Weird political science

If looking at the contemporary political/cultural scene gives you a sense of déjà vu, there’s a reason for that, says Andrea Harris:

Everywhere you go, everything you encounter, every attitude and platitude and political position, has its roots in the jocks-vs.-nerds, popular-vs.-unwanted, James-Spader-Molly-Ringwald-couples-don’t-exist-in-real-life dichotomy the nation’s citizenry experienced in high school. We are currently experiencing a revenge-of-the-nerds administration — with the sting in the tail being that Obama really isn’t a nerd, he’s just one of those people who would have been a jock but for having no athletic ability. There’s nothing worse than someone who can’t be what he is. We must all pay for his personality dysfunctions.

The one thing policy wonks have in common is, of course, wonkishness.


Anyway, Sarah Palin is, obviously, a jock, and so all of us who fancy ourselves intellectuals whether artistic or scientific or both must be up in arms against her commonplace, shallow, brawn-not-brain, “get your nose out of that book and clean up your room!”, boys-who-won’t-play-football-are-fags, scratchy “nice” dress for church no you can’t sleep late, God wants you to stay a virgin! self. Or … do we?

I tell you, if John Hughes had just started making films this year, he’d be hailed as a political satirist. And a better one than Michael Moore, at that.


  1. fillyjonk »

    1 December 2009 · 3:36 pm

    I’d not bet against the statement that someone, somewhere, has done a Master’s Thesis examining the sociopolitical ramifications of Hughes movies.

    And it does make me somewhat sad that it seems that high school (or worse, from my perspective, JUNIOR high school) continues to be played out in adulthood.

  2. Andrea Harris »

    1 December 2009 · 3:53 pm

    I’ve never gotten the thing about John Hughes. His movies were as full of pretty lies any other Hollywood product –even more so, with their 80s faux “alternative” sheen. But Pretty In Pink tried to make us think that 1) a gawky redhead could be transformed into a beauty queen by the donning of a hideous pink dress, and 2) that a weird girl from the uncool neighborhood could capture the high school preppie god’s heart. And Ferris Bueller’s Day Off tried to pass off yet another cool jerk as a hero, even though he probably ruined his best friend’s life (by getting his friend’s dad’s car smashed to pieces). I was on Ben Stein’s side.

    What other John Hughes movies have I seen… I didn’t realize Planes, Trains, and Automobiles was his. That was funny, though it had nothing to do with high school kids so maybe that was why. She’s Having A Baby was annoying — I can’t really identify with anyone who falls in love to a Boston song. Weird Science was funny, despite having high school kids as characters. I guess I like his broad farces the best, but I wouldn’t say there’s any political satire to be found in them.

  3. Brett »

    1 December 2009 · 11:02 pm

    “And a better one than Michael Moore, at that.”

    Low indeed your bar is set…

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