink,' for instance, is the movie's real hero and while he wasn't actually gay, his flamboyant new-wave nerdiness still read as such to audiences, who loved him in spite or because of it.

Hughes' movies laughed at people for their differences but more importantly, laughed at how arbitrary and silly those differences are.  In his world, even the wildly mismatched Steve Martin and John Candy in 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' could get over their mutual loathing and goofy gay panic and become friends.  As the jock in 'The Breakfast Club' admitted, "We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all."

John Hughes made a lot of kids feel better about their lives.  May he rest in peace: