The Gen-Xers have the Breakfast Club and the rest of that repugnant John Hughes shit.
Think I'm kidding?
Easy Rider and Breakfast Club tap into the Great Important Issues of their respective birth eras. For the Boomers, it's freedom. For the X-ers, it's making their parents wrong. What is our issue, our fantasy?
Well, what is Ghostbusters about?
Four entrepreneurs who have important jobs and do them well.
That's our fantasy. In a country with no jobs, where risk is frowned upon and hierarchy rigidly enforced, our fantasy is about economic freedom and earned celebrity.
Many if not most people our age still live with an incredible amount of parental support. This is not by choice, as with the Slackers: it's because the jobs aren't there and, to be fair, the standard of living we aspire to is very high. We all want that middle-class bohemian lifestyle; none of us can afford it. This will be the first generation since the Dust Bowl era to perform worse economically than their parents.
Ghostbusters is about people who invent a new job sector and conquer it. It's about people who do their jobs better than anyone else and get to set the rules. Who's the bad guy? Walter Peck, the government agent, who wants to regulate the fun out of this newly-created vocation. He's Standards and Practices, Clear Channel and the IRS rolled into one. Gozer is a pest compared to him.
The film is about a return to the idea of Meaningful Work, that fantasy we Millenials indulge in which says, 'Back in the day, our grandparents made things of great importance. Their jobs mattered. We are robbed of that, and are hence a lost generation.'
The truth, of course, is that none of us want to work in a steel foundry or a lumber mill. We just want jobs with the salary and security those post-War occupations had. Every generation looks wistfully back, usually for the wrong reasons.
Un petite digression.
Our world is one of regulation, safety standards, political correctness, corporate abrogation of responsibility, lowest-common-denominator programming, and credentialism. And the solutions we are offered lead to an increase in the same. As if the government will work to regulate itself. As if an extra seven years of school will make you more valuable. Like putting fire out with kerosene.
We don't go to school to learn a trade, we go to school to get accredited and to learn how to pander. You need a PhD to teach at the college level now. Ten years ago that was not the case. Have things gotten so complicated in the last decade that a teacher needs an extra seven years of school to teach Fitzgerald and Mary Shelley? Fuck no. School has become self-perpetuating, now that there's a buck to be made. We call sleazy schools degree mills, but really, are UBC and SFU any different?
The Ghostbusters embody the DIY spirit, without the shitty music and social justice. They come up with the technology, they exploit it without exploiting a work force, and they take no shit from their clients, who need them far more than the Ghostbusters need them.
Spurned by academia and fucked over by the government, the Ghostbusters have their revenge. Laissez-faire, baby.