I TRIED to Talk About Something Else

I TRIED to Talk About Something Else

There’s an under-appreciated scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where Ferris’s sister Jeanie (filled with indignation and attitude) walks into the principal’s office. The school secretary blankly greets her with, “Hello Jeanie. Who’s bothering you now?” 

That’s it. That’s the scene. Well, it actually goes on from there and is very funny, but that short bit I think captures perfectly the general vibe currently in Michigan (and probably the whole country). 

The thing is, Jeanie does have some understandable reasons for her smoldering anger. Her brother is charmingly duplicitous and always seems to get away with things she cannot, and she’s looking to pick a fight over it.

We’ve seen this play out over and over in real life, especially as masking rules have tightened to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Witness all those defiant Costco shoppers — bare-faced, phone in hand, and full of fury. Unfortunately, we’re now seeing how that can quickly escalate — from alarmingly racist rants to stabbings and even death.

Later in the movie, a drug-addled young man identifies Jeanie’s problem for her. “The problem is you.”    And I believe it is. We could all do with less self-righteousness and more self-awareness.

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