The Breakfast Club: Parents and Relating To A Movie Character
I think I identify most with the characters of Allison (Ally Sheedy) and Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) in The Breakfast Club - the 1985 John Hughes movie, not the podcast/internet radio show that borrowed/stole the name. Even as an adult.
Allison is the loner who was socially awkward, abused by her parents and "didn't have anywhere else to go." She's not in forced detention like the other kids. She attends voluntarily because it's obviously preferable to being at home with her parents and because of them, her social life is virtually non-existent and she only needs an excuse to hang out with people her own age - in a forced environment where they can't leave if she's socially inappropriate. I can relate heavily to that.
Why the hell do you think I got into writing? It was a way to feel connected to the outside world, without being judged to my face for it, while avoiding awkward social situations. I never second guess myself when I write. I second guess myself when I'm in a human interaction all the time. The following nights are often sleepless.
Brian is the school brain who is being pressured to succeed by his parents and his worst fear was getting assigned a C grade. The movie doesn't go over the top with it, but it's clear Brian has at least contemplated suicide, which is why he ends up with a flair gun in his locker, which goes off, causing him to receive this weekend detention in the first place.
I was also a competitive swimmer for almost a decade and had to quit because of the pressure from paternal forces, so I completely get it what Andrew, the wrestler and school jock, is going through.
Every character in this movie is being abused and screwed over by their horny parents in some way. Either they're physically abusive, like John Bender, the bad boy's father, or they're psychologically and emotionally abusive, like Allison, Brian and Andrew's parents.
Parents have to be the most full of shit people on earth. To be fair, it basically comes with the territory. It's like attacking a political leader for being a mass murderer. If you've ever ordered troops into battle under dubious circumstances (which includes almost all of them internationally, particularly in the West), you fit the definition like a glove. If you leave a drug addict in a room full of white powder, don't be surprised if you come back 30 minutes later with a negative outcome.
Parents are always the first ones to take credit if their kids are successful and/or happy. If their kid grows up to be a murderer, they had nothing to do with it. Obviously, mental illness plays a part in a lot of those types of situations, but you can't have it both ways. You can't say that if your kid does well, it's because they listened to you, and if they didn't, it's because they were disrespectful children who could have avoided so many problems if they'd only listened to them.
But adults rule the world, and even though I'm 41, I haven't lost my Bullshit Detector and when I hear parents talk about their kids, good or bad, I need a gas mask to protect me from the stench coming out of their mouths.
Just remember, old folks, it wasn't my generation that screwed everything up. There's a reason Gen Z's are glued to their cell phones: Because they might have to be honest with you, and you can't handle the truth. It's not narcissism in the youth that is the problem. The narcissism came from the Boomers and Gen Y's. Gen Z's are just fed up with you and your bullshit, just like Gen Xers in The Breakfast Club were terrified of becoming their parents - and in many ways, they did.
Allison was right. When you grow up, your heart dies.