4 Movies That Reveal The Zen Wisdom Of Slackerdom
August 31, 2017|María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards
What’s the big deal about being a slacker? During my last year of high school, our teachers were always bugging us about what we wanted to do after graduation and which academic path we wanted to take. We had that orientation they always do for students to discover what career they're most suited for, and they pushed us to submit applications to different universities. I already knew what I wanted to study, but I was also certain I didn’t want to do it right away. What I really wanted was to take some time off from studying and literally do nothing. Naturally, my parents weren’t just going to accept that, so I had to be creative. I didn’t study for my admission tests, and I embraced the YOLO way of life for a while. That year I took off was actually quite cool, not only because I was able to sleep all I wanted and literally do whatever I felt like doing all day. My best friend was in the same situation. She actually used to live right across the street, so you can imagine what those days were like.
In general, the term 'slacker' refers to apathetic and lazy young people who don’t seem very interested in working or studying. But actually, I think it should refer to those who don’t engage in the activities people expect them to. My year as a slacker wasn’t just about sleeping, watching TV, and hanging out with my BFF. I mean, we did all those things, but I also discovered hobbies and activities that actually took a lot of my time. Still, people didn’t really agree with the decision I’d made and were often encouraging me to find a job while I decided to go back to school. If you want to know more about the benefits and wisdom slackerdom has to offer, take a look at these films:
Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (2004) Dir. Danny Leiner
Harold, an investment banker, and his friend Kumar are two slackers whose only interests are staying home, smoking pot, and watching television all day. One day, while they’re doing what they’re best at, they spot an ad for the famous fast-food burger restaurant and are determined to get some snacks from the place. However, in their quest to find one of these restaurants, they get involved in a series of crazy events that will put their determination to the test. After a long, bizarre night, Kumar discovers he actually does want to become a doctor, he just doesn’t want to be another "Indian doctor" stereotype like his father and brother. As for Harold, he finally decides to make a move on the woman he’s had a crush on since forever.
The School of Rock (2003) - Dir. Richard Linklater
Dewey Finn is a rock musician who got stuck in his teenage dream of becoming a star. Unemployed, he’s a freeloader who stays at his best friend’s apartment. After a gig at a random bar, he gets kicked out of his own band, and his friend’s fiancée, who doesn’t really like him that much, urges him to get a job or to sell his guitars. Instead, he just ignores them and stays home sleeping all day. One day, he answers a phone call from a school who’s asking for the services of his friend, who is a substitute teacher. He seizes the opportunity to get some money and decides to take his place. Since he doesn't really care about the kids, he just lets them play all day while he sleeps at his desk until he discovers that the kids are really great musicians and starts a scheme to make them compete in a battle of the bands. He might not have gone to college or have a job, but Dewey is definitely a sage when it comes to rock, and his passion for music is so great that makes him abandon the slacker life.
Pineapple Express (2008) Dir. David Gordon Green
Saul Silver is a slacker who smokes weed and watches videos on the internet all day. Oh, but he’s also a pot dealer, so he does work a little. One day, his friend Dale Denton, who is also a customer, shows up at his place to buy some weed and hang out for a while. He tells Saul he’s a process server looking for a guy that Saul thinks he knows. While Dale’s spying at this guy’s house (while smoking a very rare kind of strain called Pineapple Express), he witnesses a murder and tries to run from the scene, leaving his roach behind. Saul might be lazy and a pothead, but he decides to sacrifice all he has to help his friend escape from this mobster.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Dir. Amy Heckerling
Picture the typical eighties high school with all the classic characters. Throughout the movie, we see the lives of these characters as they rebel against the rules and what society expects from them. One of these characters is Jeff Spicoli, a stoned surfer dude who basically does whatever he feels like doing whenever he feels like it, even ordering pizza in the middle of history class. Spicoli shows that he’s a free spirit and that he’ll never care about what other people say. At the end of the movie, we learn that he’s received an important sum of money that he spends on getting Van Halen to perform at his party. So, basically, he's proof that being free makes you way happier than following the rules.
You probably don't aspire to be a slacker all your life, but you have to admit that engaging in that lifestyle can be quite alluring. I mean, relaxing for a while and not stressing out all the time about what people want us to do is something we should all experience at least once in our lives. At the end of the day, life’s short and we should focus on what we really want.
If you want to see more movies, take a look at these: