02/27/2014 11:01 am ET Updated Feb 27, 2014

Harold Ramis And The Death Of The Baby Boomers' Dreams

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For teenagers — boys, mostly — of a certain age who are now Baby Boomers of a certain age, writer-actor-director Harold Ramis, who died Monday at age 69 from an autoimmune disease, wasn’t just centrally involved with comic masterworks ranging from Animal House (1978) to Stripes (1981) to Ghostbusters (1984) to the chronically under-appreciated series SCTV.

Ramis was nothing less than one of the subversive auteurs behind a whole new way of laughing at the world that mixed brains (he was a National Merit Scholar after all), cheap gross-out gags (see Caddyshack’s scene in which a Baby Ruth candy bar is mistaken for a turd in a swimming pool), and unapologetically anti-authoritarian antics (Ghostbusters enjoys a strong reputation as the most libertarian movie ever due to its hostile depictions of regulators as figuratively “dickless”).

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