Everybody wants to be John Bender, the character from The Breakfast Club. At least among the generation for whom the story was created and when caught in the moment’s indulgence of identifying with a fictional character. That is, until we figure out that Bender is a loser and a fuck-up. And a rather toxic one, like in the scene that lends itself to being a parable of the Alpha and the Interloper.
Yet that character is more than a mere loser and fuck-up. He’s a villain when you project Interloper qualities onto him in his conflict with the King-Alpha represented by Andrew Clark. Alternately, he’s a hero when you see his role as that of a Rebel — like in the scene where principal Vernon piles on the Saturday detentions. Two different kinds of conflict. The interloper is a parasite. The rebel is a Romantic personification of one-half of our identity, a vital part of a complete soul that must find equilibrium with its king-counterpart for the two to make a whole.
The rebel is an avatar of rejecting the compromises that would grind you down, later into adulthood, into the miserable Vernon. When people say “a breath of fresh air” in a particular context, they allude to an energy that liberates you to kick open the doors behind which stretches a vista of freedom.
There are parallels to Bender in literature, in how readers relate to anti-heroes. For example, I did a high school research project on The Catcher in the Rye, for which I went to a library to read old reviews of the novel. One memorable passage was from a critic who wrote that young readers admire the character of Holden Caulfield for his honesty while adult readers see him as misguided, bordering on mentally ill. A similar example in the disparity of reception by readers’ age comes up with Polonius’ advice to his son Laertes in Act 1, Scene 3 of Hamlet: the young reader is slow to appreciate the counsel of temperance, the experienced reader can relate to what he’s saying.
As a rebel figure, The Breakfast Club’s Bender is the personification of Will, Spirit and Youth. His opponent Clark, as the alpha-king figure, represents Responsibility, Strength and Adulthood. The story reconciles the two antagonists, the king and the rebel. In the sense of being of one nation, they are brothers. In Biblical terms they are each other’s neighbor.
Enter the interloper — in this case, Bender when he personifies the treacherous outsider, not the brother-rebel. That’s the take in the analysis linked at the top. The interloper has studied our civilization for at least the past two hundred years to find the weak points in its structure. His antagonism toward the Alpha is not the starting point in the arc of conflict at the end of which there is the catharsis of reconciliation. His rebel-posture is the mask that hides his appetite for our flesh, and the Alpha merely happens to stand in the way of the interloper’s appetite. And in that light this Bender persona is not the Sigma rebel. He is the cocksure Gamma like the misfit crew in Animal House and finally Jon “Stewart” at the terminus of that evolution of character.
There is celebration when once-alienated brothers shake hands. There is no such satisfaction in reconciling with the parasite. That would make as much sense as rapprochement with cancer.
There were voters in 2016 who sincerely wanted Hillary to win the Presidential election. Some of them were misguided Americans of European, Christian roots. We laughed at them, the iconic image of the election night is goofy looking girls and soyboys crying when it became clear that Trump has enough electoral votes to win. In the coming election, when Trump wins, the liberals will not be crying. They will have been coordinated to begin making armed attacks on Trump voters and they are prepared to murder innocents.
Many among the Democratic Party voters are scorpions to our frog, aliens with whom we stand nothing to gain by extending an offer of reconciliation. They have always hated us and that hate is on the brink of consummation. They gloat: “we will replace you,” “your grandchildren will be brown,” “rural america will pay for its support of trump.” Among them will be Whites, like a subset of those who are rioting in Portland. Many of them haven’t yet committed some fait accompli surrender to evil, if in fact there is such a thing as an irreversible fall from grace.
It’s the will of a higher consciousness that you reconcile with your rebellious brother, in due time and always from a position of strength, before any point-of-no-return is crossed (you might even learn a thing or two from each other as Clark and Bender did). Peace between two halves of a whole is always good, even when past sins have to be paid for. As to the interloper, just hang the thief.