For me, the death of John Hughes may be the saddest of recent celebrity departures. I had been reflecting on the weight of his collected works the week before he died as it had come up in my research for another article.
I had wondered where he went off to, noticing that his input had come to rolling stop after the early nineties. The same question had come up about Rick Moranis. Where had he gone? The answer to that was he retired citing typecast restraint. Hughes’ is said to have skipped town before Hollywood could get the best of him.
When Michael Jackson died it felt like the end of a painfully long movie. Indeed, I had enjoyed parts of it greatly, but the latter act just made me feel bad for him, for myself, for humanity. Why had we all gotten so much unintended entertainment off of him? Why had he made it so easy? The situation didn’t improve much once he died, the joke only got worse. People actively discussed the quality of his life and the state of his soul as if it were the the season ending of Lost.
John Hughes life was less eccentric. He made the hard decision to leave things he loved behind to protect things he loved more such as his family. While some suggest he should have stopped sooner, it seems he learned the gambler’s lesson of knowing “when to walk away” better than most. Still, he remained subject to the same rules as Michael Jackson.
The world we live in, the world they died in, is one whose inhabitants are ready to vote one another off the island permanently and without hesitation. Not knowing John Hughes personally, his death means little more to me than that there will be no more John Hughes movies. The saddest thing of all this, is that the nature of our world required him to choose between the work he loved and the family he loved more.
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