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April 28, 2009 2:49 PM   Subscribe

Ask MeFi's "Felon Bueller" thread gets picked up by Mental Floss and Jezebel.
posted by Joe Beese to MetaFilter-Related at 2:49 PM (113 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

Yeah, that thing has been making the rounds like crazy. Lots of twitter links to it flying around the last few days.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:52 PM on April 28, 2009


Ugh, of course Jezebel links to the Mental Floss post about it, INSTEAD OF THE ACTUAL FUCKING POST ON ASK MEFI.

It's like Nick Denton and everyone at Gawker go out of their way to mention the phrase "metafilter" without actually linking to it, ever.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:52 PM on April 28, 2009 [5 favorites]


It's like Nick Denton and everyone at Gawker go out of their way to mention the phrase "metafilter" without actually linking to it, ever.

They didn't even mention metafilter. They probably still have their proverbial knickers in a twist over the whole "unexpected anal sex" kerfluffle.
posted by dersins at 2:55 PM on April 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


> Nick Denton and everyone at Gawker

I also like how they went so far as to copy the mental floss image, and link to mental floss twice (the "list of crimes" goes to the same mental floss page as the via).

Did you kick his puppy or something?

Or is it just a sign of their poor journalistic abilities.
posted by mrzarquon at 3:00 PM on April 28, 2009


I believe the correct phrase is "unexpected anal sex kerfluffer."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:01 PM on April 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's like Nick Denton and everyone at Gawker go out of their way to mention the phrase "metafilter" without actually linking to it, ever.

Jezebel: [thinking to herself] Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe Matt isn't such a bad guy. After all, I got a car, he got a computer. But still, why should he get to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants? Why should everything work out for him? What makes him such a goddamn special snowflake?

Jezebel: Screw him.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:15 PM on April 28, 2009 [19 favorites]


Too soon.
posted by gman at 3:19 PM on April 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


*And I was waiting for dersins to make that comment.
posted by gman at 3:21 PM on April 28, 2009


Principal Rooney doesn't look so hot
posted by waraw at 3:24 PM on April 28, 2009


*And I was waiting for dersins to make that comment.

No, no, my dickish statement for the day was made here. I'm disappointed at the lack of pre-emptive callouts, though.

p.s. fyi Metroid Baby that was totally gman's sneaky way of calling you a dick.
posted by dersins at 3:29 PM on April 28, 2009


Jezebel is probably still ass hurt.
posted by The Straightener at 3:30 PM on April 28, 2009


I seem to have developed an unshakable hatred of Mental Floss ever since I paid retail price for one of its crappy magazines in an airport. A quick glance while I was rushing to catch my flight promised that it would be some edgy brain food. But when I got and board and actually read it was just such a let down and an insult that anything with that namesake just instantly calls forth spite. And instead of actually "flossing" your mind, it just adds more random gunk on the pile of cognitive dissonance. Feh on you, Mental Floss.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:31 PM on April 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ask MeFi's "Felon Bueller" thread gets picked up by Mental Floss and Jezebel.

And also by kottke.org.
posted by ericb at 3:47 PM on April 28, 2009


And the Headlines section of the Morning News.
posted by nooneyouknow at 3:51 PM on April 28, 2009


Or is it just a sign of their poor journalistic abilities.

Yes. And don't discount immaturity.
posted by rtha at 4:04 PM on April 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


We still link to blogs instead of primary sources a lot of the time, don't we? Just seems like a common enough practice on the Internet to not stick out as unusual to me.

Especially if someone else (like Mental Floss) summarizes it for you. Then you can link to that blog and when you copy/paste the aforementioned summary it's a quote and not you being lazy.
posted by ODiV at 4:11 PM on April 28, 2009


I'm surprised Jezebel didn't conclude Bueller raped Sloan and that she was an idiot for not pressing charges.
posted by klangklangston at 4:23 PM on April 28, 2009


Sloan was too smart to get raped.
posted by dhammond at 4:36 PM on April 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


He probably raped Cameron then.
posted by klangklangston at 4:46 PM on April 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


Too soon.
it is as if you have united everyone at this one moment.
posted by the aloha at 5:02 PM on April 28, 2009


My favorite thought-piece about Ferris Bueller is the "Fight Club" theory, in which Ferris Bueller, the person, is just a figment of Cameron's imagination, like Tyler Durden, and Sloane is the girl Cameron secretly loves.

