Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm thinkin' of tryin' out for a scholarshippp.

First, go watch THIS.

Besides being brilliant, The Breakfast Club has some of the best dialogue ever.
  • Excuse me, sir, why would anybody want to steal a screw?
  • Hey! How come Andrew gets to get up? If he gets up, we'll all get up! It'll be anarchy!
  • I expected a little more from a varsity letterman.
Oh, but my favorite part?  When he puts the chair in front of the door and Bender says, "The door's far to heavy, sir."  I love the way Paul Gleason ignores him, the way for - just a moment - he looks smug.  You know, just before the door slaps the chair out of frame.


As I was watching it (what? It's my day off.  Well, kind of.  I mean, I'm at work.  But there's little to do.  Hey, do you want to fight about this or something?)

Right.  So as I was watching this video I thought, "Man, my high school experience was nothing like this.  Bender looks at least 25 and I'm pretty sure you couldn't dance to Pinback and get high in the library without anybody knowing.  Plus, the parties were never as epic as they seemed to be in John Hughes's world, right?

But, especially in the Breakfast Club, there is something that I (and most others, I assume) learned long after high school.  The stereotypes, the way we see and categorize other people, are rarely accurate.  Sure, I'm fairly certain that when I come upon a person wearing a Descendent's shirt, that we're going to have a few things in common.  But most of my friends in high school?  Not really around now.  And those who are friends with me on Facebook seem very different, if not completely foreign.

And that's what I love about the Breakfast Club - the possibility of transformation, even if only for a Saturday.  The Jock, The Nerd, The Badass - all of them come together (for the first time in the above scene...) and form a community.  Soon enough they're running through the halls, racing Vernon back to the library.  You've got the transcendence of boundaries, self sacrifice and, of course, love.

What better message could teenagers leave high school with?

Of course, YA has the exact same opportunity.  I recently heard a talk on the definition High Concept.  Immediately, someone yelled out, "Snakes on a Plane!"  I laughed, and made a note for my next book that will be titled: "A Boat Sinks (And it Sucks.)"

Great title, I know.  The talk - which was much better than I'll do it justice - discussed the combination of high concept ideas with something that is universal, something that everybody immediately understands.  Breakfast Club is about detention.  But maybe it's about friendship and the difficulty it takes to be a teenager.


And YA is in this insanely unique position to do just that - to help kids break down barriers.  To help them take chances so they'll hopefully learn that even if somebody is easily defined as a sport-o, a dickhead, a waistoid, or even a slut - they are inherently more than anything that term can say. 

My apologies if this is deeper than the normal, Hey, Look!  I'm talking about ninjas and using bad 90's ebonics! 

*And if you DON'T know what the title references?  Please... click here.


  1. Nice post, man!

    Question: how would you turn that first scene into writing?

  2. How would I write it for a book? That's intriguing. I'm not sure, mainly because it's so well written already. Let me think on that.