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John Hughes’ iconic shout-out to 1980’s Chicago teen angst, “The Breakfast Club”, would be a very different movie if it was set in 2013; especially 2013 in White Plains, New York.

That’s because Archbishop Stepinac High School just went paperless. The school is one of the first in the country to dump all the textbooks in favor of digital works.

Call me old-fashioned, as evidenced by the trail of crumpled up paper scraps where I keep my notes – then pile them on top of the computer and iPad, but I’m not sure I like this development.

If you take the paper out of schools, so much of the school experience will be lost. And I don’t just mean paper cuts, though those are nice.

No more spitballs hurled at the substitute teacher.

No paper airplane contests in study hall.

Whole segments of teen culture just wadded up and tossed in the recycling bin. Well, near the recycling bin….okay, not anywhere the thing. My aim sucks.

Then there’s “The Breakfast Club”. How much would be lost if Shermer High School had gone paperless? Unlikely, sure, as computers back then, in 1984 were pretty much good for playing “Oregon Trail” and allowing Matthew Broderick to hack into national defense systems, but not much else.

But if Shermer was paperless, it would be a very different movie. No Mr. Vernon with a toilet seat cover hanging out of his pants.

How would Bender smoke his doobies without paper for rolling? (Sorry if my hip street lingo is stunning you with my awesomeness)

On the upside, Allison’s lovely “winter scene” on the table top will still be in the movie. You film buffs who remember what this was are, um, head & shoulders above the average film fan.

And, of course, the final scene with Vernon reading the letter Brian writes defying him to pin labels on the kids – the brain, the criminal, the athlete, the basket case and the princess – would play totally different if, instead of standing alone in the library with the handwritten letter on college-ruled, white notepaper, Vernon had to read the letter by calling it up on an old Apple IIe computer. He’d just get past the part about not having right to drag them all in on a Saturday, would be just about to “You see us as you want to -” SONOFABITCH! Computer crash.

Roll credits.

Save our cinema. Save paper.

Do it for the kids.


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