One day while he's lying sick in bed, Cameron lets "Ferris" steal his father's car and take the day off, and as Cameron wanders around the city, all of his interactions with Ferris and Sloane, and all the impossible hijinks, are all just played out in his head. This is part of the reason why the "three" characters can see so much of Chicago in less than one day -- Cameron is alone, just imagining it all.

It isn't until he destroys the front of the car in a fugue state does he finally get a grip and decide to confront his father, after which he imagines a final, impossible escape for Ferris and a storybook happy ending for Sloane ("He's gonna marry me!"), the girl that Cameron knows he can never have.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:06 PM on April 28, 2009 [574 favorites]


I approve of Cool Papa Bell's total overthinking of this crucial issue.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:45 PM on April 28, 2009 [8 favorites]


Holy shit, Cool Papa Bell, you just blew my mind. And I like it.
posted by barnacles at 5:53 PM on April 28, 2009


I personally like my friend's similar thought on a re-boot of Terminator, a suspenseful psychological thriller where a woman is pushed to the edge of sanity and beyond by a psychotic killer who thinks he's sent from the future to kill her.
posted by potch at 6:07 PM on April 28, 2009 [6 favorites]


Huh. I actually like Mental Floss, but there's something about it that bothers me and I can't really put my finger on it. Their editorial voice is just a bit too ... casual? I mean, I know a lot of bloggy stuff is written in sorta second-tense, but I feel like they go a bit far with it sometimes. It gives the overall impression that the site is meant for smart highschoolers or college underclassmen.

A lot of their pieces could use a bit more depth; like, instead of a list of 10 things with 2 sentences each, maybe a list of 4 things with a couple paragraphs and cites.

Having said that, I'd say on the average they have more interesting stuff than BoingBoing these days.

(I should also mention that I've never actually seen the hardcopy magazine)
posted by Afroblanco at 6:35 PM on April 28, 2009


I'm pleased that people like my Ferris Bueller riff. I can't take credit for it, though -- google it and you'll see others have thought of it. The more I think about it, the more I can't get it out of my mind when I see the movie.

I mean, Cameron falls off the diving board and sinks to the bottom of the pool. Then he just sits there, looking around, waiting for someone to save him. Eventually, Ferris dives into the water. Who's there with them? Sloane. What is she wearing? A lace teddy, fer Chrissakes. It's a teenage fantasy, even more fantastical than the movie is already is.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:21 PM on April 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's nice of you to come clean. Now return all favourites at once.
posted by gman at 7:34 PM on April 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


The one thing I don't get about Cool Papa Bell's theory is why Cameron doesn't "get a grip" in another way at any point in his imaginings & turn the whole thing into a porno.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:33 PM on April 28, 2009


Ubu, Cameron is so tight, if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you would have a diamond. Sloan in her lacy underthings is about as porno as he gets.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:43 PM on April 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Here's another thing that led me to adopting the Fight Club theory -- the odometer problem.

Would Ferris Bueller NOT know that you can't roll an odometer back by driving in reverse? It's Ferris freakin' Bueller! Yet we're to believe that THIS is the only mistake he makes in the film? Setting aside Ed Rooney hitting the doorbell multiple times, this is the only mistake Ferris makes that leaves behind incriminating, unexplainable, physical evidence!

There's a reason for this. It's Cameron's mistake. Setting the car up to go in reverse is something hardluck Cameron would try to do and fail. Ferris says, "We'll have to crack it open and roll the odometer back by hand." Well, sure, but Cameron nixes the idea, because he knows he doesn't have the skill to do that in the real world. He's screwed, and his imaginary friend can't help him here.

I will now retire to my corner with a plate of beans and a print of Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:04 PM on April 28, 2009 [13 favorites]


I knew it: Cool Papa Bell is really Mefi's own John Hughes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:33 PM on April 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Next you'll be telling us Bender is a figment of Mr. Vernon's imagination, after smoking a joint with the janitor in the records room.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:36 PM on April 28, 2009 [4 favorites]


Actually, I've long held the theory that Data from ST:TNG didn't actually exist. He was just the personification of the lead characters' rational side.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:07 PM on April 28, 2009


I think it's more likely that Bender and Mr. Vernon, et al, are figments of Allison Reynolds' (Ally Sheedy's character) imagination after she ate too many Pixie Sticks.
posted by amyms at 10:08 PM on April 28, 2009


But what's to say that Ferris Bueller isn't the one actual person in this entire scenario, and that Cool Papa Bell isn't a projection of Ferris' own consciousness, seeking to divert itself (ie all of "us") into denying the reality of his own existence, for psychopathological reasons not even known to himself?

