This blog is about living the American Dream at the dawn of the new millennium! I am a nameless, mid-20s, bottom 150 Law School Graduate who finds himself marginally attached and awash in a sea of overeducated but underpaid, indentured peers who feel, and were, duped by the promise of a better life through debt and modern chemistry. Let's get to the point. The Law School Industrial Complex is a scam that has destroyed a generation out of greed. Vendettas were once legal and the pursuit of one was seen not only as moral, but necessary. This newly minted lawyer is going to continue the practice. DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL YOU MORONS! Ce qui suit est ce qui reste!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Recession Done Gone Mainstream

"Wealth is the ability to fully experience life." ~ Henry David Thoreau, yeah that's right the jackass who lived in the cabin...

Go check out our new combined site Down by Law!!!

What can I say my darling readers, when you're working as many hours as I do just to scrape by the last thing I often have the energy for is to blog about exactly how shitty everything is right now, how it was preventable & thus hastening the ever darkening spiral into eventual suicide depression.  Don't worry recent law grads, you'll soon find out what I mean.  In the meantime...

The post I have about the arguments made by the book Life Without Lawyers is coming, 4 reelz, along with many others but if you really can't wait and don't have the money for the book by Mr. Howard check this shit out:

In other awesome news, the Great Recession is getting its first major Hollywood treatment.  In a society and a media culture where literally nothing is sacred or above being distilled down into consumable, money making entertainment, the Great Recession done be getting it's own movie!  In a world where the entertainment industry makes a movie about facebook, several about 9/11 & at least a dozen about the Iraq War even though soldiers and civilians are still dying in it--btw every single one of those Iraq movies even the award winning Hurt Locker is basically a recycled Vietnam movie...only with sand.  The fact that they're making this gem makes my genitals tingle with glee.

This is great for so many reasons, the following come in terms of immediacy rather than importance:

1)  It's definately about the Great Recession because well just fucking watch it, and read the description:
"Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is living the American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and co-workers Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) and Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones) jobless, the three men are forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands, and fathers.

Bobby soon finds himself enduring enthusiastic life coaching, a job building houses for his brother-in-law (Kevin Costner) which does not play to his executive skill set, and perhaps the realization that there is more to life than chasing the bigger, better deal. With humor, pathos, and keen observation, writer-director John Wells (the creator of "ER") introduces us to the new realities of American life."

2)  Quote of the clip "I'm a 37 year old unemployed loser!"  Bee-tee-dubs, anyone notice that all the Company Men be white...all white guys with the whitest names possible besides John Smith...maybe that's why this Recession is so hard.  Even though the numbers still reveal which segments of our society benefit from structural privilege, for the first time this portion of society is discovering what so many women, "minorities," and blue collar people already's hard son...we are so so sorry you can't golf no more.

3)  Chris Cooper threatening to shoot up everybody at his job, because that's the new norm!!!  

4)  The little girl equating unemployment = unhappiness...on many levels this is true, especially for Americans.  But I was recently talking to a friend, who was raised in Thailand, about this and she pointed out that Buddhist monks may be amongt the poorest in the world...yet they're surprisingly happy.  I asked, "Don't they know better?"

5)  Kevin Costner is playing what appears to be a blue collar, working with your hands type carpenter/construction worker--rather than some corporate pansy.  I'm going to take a wild guess that his depiction will be "unsophisticated" and yet somehow self-reliant (for my take on the white collar v blue collar debate go check out my post on the epic book Shop Class as Soul Craft).  Also Kevin Costner has a beer in his hand for most of the trailer, that's so blue collar!!  Hollywood knows where it's bread is buttered, the vast majority of moviegoers are the "everyman" not corporate executives who spend their days detailing a $100K sportscar and golfing.  The trend of the movies where the "everyman" was the hero began in the 1970s, partially as a reaction to the counterculture of the 60s (and has picked up steam ever since).  One thing I noticed is that Kevin Costner has an expression in all his trailer scenes which suggest an "above it all-ness" when talking with Benjamin Affleck much like a parent watching a pouting child.

6)  Uh there's one black guy in the whole thing.  Shocker--it appears he's under/unemployed as well like Ben Affleck.  However, if the movie industry rarely makes a movie like this with a black male lead (or any movies with a black male lead, can't wait to see if NBC's new series Undercovers tanks because of pigment).  When Hollywood does do a movie with a black male lead who is intelligent and well spoken it's pretty much always the story about the black guy rising above the fact that he's black (*See Grand Canyon, Pursuit of Happyness, etc. ad infinitum, also see Denzel Washington's acceptance speech for Training Day where he did a WTF? After all my movies you give it to me for playing the most stereotypical black character possible?).  

No really, there are a couple of minorities in the background in some street shots but that's it.  This is a white person's movie, like so many rom-coms and baby boomer featurettes.  Don't believe me? Try to stop it at the scene towards the end of the trailer where Chris Cooper is sitting in some kind of dining room...all whites, smiling, happy, wealthy white people...oh you do love to stereotype and/or reinforce them.

7)  Let's face it, we all know life coaching, trainings and all that other feel good self-help stuff is bullshit...and it's been getting jammed down our throats in the mainstream press more and more as the Recession doesn't let up.  We don't even have to comment on it we can just tell by Ben Affleck's face (btw that's who the audience is supposed to connect with which is also why he's the archetypal white American male).  Dave Chappelle sums it up well below...

8)  Chris Cooper's gonna shoot some bitches with an AK47!!!!  I know I mentioned it...but does anyone else find it weird that in the USA he could probably get an automatic rifle easier than another job?

9)  The tag line "In America, we give our lives to our jobs...This Fall...It's time to take them back."  Chris Cooper get your AK!!!!

Well since they're making a movie, that must make it real.  As Stephen Colbert says, the market has spoken about Global Warming.  The Great Recession has been going on long enough that they had time to make a movie of it.  Oh America...when will you grow up?



  1. This country is fracked ... best bet, make sure you have a plan to bail to another place.

  2. I would have thought that "Up in the Air" was the first recession movie. I didn't see that, and doubt I will see this. And more of the patronizing romanticization of the white working class, ala "Joe," is something I can do without.

  3. Ben Affleck is a terrible actor. My housecat can give a better performance. Honestly.