dazed and confused, revisited

In this post, I talked about the movie, Dazed and Confused, and lately, I’ve been thinking about it again and so felt compelled to revisit it.

The movie doesn’t really deal in moral sense, except maybe indirectly. The seniors who abusively target the younger boys are certainly portrayed negatively, for example, but the point of the movie I think is more to catalog and record.

However, the one moral plot of the movie involves Randy, a star football player, and his refusal to sign a pledge committing him to remain drug free and healthy in anticipation of a championship season. In the end, he refuses to sign it and instead goes to an Aerosmith concert with his friends. However, it’s not really clear what moral this is supposed to drive home. At some points, his teammates ask him to sign the pledge by pointing out his importance to the team. It’s also not really like Randy is being that rebellious — this the 70s and disobeying authority is kind of the norm.

Maybe it’s my personal conservatism (not political conservatism, please note), but when the coach tries to make the case for signing the pledge, the case sounds pretty good: Randy needs to commit to his team and the utilization of his own talents. I mean, the idea of signing a pledge is kind of patronizing and infantilizing, but I was sympathetic to the coach and the other players. I guess the point was that Randy wasn’t playing football because he liked it, and so he should just follow his heart, or some other suitably superficial romantic cliche. Still though, it sure seems like the lesson is: ditch your responsibilities and see the Aerosmith concert.


1 Response to “dazed and confused, revisited”

  1. January 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Dude, Chill. I was there. I thought this movie was a documentary filmed in my neighborhood. While I didn’t commit the cardinal Texas sin of giving up football I did ditch the band in 1978 because I was tired of the lame group vibe. Maybe the movie is about him exploring what he thinks is individualism when in fact it is just following another group. I did abandon and pick up various friends and move through different groups in high school so I can relate to a degree.

    Also – I don’t think I have EVER heard this character referred to as “Randy”. Maybe I am wrong, It is off HBO on Demand so I may have to put it in my Netflix queue. He was Randall “Pink” Floyd.

    I don’t know every line of dialogue but I do dabble in this movie at my blog http://www.iamdazedandconfused.com

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