I watched Pump Up the Volume (1990) last night.
This film was ever so slightly ahead of my time, (I would have been 10 when it came out), which I think is really a shame, because I would have gotten so much more out of it, had I seen it in high school, especially as an aspiring writer.
That being said, even seeing this as an overeducated, underemployed, and somewhat jaded 28-year old, I found it very moving, it contains one of my favorite film monologues. It’s everything – it’s creative, sexy, inspiring. I just thought I’d share it with all of you.
And now, all my horny listeners, get one hand free because... yes, the “Eat Me, Beat Me” lady is back.
“Come in. Every night you enter me like a criminal. You break into my brain, but you're no ordinary criminal. You put your feet up and you pop a Pepsi. You start to party. You turn up my stereo, songs I've never heard, but I move anyway. You get me crazy. I say do it. I don't care what, just do it. Jam me, jack me, push me, pull me. Talk hard.”
Oh... I like that. “Talk hard.” I like the idea that a voice can just go somewhere, uninvited, just kind of hang out. Like a dirty thought in a nice clean mind. Maybe a thought is like a virus, you know, it can kill all the healthy thoughts and just take over. That would be serious. Yeah.
If you haven’t seen it, I strongly recommend it. The music may be dated, but the premise of the film isn’t. Frankly, if anything schools are getting worse. My sister, who is ten years my junior, had panic attacks throughout high school about every test. With the advent of the public school system it seem kids have less and less time to just be kids, and spend more time, basically studying to be drones. It’s all about fitting in, and getting that good job and that wife (or hubby) and eventually the kids. And sorry teens, but if you don’t get on that right away, ten years from now your mom and/or dad will still be bugging you about it. And you can’t change that, but what I’m hoping is that if and when I finally do pull myself together and grow up, become respectable – however you want to look at it, and I have children of my own, that I have the sense and decency to let them just relax.
Hey, parents, whether or not you let them, your kids are going to have sex. When I was sixteen, my parents caught me, and tried to take my key away so that I couldn’t be at home alone anymore. I had to sneak around with her like I was a criminal. We’re not stupid. We were practicing safe sex. And they’d counter that it didn’t matter. Condoms break. Guess what? So do seatbelts. So do nerves inside your body. For no reason at all, and without warning, just about anything can break, and statistically speaking, you’re far likelier to die in a traffic accident than during, or even after protected sex.
And what’s with sex ed? My God! When I was in grade seven, my big burly gym teacher explained to all us boys that you always had to have express consent before even touching a girl. Hinting wasn’t enough. Fluttering her eyelashes wasn’t enough. Her doffing her top and throwing her bra on your face wasn’t enough. You still had to ask, calmly and in plain English. You had to expressly ask “can I touch you sexually,” or it was sexual assault, and you got thrown in the slammer in a nine-by-nine cell, with a very charming, but hygienically challenged ass-rapist. Now, fine, I’m totally down with discouraging sexual assault. I think women, nay, all people should live without fear, and be granted the dignity of choice. But they take it too far. I was so wound up I didn’t know what to do with my first girlfriend. I didn’t even kiss her for the first month, until she was in tears because she thought I didn’t like her. Even once we started having sex, I still asked her every single time. She told me it was a turn-off. That she didn’t like it. “Just do it.” But that big, burly bushy-moustached gym teacher would reappear in my mind, shaking his finger at me, and then making Bubba's frightening pumping gestures. Thanks, Mr. Gym Teacher. Thanks so much.
You know, originally my intention was to write a film review, but I think I’ve still made my point. Pump Up the Volume is a well-written, well-executed film that is inspiring to young people and middle-aged people, or at least, younger middle-aged people. Frankly it inspires me to want to host a pirate radio station, but for now, my blog will do. Five stars.