Thursday, October 21, 2010
I have been covering the financial sector for quite some time now, as the sole correspondent for Tell It Like It Is News, so the facts, figures, and villains on display in Charles Ferguson's Inside Job were hardly new to me. I know what happened, I know who did it, and I know exactly why--greed.
With that in mind, there were a few moments I felt the movie dragged (1h45m felt like 2h30m), but overall it was a surprisingly slick production chock-full of beautiful visuals and some highly-entertaining gotcha moments that make it well-worth watching.
And, as an added bonus for the ladies out there, Matt Damon's voice is also on display for at least twenty minutes in total. Although I am so manly I shave the bottoms of my feet, I got chills everywhere whenever he spoke. Money well-spent, Sony Pictures Ltd Intl Inc Megacorporation Nation-State.
Much like the villains in this tragedy have always claimed, there will be plenty of people out there who will hem and haw and tell you everything isn't black and white and it's really complicated but actually rich people getting richer helps poor people somehow.
If you believe these people you are dumb and you know it, which strikes at an important point of similarity that people in the media never seem to point out:
Just as the financial market demolition expert (aka 'Investment Banker') gets his conscience to swallow enormous lies in a series of more easily digestible incremental white lies, truth-bending, and questionable justifications, the Average American engages in a similar series of incremental lies regarding their limited exposure to ruin, the volatile nature of the "free-market" economy, the trustworthiness of those in power, the priorities of the rich, and the extent to which pure evil has permeated our society.
In other words, just as the banker knowingly swallows the lie that he is not evil, his victim also swallows the lie that the banker is not evil.
And so, whether he realizes it or not, the victim is kicked down another rung on that great big ladder from serfdom to Lord, forced to scramble to make ends meet, cut back on spending, get another job, get deeper in debt, etc, until the house of cards ultimately crumbles--at which point he is hopefully old enough to die.
I am a firm believer that the root of most of the problems facing America today is the fact that people don't want to know what is happening in the annals of power. They intentionally ignore the news, ignore the altruistic activists, ignore the canaries in the coal mines, because deep down they know the Warshington/Wall Street elite is so evil they would rather not know the details. Ignorance is bliss, none of my business, everything seems fine, that's just the way things go, the market is cyclical, the Matrix is actually pretty cool, yadda yadda yadda.
Well, to all of you out there who think ignoring a problem of this magnitude is okay because you have yet to be turned out on the street yourself, remember this:
The ostrich with his head in the sand eventually gets bitten in the ass.