*munches on another handful of pixie stix*
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:25 PM on April 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


We're just extras in someone else's psychosis induced hallucination?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:26 PM on April 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


yes. but don't discount that they're also just extras in ours.

that's not unlike chuang tzu looping back on himself, but with more than just two actors, resulting in an infinitely expanding fractal reality.

this also conveniently allows us to bypass the pantocrator-demiurge opposition.

*your daily exposition of Ubu Cosmology 101 has been brought to you by coffee & pixie stix*
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:42 PM on April 28, 2009


That's more cosmogony than cosmology.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:46 PM on April 28, 2009


and Philip Glass: The Grid, turned up to 11
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:47 PM on April 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


god, i hate it when alternate-reality Ubus quibble with me over definitions.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:48 PM on April 28, 2009


What if we're all just imaginary characters in mathowie's community weblog simulation?
posted by amyms at 12:04 AM on April 29, 2009


Yeah, what if.
posted by jtron at 12:11 AM on April 29, 2009


You know, Heathers could be viewed through Cool Papa Bell's Fight Club lens, too.
posted by rodgerd at 12:23 AM on April 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


(Now that I think about it, the whole alter-ego blowing up the school at the end is incredibly perfect...)
posted by rodgerd at 12:29 AM on April 29, 2009


But Weird Science is definitely 100% real.
posted by DavidNYC at 1:22 AM on April 29, 2009


Just seems like a common enough practice on the Internet to not stick out as unusual to me.

They've linked directly to AskMe in the past. Seems pretty obvious they're avoiding it this time.
posted by mediareport at 3:49 AM on April 29, 2009


One of my friends either read an article or proposed himself that Fight Club is basically just the sequel to Calvin and Hobbes; when Calvin grows up, he has to sublimate all of the "Hobbes" and that denial of Hobbes eventually works itself out to him as Tyler Durden.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 4:28 AM on April 29, 2009 [9 favorites]



You know, Heathers could be viewed through Cool Papa Bell's Fight Club lens, too.

Why stop there? What about Tuesdays with Morrie?
posted by orville sash at 4:48 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


So here's my question about the Ferris Bueller Fight Club theory: What is Jeanie and how are we to understand her interactions with Ferris?
posted by Rock Steady at 5:31 AM on April 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


One of my friends either read an article or proposed himself that Fight Club is basically just the sequel to Calvin and Hobbes; when Calvin grows up, he has to sublimate all of the "Hobbes" and that denial of Hobbes eventually works itself out to him as Tyler Durden.

I am Jack’s lost youth.
posted by Who_Am_I at 5:32 AM on April 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


So here's my question about the Ferris Bueller Fight Club theory: What is Jeanie and how are we to understand her interactions with Ferris?

Easy answer that I like: Cameron's horrible family situation (mother and father hate each other, neither pays attention to their son) has led him to imagine that Ferris has the perfect parents, one's that fawn over him when he gets the least bit fake-sick ("One of the worst performances of my career, and they never doubted it..."), while Cameron's real world parents aren't even present when he is really sick (or at least when he thinks he is). Ferris performs for his parents; Cameron doesn't even have parents to perform for.

This fantasy includes Jeanie, an built-in antagonist that Ferris duels with (she catches him with the fake dummy in the bed, after all). After Cameron comes to grip with his fugue state, Jeanie gets her own fantasy storybook ending -- making out with the bad guy at the police station, and getting even with Rooney.

Hard answer I don't like: Jeanie ruins the Fight Club theory.

