Two older films

I recently watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Godfather, which both provide something of an anthological sketch of audience expectations at the time they were released.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off shows that in the 80s, and really up until 2020, people took a fake sick day from time to time. It was just a part of life that we all did but also knew not to abuse. The key difference is that when you took a fake sick day, you went and had fun.

You could have fun because you didn’t have a phone that allowed you to be tracked and reached 24/7. You didn’t feel the need to take pictures and post them. You lived, you had fun, and then you moved on.

I compare this to what I see in the workforce among the under 30 crowd today, which is in a constant state of moaning, needing a sick day, a 🪫 status in Slack, mental health problems, constant illnesses. A friend was telling me about someone in her young 20s going into a righteous rage about the audacity of being expected in the office on a Monday. How would she rest from the weekend?

If all this slacking off meant that people were outside and having a great time, I’d be all for it. Instead, I suspect most aren’t even getting out of bed and staring at either Netflix or TikTok.

They sure aren’t doing this!

The pacing of The Godfather is slow and deliberate. There isn’t constant dramatic music. Many important things happen off screen and are only implied. The plot is incredibly complex with lots of minor characters coming and going.

In short, you can’t watch this while you’re staring at your phone. Emily in Paris this is not.

Dune is the closest modern equivalent, but it’s based off a novel from the same era as The Godfather and the films are a stark departure from the methodical, deliberate pacing of the book. The movies are a sort of sensory overload that the book is very much not.

But that’s also not the full story. It’s wild just how popular Brandon Sanderson and other epic fantasy / sci-fi writers have become. People happily listen to Joe Rogan ramble on for hours. Yet it’s odd that these aren’t really things you can mention at work without raising eyebrows. But it’s fine to talk about watching Emily in Paris all day because you couldn’t get out of bed because it’s a Monday and cloudy so mental health.