Post Digital Marketing

Teenage Wasteland

Whilst the creation of the teenager as a distinct lifestage and identity framework is usually ascribed to extended lifespans, a newly commercial culture seeking lifetime customers and the availability of cars [that provided them a third space to explore each other away from the prying eyes of THE MAN], those of us that grew up in the 80s know better.

John Hughes invented the teen movie and in doing so invented a reflexive idea of teen that all of us internalised, idolised and empathised with.

The Breakfast Club re-imagined Jungian archetypes for high school kids, whilst reminding us that we all contain elements of every segment.

Ferris Bueller was the most important teenage protagonist since James Dean [I realise Dean was real, but he was quickly absorbed into myth after his death].

His universal appeal; his ability to talk directly to the audience, to all of US; his uncertainty about the world he was being asked to join; his desire to take a DAY OFF and do awesome stuff that you will remember when you are old; his loyalty; his hot girfriend; his fearlessness in the face of danger; his ability to use technology to outsmart grown ups; his belief that he could be the Walrus; his rendition of Twist and Shout; these are all benchmarks against which we children of the 80s measure ourselves and our lives.

And if they aren't they should be.

I like to imagine John Hughes has retired to Shermer, Illionois, the fictional Chicago suburb most of his movies were set in and hope that we all remember that life moves pretty fast, so if we don't stop and look around once in a while, we might just miss it.