I'm sorry, my plate of beans wasn't quite full. You see, Ferris Bueller, the movie, literally debuted on my last academic day of high school. My friends and I walked straight out of final exams and into the movie theater to see this new movie release that none of us had heard of, only we knew it was by the guy that did Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles and starred that guy from WarGames. Two hours later, we were dumbstruck with laughter, because it was everything we wanted to do and fantasized that we had done in high school, which we had just completed that afternoon, and the theater ushers took pity on us and allowed us to stay, and we literally just sat there and watched the movie a second time.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:55 AM on April 29, 2009 [27 favorites]


I'm sorry, my plate of beans wasn't quite full. You see, Ferris Bueller, the movie, literally debuted on my last academic day of high school. My friends and I walked straight out of final exams and into the movie theater to see this new movie release that none of us had heard of, only we knew it was by the guy that did Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles and starred that guy from WarGames. Two hours later, we were dumbstruck with laughter, because it was everything we wanted to do and fantasized that we had done in high school, which we had just completed that afternoon, and the theater ushers took pity on us and allowed us to stay, and we literally just sat there and watched the movie a second time.


This is a good story.


I had something similar happen with Ghost World. Didn't get to see it twice tho.
posted by The Whelk at 6:14 AM on April 29, 2009


How about: Jeanie and Sloane are projections of Cameron's frustrated understanding of females. Sloane is idealized--sexy, fun, compliant. Jeanie is nosy and domineering (but, fortunately, easily bested). Eventually it turns out that Jeanie's uppity behavior was a symptom of her repressed sexuality, and she is redeemed when she falls for a dominant male figure and accepts her passive role in society.
posted by equalpants at 6:31 AM on April 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


I am not a Ferrisian, so I don't know whether this has already been widely observed, but . . . In indirect support of the Fight Club theory, Cameron succeeded Ferris -- REPLACED him -- in the Broadway production of The Producers.

I also find it troubling that Cameron, locked in man-machine battle with the odometer (resolved when the car/mother machine commits suicide), shows up later in Speed, where his man-machine battle with the speedometer is resolved by the bus's murder-suicide with the plane.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 6:49 AM on April 29, 2009 [10 favorites]


In indirect support of the Fight Club theory, Cameron succeeded Ferris -- REPLACED him -- in the Broadway production of The Producers.

AND Uncle Jessie replaced Ferris in How To Succeed In Business... on Broadway -- so Full House is obviously just Cameron's idea of what life'll be like all grown up! Or something.
posted by inigo2 at 6:53 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love y'all so damned much.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:05 AM on April 29, 2009


Wasn't Ferris Bueller's day off all just an autistic kid's dream?
posted by Spatch at 7:57 AM on April 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is Tommy Westphall's world; we're all just living in it.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:59 AM on April 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Goddammit, Spatch.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:59 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was working on a similar cross film theory, but in mine Ferris and Sloane are something called "Nexus series replicants" and Cameron is a sort of cop sent to kill them. Ed Rooney, Cameron's boss, explains that he needs to "Air out these skin jobs otherwise Cameron is going to get another year of high school, under his close personal supervision." There is also a scene where Charlie Sheen puts eyeballs onto Ben Stein's shoulder.

My working title is Bueller Runner, but something about that just doesn't feel right.
posted by quin at 8:22 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


So wait, Rooney is there as a projection of the adult world that Cameron is powerless over, but that his "Ferris" side triumphs over with ease?
posted by Bookhouse at 8:25 AM on April 29, 2009


CPB, you totally win the thread.
posted by Pax at 8:35 AM on April 29, 2009


We're just extras in someone else's psychosis induced hallucination?
posted by Burhanistan at 2:26 AM on April 29 [+] [!]


Red Dwarf was right!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:56 AM on April 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


SMURFS ARE NAZIS
THEY ARE NAZIS
* PATERNALISTIC AGRARIAN CULTURE
* ALL 1 COLOR
* TO EACH ACCORDING TO HIS MEANS
* GREEDY, VAGUELY SEMITIC KABBALAHIST MAGICIAN ENEMY WITH HEBREW CAT
* ONE WOMAN FOR BREEDING PURPOSES
* INTELLECTUALS MARGINALIZED
* TOTALITARIAN DOUBLE SPEAK
* WISE "FATHER" WITH ICONIC FACIAL HAIR

GOOGLE "SMURFOCAUST" FOR THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:02 AM on April 29, 2009 [15 favorites]


What the smurf are you smurfing to smurf up such a smurfy smurfism?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:07 AM on April 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Really, Potomac Avenue? This is the last thread ever I'd expect to get Godwined on.
posted by 7segment at 9:08 AM on April 29, 2009


AND Uncle Jessie replaced Ferris in How To Succeed In Business... on Broadway

Wait, what? I'm having a hard time picturing that.
posted by dersins at 9:12 AM on April 29, 2009


Really, all y'all smurfs know what you can do to Papa Smurf (NSFW)
posted by Burhanistan at 9:13 AM on April 29, 2009


So wait, Rooney is there as a projection of the adult world that Cameron is powerless over, but that his "Ferris" side triumphs over with ease?

