Thursday, March 3, 2011

Revolt of the Dudes

The popular uprising against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya that has wracked the North African country for several weeks has been one of the most important events of the year. While watching these events unfold you've probably felt an unexplained pang of empathy for the rebels, but didn't know why. You may not believe it yet, but you like the rebels because the revolt in Libya resembles one of your favorite 80's movies.

I present to you....


1) Stylish Rebels sport a Revolutionary/Arabian theme

A rebellion ain't a rebellion without some sweet threads. Bueller, Sloane and Cameron show their rebellious nature through their dress, just as rebels in Libya do today. Every rebel knows that to flip the man the bird, you have to sport some bitchin' outfits that shows how anti you are. Beret? Turban? Sunglasses?
Check. Check. Check.
Possibly the best-dressed revolt of all time

2)Rebels move around in sick rides they jacked off The Man

The rebels in both Ferris Bueller and Libya are both determined to raise hell and piss off the man, and that requires transportation. Both groups of rebels have the choice of moving around in vehicles they actually own.....or stealing a much better ride from the establishment. Whether that means "borrowing" your dad's Ferrari or stealing tanks from an Army depot, the choice for the educated rebel is clear. Travel in style. 
It's a damn rebellion after all, not a trip to WalMart in your mom's minivan

3) Rebels fight a central, spiteful older figure who despises them

The Man is typified in a single man both powerful and creepy. Gaddafi and Edward Rooney (the dean of students at Ferris' high school) are The Man. The older man is an authority figure who's held sway for a considerable amount time and is royally pissed at the shenanigans of the young whippersnappers who are trying to upset the applecart. In the mind of the authority figure they are doing the right thing, and they will stop at nothing to foil the younger protagonists of their respective stories.
File:Muammar al-Gaddafi at the AU summit.jpg
Not a man you want babysitting your kids.

4) There's a clueless authority figure who can't control events

In every rebellion there's "that guy" who's smart, means well, but is absolutely freaking clueless. They are a day late and a dollar short at every turn, want to do the right thing but don't know how, and generally get in the way more than they actually help. Ben Stein's economics teacher and U.N. secretary general Ban Ki Moon are not bad people, they simply are left wondering what the hell happened.

5) The Rebels are the Good Guys No Matter What Happens

The ultimate truth of both stories is that no matter what happens, the rebel always is the hero in in our eyes. Teachers probably even rooted for Ferris in Ferris Bueller, while similarly Gaddafi has about as good a chance of finding an ally on the international stage as the Washington Generals do of beating the Harlem Globetrotters. No matter what happens in the coming weeks the Libyan rebels will be the good guys and Gaddafi will be the bad guy, even if he shot rainbows out of his ass and discovered the cure for cancer. The authority figure may be The Man, but the rebel is "the effin' man!", and nothing can change that. Rock on you rebels, rock on.

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