If, like me, you’re over 30 you’d remember the 1986 movie Stand By Me, starring brat-packers River Phoenix and Corey Feldman. If you’re under 30, I advise you get it out on DVD (oops, download it). A coming-of-age film, it captures the Gen Xers and Boomers’ search for A Big Defining Moment, a search that’s seen us seek sea changes and stage Band Aid mega-concerts. Honestly, it’ll help you understand us better.
In the movie, Gordie, the story’s 12-year-old protagonist, awakes in a forest to a deer staring at him just inches from his face in the dawn light. The magic of the moment is palpable. As Gordie narrates (as an adult looking back), all he wanted to do was wake his mates and tell them about it, to stamp the incident and own it loudly. But he doesn’t; he keeps the quietness