Yes, exactly. In the theory, though, I think it's unclear whether any of these people are actually real. Whether they're all purely figments of Cameron's imagination, or whether some of them are real people that Cameron incorporates into his fantasy life. Perhaps Rooney really is the principal, who Cameron imagines would be tormented by a guy like Ferris. Just like Sloane may or may not be a real girl, who Cameron cannot imagine himself with, but who would certainly be attracted to a guy like Ferris.

So, it may or may not be exactly like Fight Club, where Tyler Durden really is a personality manifestation of the Narrator (Ed Norton), who takes over a physical body and actually does things in the real world while the Narrator is asleep or absent or "away" or whatever. But it is interesting that Cameron is skilled at creating voices and personalities on the phone.

That plate of beans keeps getting bigger. Sorry.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:13 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I personally like my friend's similar thought on a re-boot of Terminator, a suspenseful psychological thriller where a woman is pushed to the edge of sanity and beyond by a psychotic killer who thinks he's sent from the future to kill her.

I don't know, potch. That kind of undersells the original film. It sounds more like a Lifetime original movie; crazy dude terrifies random woman is well-worn ground. For me, the money quote of the series is:

Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

The Terminator is Death. It can't be defeated, only postponed.

In the first movie, the Terminator comes to kill Sarah Connor before she can reproduce- the only way for a part of her to avoid Death. The Terminator is defeated only after Sarah Connor is impregnated.

In Terminator 2, Death returns for Sarah Connor's offspring, despite her best efforts to protect him. John must accept his own mortality by sacrificing his own protection from Death, bringing John into adulthood.

In Terminator 3, John Connor teams up with a potential mate, but realizes that he cannot defeat Death, and embraces it instead. It's the least popular movie because it rejects the wish-fulfillment endings of the first two and embraces the reality that the future is set: everyone will die eventually.

In Terminator: Salvation, McG has Batman fight Transformers.
posted by theclaw at 9:33 AM on April 29, 2009 [22 favorites]


That plate of beans keeps getting bigger. Sorry.

You only think it's a plate of beans.

Wait until you hear what you're really eating.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:54 AM on April 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


That's right: HFCS.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:55 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


AND Uncle Jessie replaced Ferris in How To Succeed In Business... on Broadway

Wait, what? I'm having a hard time picturing that.


You're not thinking cool enough. (Though, I guess I spelled "Jesse" wrong...oops.)
posted by inigo2 at 11:07 AM on April 29, 2009


SMURF NAZIS MUST DIE
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:12 AM on April 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


I personally like my friend's similar thought on a re-boot of Terminator, a suspenseful psychological thriller where a woman is pushed to the edge of sanity and beyond by a psychotic killer who thinks he's sent from the future to kill her.

Isn't this missing the boat a bit? Shouldn't it be: a suspenseful psychological thriller where a woman is pushed to the edge of sanity and beyond by a psychotic killer who thinks he's sent from the future to save her?
posted by Bookhouse at 11:34 AM on April 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell: "So, it may or may not be exactly like Fight Club, where Tyler Durden really is a personality manifestation of the Narrator (Ed Norton), who takes over a physical body and actually does things in the real world while the Narrator is asleep or absent or "away" or whatever."

Yeah, that makes the most sense. Ferris's family is in reality Cameron's family. He thinks he's sick and alone, but the Ferris persona convinces him to go out and be Ferris. Everyone knows him as Ferris; he's the only one who thinks of himself as the pitiful Cameron. He does actually sneak out, his sister does hate him for breaking free from the rules, Rooney does want to catch him and punish him. Nobody seems to care or even think about Cameron's absence. Sloan is the only one that sees both of his personalities.
posted by team lowkey at 12:28 PM on April 29, 2009


This could be my favorite thread on mefi, ever, due to the Bueller/Fight Club thing.
posted by everichon at 12:48 PM on April 29, 2009


So I've been watching the movie a bit this morning, and a big problem with the Ferris Bueller Fight Club theory is that both Ferris and Cameron seem to exist in the movie. Ben Stein calls both Bueller and Frye during roll, both interact with Sloane, both interact with people out in the world, etc. Cameron actually interacts less with people than Ferris, which leans more towards team lowkey's version, but Ferris is the only one who can break the fourth wall (he can do it undetected around others, BTW). Requires some more thought, I'm saying.

