Dazed and Confused.

I first saw the movie about two years ago. Since then I have watched it almost half a dozen times. Dazed and Confused is set in 1976, 200 years after the birth of the United States. It is a day in the life of the American teenager. The story gives a fairly realistic look at what the culture was like, with music, costumes and sets that all feel completely authentic. There are only a few actors I recognized, Milla Jovovich, Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey. I believe this was the start of their film careers, or at the start of, as all three looked very young. Fun fact: Renee Zellwegger had a minor role in the film as well, but was not credited for it. I also love how the movie is pieced together, and how even the minor characters connect throughout the film, giving it a real “whole picture” feel.The script was well written, giving real life to these teens, talking about the same things every teenager has gone through throughout history. (Is that a grammatical error, through throughout? It feels a bit awkward). And then there is the main character, Randall “Pink” Flloyd. Played by Jason London, the star quarterback of his school is given a sheet by his football coach pledging to swear off drugs and alcohol by his coach and principal. Instead of signing it, Randall refuses to play ball (pardon the pun). He is portrayed as a decent young guy, popular with all, friendly, ladies man, etc. etc.

This time I watched the movie, it bothered me. The idea that something you have been working for your entire life can be tossed out the window like that bothers me. I understand not going for a big shot, but when you have it there and decide to not go through with it, well that seems like a ridiculous notion. On the other hand, I also fully believe in not compromising your principles to be part of a team. So therein lies the question, what would I have done? What was asked was to swear off drugs (the main drug being marijuana) and booze. I could not give up a scholarship because I did not want to give up weed. It is a simple matter of priorities, and mine would be different.

But still, I find myself at war inside. What would you have done?

Until next time,

Z.

Edit:

I just had a talk with my father, who was around for the 70s. He said something very interesting: We are living with the consequences of the 70s. Here is what else he said, and I believe is well worth repeating.

If I had to come up with one word that sums up (the 21st century), it would be consequences. Why do people riot on the streets and burn up cop cars after hockey games? Because there are no consequences. Why do banks and politicians rob you blind without trying to hide it? Because there are no consequences. Why are the cops becoming more and more like Gestapo? Because there are no consequences.

 

Randall made his bed, but my generation is the one who has to lie in it.

Until next time,

Z.

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