“Bueller… Bueller… Bueller… Bueller…”
Who hasn’t laughed with Ben Stein’s monotone delivery while he’s calling role at the beginning of his absolutely boring Economics 101 class?
Well, mostly Venezuelans, that’s it.
I recall the night I went to see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off distinctly. I went to see that movie, particularly in solidarity with Matthew Broderick and John Hughes (I was a great fan of both when I was a teenager). I also knew that, due to the nature of the humor in the film, my countryfellows wouldn’t even get the drift of the whole thing and my chances to see it wouldn’t last long, so I dropped everything I had in my hands and hurried to see it. I was right: the movie only played for two weeks before being relegated to the backwater movie theaters circuit.
What I remember most vividly was that no one in the theater was laughing (not even a snicker and couples had started to neck and make out through the first reel); as I suspected it, the audience wasn’t getting it. They were even bored. I blame that mainly to the differing concepts of humor that separate different cultures. What a culture finds amusing isn’t necessarily so for another one.However, in spite of sharing the American viewpoint that would enable to enjoy the movie, I wasn’t taking any pleasure out of it either. A slow (and horrible) realization was dawning on me as I was watching Broderick’s antics on the silver screen. I began to find a terrible resemblance between the character he played in that film and my very-close countryfellows.
He was an irresponsible, conniving and manipulative kid who’s predisposed to a jackass, happy-go-lucky, damn-the-torpedoes attitude that was grating my nerves as the movie unfolded in front of my very eyes, mainly because i was having an extreme case of dejá vú…
Ferris Bueller must be a Venezuelan at heart.
And I’m about to reach the main idea behind this post. It’s very amusing to see one kid cajoling, cheating and being deceitful to get his way through life: it’s another quite different to realize that an entire country, my home country, is acting like that scheming teenager from day one and until forever.
Every single individual in Venezuelan, every person, every single day and every single second… be it the butcher, the mailman or the clerk in the shoe store… is trying to pry into you and find a way to take advantage of your needs to his or her benefit. They’re basically preying on each other like hyenas, waiting to see if one among their numbers is weak enough to start pouncing in.
You know, it’s pretty hard to live in a country where everyone thinks they’re the non-plus-ultra amongst con men…
That night, I came out of the movie theater rather pensive. Now, years later, I’m wondering if Venezuelans didn’t really enjoy the show because they unconsciously realized it was a portrait of their selves as a society as a whole….Mirror’s are never pretty, I’m told…