Underrated moment from the movie: Sloane is subtly flirting with Ferris's Dad in an adjacent cab while Ferris and Cameron cower on the floor. Ferris asks what his Dad is doing now, and Sloane answers, deadpan, "He's licking the glass and making obscene gestures with his hands."
posted by Rock Steady at 1:05 PM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that makes the most sense. Ferris's family is in reality Cameron's family. He thinks he's sick and alone, but the Ferris persona convinces him to go out and be Ferris. Everyone knows him as Ferris; he's the only one who thinks of himself as the pitiful Cameron. He does actually sneak out, his sister does hate him for breaking free from the rules, Rooney does want to catch him and punish him. Nobody seems to care or even think about Cameron's absence. Sloan is the only one that sees both of his personalities.

Alas, Ferris Bueller now sounds more like The Nutty [Student].
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 1:06 PM on April 29, 2009


Ferris pretty much lays out why Cameron takes these Days Off; why he becomes Ferris:

I used to think that my family was the only one with weirdness in it. Then I saw Cameron's family. His home life is really twisted. That's why he's sick all the time. It really bothers him. He feels better when he's sick. If I had to live in that house, I'd pray for a disease, too. The place is like a museum. It's very beautiful and very cold. You're not allowed to touch anything. Can you appreciate what it must have been like to be there as a baby? I'm amazed that I got the car out. I caught Cameron digging the ride. It's good for him. It teaches him to deal with his fear. Plus, I must be honest here. I love driving it. It is so choice.

His parents are usually cold and absent, but when he's sick, they show affection. We see Ferris's parents doting on him when he is sick, but that's not the norm. The rest of his life he feels alone and ignored. When Cameron withdraws and becomes Ferris, he is loved and adored by his parents and everyone else.

The final car scene makes a lot of sense, too:

Cameron: My father will see what I did. I can't hide this. He'll come home and he'll have to deal with me. I don't care I really don't. I'm just tired of being afraid.
Ferris: It's my fault. I'll take the heat for it. When he comes home, we'll tell him that I did it. He hates me anyway.
Cameron: No, I'll take it. I'll take it.
Ferris: No, you don't want this much heat.
Cameron: If I didn't want it, I wouldn't have let you take the car.
Ferris: I made you take that car.
Cameron: I could have stopped you.

posted by team lowkey at 1:21 PM on April 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


Rock Steady: "Ben Stein calls both Bueller and Frye during roll, both interact with Sloane, both interact with people out in the world, etc."

The name Frye being in the roll call doesn't mean that Cameron exists, per se. I'm not remembering anyone besides Sloan speaking directly to or about "Cameron" at all. She might actually know about the dual personality. Or it could be our narrator just reporting to us that she is talking to two people, even if it doesn't seem that way to her.
posted by team lowkey at 1:28 PM on April 29, 2009


So I've been watching the movie a bit this morning, and a big problem with the Ferris Bueller Fight Club theory is that both Ferris and Cameron seem to exist in the movie.

I'm pretty sure we've entered the realm of Lynchian dream logic, and attempts to perfectly explain it are missing the point.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:34 PM on April 29, 2009


Sloan is the only one that sees both of his personalities.

Hah! I'm not sure about that aspect of it. It does require more thought.

I will say this ... your suggestion does speak to the conversation Sloan and Cameron have when Ferris appears on the parade float. They're talking about the differences between the Ferris and Cameron personalities, and we see where Cameron's imagination might take Ferris.

Cameron: As long as I've known him, everything works for him. There's nothing he can't handle. I can't handle anything. School, parents, the future. Ferris can do anything. I don't know what I'm going to do.
Sloane: College.
Cameron: Yeah, but to do what?
Sloane: What are you interested in?
Cameron: Nothing.
Sloane: Me neither.
Cameron (shouting to Ferris): You're crazy!
Sloane: What do you think Ferris is going to do?
Cameron: He's going to be a fry cook on Venus.

