R.I.P. John Hughes

It’s been a tough summer for 80s babies. Though Purple Rain–and my sister–turned 25, those of us who remember taper-legged jeans and neon colors the first time around have had a rough summer vacation with the death of Michael Jackson and now John Hughes. Frankly, the shit is freaking me out. I’m getting old(er).

My obsession with John Hughes movies might not make much sense. It doesn’t seem, after all, that he imagined a world that included someone like me (a young, black working class, dagger in training). But the fact remains that I was and continue to be hypnotized by all things Brat Pack. I’ve always identified with Hughes’ outsiders. Maybe whiteness is universal. (Dude, I kid.)

I was very young when Hughes’ movies were first released, but with cable and VCRs, I was able to develop the healthy addiction of watching them over and over and over and over. 80s flicks, The Young and the Restless, and music videos were what kept me quiet and occupied. The movies were especially important in the molding of my young mind into the piece of crap that it is today. Though my environment was never reflected on screen, whenever I watch 16 Candles, Pretty in Pink, She’s Having a Baby, The Breakfast Club all five of my senses are allowed to remember the 80s of my youth and how desperately I sought Susan wanted to be older. Wait. Did I just type “of my youth”? I am getting old. And corny.

I hear it was a sucky decade, but for me, the 80s were totally awesome. And those who made it that way–MJJ, Hughes–are going away. How is a person who had a Rubik’s Cube toybox supposed to deal?

Perhaps I should try a little tenderness: