Philosophize with Bill and Ted

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991) got me when I was about 12 and 14 years old respectively.  I often wonder about how the movies and books I’ve read have shaped my thinking.  Sometimes, I don’t even realize it, but in this case I do.

1. Socrates

“The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing.” As seen in part one when the guys go to Ancient Rome.  I credit this to my agnostic views on everything. The way I see it, science keeps proving and disproving the world around us, so I take everything at face value without investing too much faith in anything.  I think it makes my life less frustrating. I can’t know everything, I don’t need to know everything.

2. Be Excellent to Each Other / Party on Dudes!

As seen in part 1 during Lincoln’s speech.  The idea of being kind to your fellow human being wasn’t invented in this movie. I think it just reworded the idea into a more modern setting.  The second part of Bill & Ted’s teachings is about enjoying life and fits well with my idea (from Grumpy Old Men) that having experiences is the best way to know you have lived.

3. Song lyrics as Philosophy

“all we are is dust in the wind”  as seen in part 1 (Ancient Rome scene, lyrics by Kansas) and “every Rose has its Thorn” in part 2 (Heaven scene, lyrics by Poison).  We all live by words we’ve heard in songs.  This small selection in Bill and Ted are about the fleetingness of life and about taking the good with the bad.

4. Ego – Center of the Universe

“Did you assume that the most brilliant scientist in the entire universe would be from Earth?”  (as said by Death in part 2) I did, while watching the movie, didn’t I? In my defense I didn’t know we were going to hit aliens in the Bill & Ted universe, but they did.  Basically, I learned to think outside the box and remember that we’re not the center of the universe.

5.  Carpe Diem

“the best place to be is here. the best time to be is now.” (as said by Bill & Ted at the end of part 2).  Carpe Diem.

When I was 14 years old my friend told me “If I die, you can have my Megadeth collection” (as seen in part 2).  A few months later she gave it to me after she had an overdose and landed in the hospital.

I learned more from these movies about history, discovered new bands from the soundtracks, and I say “dude” a lot more than any 34 yr old should.  To all those who made the movies, thank you.


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