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:37 PM on April 29, 2009


What's wrong with HFCS? it's FINE IN MODERATION, you Un-American bastard. Now hush and eat your Karo soup.
posted by potch at 1:38 PM on April 29, 2009


Okay. Awkward.
posted by dersins at 1:41 PM on April 29, 2009


I think we've left Fight Club territory and entered Pale Fire.
posted by equalpants at 1:43 PM on April 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


This exchange, supposedly transcribed from the movie (not the shooting script); the characters are missing, but I have guessed who is who.

Major features: it's Cameron's day off (to be Ferris), he's dying (and becoming Ferris), he's traveling (without going anywhere).

Cameron: Where are you?
Ferris: I'm taking the day off, come on over

Cameron: I can't, stupid, I'm sick.
Ferris: That's all in your head

Ferris: Come on over.
Cameron: I feel like shit I can't go anywhere


Ferris: I'm sorry to hear that
Now come on over and pick me up

Cameron: I'm dying

Ferris: You're not dying. You just
can't think of anything good to do.

[Ferris to camera]: Cameron really needs a day off
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 1:47 PM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure we've entered the realm of Lynchian dream logic, and attempts to perfectly explain it are missing the point.

Now playing: Lost Bueller

Starring:

Ferris Bueller as Fred Madison
Cameron as The Mystery Man
Sloane as Renee Madison
Principal Rooney as Mr. Eddy / Dick Laurant

With a very special cameo by Ben Stein as Marilyn Manson / Porno Star #1.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:26 PM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


*** Theory Refinement ***

Ferris Bueller is a very sick boy. He has a fatal disease, and he is going to die from it very shortly. Everyone at school knows about it, and his struggle to get well has garnered attention from the local paper and even the Chicago Cubs. His room is kept dark and quiet, but is littered with dozens of bottles of medicine, to keep his symptoms at bay.

In his mind, he has divided himself in two. In his mind, Ferris is just pretending to be sick -- he is going to live, to be "saved," but "Cameron" is really sick -- he is going to die, instead of Ferris. Ferris has a cute girlfriend, "Cameron" does not. Ferris has parents who dote on him when he is sick, "Cameron" does not. Ferris knows what "Cameron" is thinking and feeling, and can make "Cameron" do things, but "Cameron" has no control over Ferris. Ferris takes a day off, while "Cameron" is still miserable.

This explains why "Cameron" is largely invisible to everyone but Ferris and Sloane, and why there is such a close mental connection between Ferris and "Cameron."
posted by Rock Steady at 2:27 PM on April 29, 2009 [7 favorites]


Ferris is obviously a replicant.
posted by ODiV at 3:11 PM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ferris was DEAD THE WHOLE TIME, get it?
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:32 PM on April 29, 2009


I've been espousing a variant on the Fight Club theory of FBDO for years, and not one of my friends bought it. Screw them all.

I stumbled on the notion when I realized that Cameron and Sloane seem to inhabit a different universe than Cameron and Ferris, or Ferris and Sloane. It's those two who are shyly and sweetly stumbling into a relationship, and "Ferris" is the thing between them. During the parade scene, for example, Ferris vanishes, leaving the two to have an understated and genuine conversation. Then Ferris erupts from a crowd of girls on a parade float, screaming out what Cameron cannot. He is the sausage king of Chicago, Cameron's frustrated adolescent libido made manifest in the form of a short dude with a vest.

Hold on, I've just been reading the Blade Runner theories. Forget what I said.
posted by palinode at 5:55 PM on April 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


Take almost any story that has a Love Triangle, or (same-sex) Dualistic Relationship, trope and you could pretty much apply the Fight Club Theory to it. It was oddly enough inspired by The Great Gatsby.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:56 PM on April 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


by the way, thanks for spoiling Fight Club for me, assholes.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:02 PM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


by the way, thanks for spoiling Fight Club for me, assholes.

Shit! Sorry! Remember everyone:

The first rule of Ferris is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Ferris is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 7:18 PM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ferris shot first.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:30 PM on April 29, 2009


Ferris is obviously a cylon. There are many copies. And he has a plan.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:33 PM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Fight Club interpretation is really giving me cause to rethink my theory that FBDO is a Buddhist parable.
posted by hattifattener at 1:34 AM on April 30, 2009


by the way, thanks for spoiling Fight Club for me, assholes.

Shit! Sorry! Remember everyone:

The first rule of Ferris is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Ferris is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!


That's funny! I never thought of this, but do you suppose the first and second rules of Fight Club are breaking the fourth wall and asking viewers not to spoil Fight Club?
posted by grobstein at 9:00 AM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


The infection spreads farther. (via Digg)
posted by Joe Beese at 1:26 PM on April 30, 2009


Man, and Cool Papa Bell got credit on Slashfilm even though he admitted to copping it.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:35 PM on April 30, 2009


Here is an idea.... Ferris is a free spirit and Cameron is his ground wire. Ferris fakes being sick, gets his girl and best friend out of school so they can go on a "day off" of hijinx and mischief. His principle knows something is up and spends most of the day trying to proof that the 3 are off doing God knows what in Chicago. Then enter the sister, she is torn between her younger bro being cooler than her and her love for him.. plus she needs to get laid in the worst way.... ENTER Patrick Swayze! No wait wrong movie. Anyways it all ends in a huge who going to get home first chase scene! Ferris running through back yards... everyone else driving home to prove that he really is not there...... Kinda like what they did in that family guy episode. End it all with Ferris telling everyone to go home and that the movie was over.

I seriously fail to see the point of trying to relate Fight Club to Ferris Bueller's day off. Did I miss something?
posted by Mastercheddaar at 1:56 PM on April 30, 2009


coolpapabell : any chance you could actually cite a source. google and the internets at large are giving you all the credit. everywhere. YOU should google it and glance at the first couple of PAGES of results.
posted by radiosilents at 2:17 PM on April 30, 2009


Heh. I love it. Was seeing it on kottke and stuff last night, too. And I fully cop to it not being my own idea; I can't remember where I read it originally, but it seemed like years ago.

From the Slashfilm thread:
CaptSpastic · 50 minutes ago
I think PapaBell has too much X AND time on his hands.


If anyone has any extra X, you know how to use the MeFi Mail thingy, 'kay?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:20 PM on April 30, 2009


What's even funnier is people saying, "Has he even SEEN the movie?"

To which I answer ... DUDE.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:24 PM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Man, and Cool Papa Bell got credit on Slashfilm even though he admitted to copping it.

Eh. Even if he didn't invent it, he popularized it. He's like the Johnny Appleseed of Ferris Bueller/Fight Club Theory.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:54 PM on April 30, 2009


He's like the Johnny Appleseed of Ferris Bueller/Fight Club Theory.

Who's gonna be the John Clute of Cool Papa Bell? (What, I liked that book.)
posted by grobstein at 3:19 PM on April 30, 2009


If anyone has any extra X,

*snowboards just ahead of an avalanche, reaches cliff, opens parachute and base jumps to halfway point, mountain bikes rest of way down to bottom and then white-water rafts back into town*

Dude, I've got so much X in my X-treme X-Games X-itude that I've got it coming out of my pores. I'm X-treme to the fucking Max.

XTREME!

*falls over dead from caffeine overdose*
posted by quin at 3:26 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I seriously fail to see the point of trying to relate Fight Club to Ferris Bueller's day off.

When has having a point has ever mattered on Mefi?
posted by deborah at 7:35 PM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I seriously fail to see the point of trying to relate Fight Club to Ferris Bueller's day off.

A person like me, a grad student in media studies, could get published for doing a good, original "resistant reading." That is something you can do in my field. It would be a good move toward a healthy career. It's awfully goofy.

I happen to have a Homosociality-oriented, Futurist reading of Fight Club which is somewhat unintuitive, so I don't like other people getting their grubby fingerprints on my Fight Club object, so this Ferris Bueller/Tyler Durden thing makes me edgy. But it's a valid thing. A way of contrasting potential modes of fractured identity representation in film. There exist concrete as well as intellectually enriching incentives to do it.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:48 PM on April 30, 2009


This is a lot more fun than pig flu.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:05 PM on May 1, 2009


This website has picked up the story, and links to Iheartchaos.com:

"Sometimes, truly great things are borne of tiny seeds. Take for example a more or less run of the mill post in a discussion of Feris Bueller's Day Off on MetaFilter. There they are, talking about Ferris Bueller, people are posting as they do and then one brilliant mind that goes by the name of Cool Papa Bull throws out an idea: that Ferris Bueller is just like Fight Club."
posted by iviken at 7:23 AM on May 2, 2009


Well, thanks for ruining Fight Club. I was finally going to see that tomorrow night.
posted by cellphone at 8:57 PM on May 3, 2009


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