There are a bunch of spoilers in here so if you’re looking to burn a few hours for entertainment purposes later this week, do not read. Unsurprisingly, we don’t see a lot of movies for a reason… movies attempt to mimic the excitement of real life (which is always better). That said, a few movies here and there are not going to impact the future particularly after you’re already set, so here we go…
Remain Neutral in Public: While we’ve talked talked about the “smile, nod and agree” strategy in public settings, there is also a time to be completely neutral. The general theme of the movie was that you never really know how bad a person’s life is so there is no reason to go out looking for fights (potentially get yourself killed). Typically, when you’re meeting someone brand new (friend of a friend, business colleague etc.) smiling and nodding is the best strategy for avoiding conflict. But. This doesn’t really apply to neutral settings as much. In neutral settings like a public area where no one knows who you are, the best strategy is to blend into the general crowd. Why? Well if you’re nice to a person who is simply strange, you could inherit a stalker. Similarly, if you’re mean, you could be insulting someone willing to die.
Needless to say, neither of those two are positive outcomes. Also. As a reminder this only applies to 1/10,000,000 people you’ll run into. No matter how you slice it though, the first theme was a good reminder to always be neutral with people you don’t know in a public arena (if you’re well known in the setting go with smile and nod since the chances of a person being a stalker in the future is next to 0%)
For fun, you’ll notice that people who are quiet in public settings are usually smarter than average. Not sure if this is due to “darwinism”, as getting uncalled for attention likely lead to negative outcomes in many cases. Either way, in 2019, if its a public setting that could potentially be dangerous (truly public with no barriers to entry, always veer on the side of blending in).
Economic Disparity: A second item here was the general theme of economic disparity. While they focused on killing a few Wall Street guys in the movie, the reality is that economic disparity is being driven by technology (not Wall Street anymore as that industry is in decline and likely to be disrupted by crypto currencies long-term as well). Beyond that small nuance, there is no real clean solution to disparity. Our guess is this movie will be well liked by people with a bleak economic and life outlook.
Interestingly, nothing positive really came from all of the riots and looting so it’s unclear if the movie was positive or negative on populism. In fact, all it led to was more violence.
We have no real solution to disparity (perhaps health care services for the elderly, but that’s more of a bandaid if population growth slows) and simply highlight ways to “make it”. The one thing about people who grew up poor and became rich is that they typically take care of working staff (like waiters) extremely well. This is something we would recommend as it is a win win situation. You usually make friends and get integrated into the “community”, industry nights etc. You also make sure someone is living a better life than they normally would (and they are earning it). That last part is probably the most important, we’re extremely positive on paying “above market” for manual tasks but are against handouts as it creates the wrong belief system.
Generally Negative: The vibe of the movie was largely negative based on our read of the entire situation. Even the popular TV show highlighted in the film ended with a saying “That’s Life”, which was a clear directional nod to the old saying “Life’s a Bitch and Then You Die”. These types of sayings were popular for the economically unsuccessful in the 1990s.
In addition to that, the rich people displayed in the film were also unbearable from a personality perspective. Thinking back there wasn’t a single character who seemed to have a good personality except the midget. This gave the film a vibe of nihilism, no one is “good”. The more disturbing part about the movie is that the Joker ends up killing his own mother after he learns about his childhood and there are still people who claim the movie was depicting the Joker as a protagonist. Not sure how that conclusion was made as killing a family member is not a move any protagonist would make.
Mass Killing: After the first killing in the movie, you see the impact on the community as more people begin to wear the same costume/get up which results in riots and more violence. Perhaps this is supposed to be commentary on the increasing number of shootings in the United States. If you give bad actors attention all it does is spur them on as it’s a last resort “only way to be seen in society”.
This was also a theme. The main character feels like he has been ignored by society and after starting a negative movement he feels like he is “alive again”… so to speak. After feeling “alive again” he actually gets worse, killing more people and starting more violence and riots.
Generally Dark: Not referring to dark as in “dangerous”, it was *literally* dark. The majority of the movie was set in lighting that was always cloudy, bleak or dimly lit. Lots of post rainy day type atmospheres. This leads to a bleak vibe to the entire movie, tough to sit through honestly.
Everyone is to Blame But Ourselves! This was the biggest undertone of the movie which the masses will absolutely flock to. We’ll double down on the prior statement that people who thought the movie was super cool will *generally* be part of life’s losers. Why? Well in the movie the Joker gets to blame his deranged mother for his failures, or he gets to blame the government for shutting off his social service meetings or he gets to blame the guy who gave him a gun in the first place or he gets to blame…. see the trend here?
This seemed pretty obvious to us, so as soon as we caught onto this pattern it made complete logical sense that the masses would like it. It had a similar vibe to fight club. Most regular joes have “deranged thoughts” after all they watch all those weird types of porn on the internet (otherwise they wouldn’t be so popular). Most regular joes want to blame their parents for their failures. And. Most regular joes want attention. In short, this is a great movie and will be profitable as regular joe will watch.
Some Other Bullets Before the Conclusion
- The movie was generally depressing, making it hard to watch. Depressing/drama movies are fine but there was really no point in the end after watching it
- There was no solution, just a bunch of rioting. Seems unlikely that rioting will lead to any long-term solution as it’s a negative sum game
- This was a great reminder as to why women are not attracted to angry guys. Angry people are usually losers. This is evolutionary psychology at its finest. They can tell the difference between angry and dangerous, dangerous is fine angry really isn’t. Most never learn the difference
- Another interesting theme was “kill the rich”. This depicted economics as a zero sum game. Any successful person knows that making money is not zero sum so we cannot agree with that part at all. Anyone who is actually rich and successful wants everyone to succeed (the competition is another story of course). Honestly, people don’t believe this because they hate their bosses. End of the day though, that “boss” wants *you* to succeed incredibly badly because he knows your livelihood is at stake. This may be worth an entire post in itself. Anyone who actually becomes successful does not want someone below them to fail. This causes lost revenue, lost income and you might actually be forced to fire someone who has a family. There is no worse feeling than temporarily ruining someone’s life. Running any business is hard as the employee is incentivized to do the least amount possible unless he has ownership in the firm while the Company needs to keep profits up to avoid cuts/layoffs. We’ve always pondered on a business model where every single employee is paid in ownership instead of cash and all low-end tasks are outsourced (unicorn and impossible we know – but we can dream)
- Hallucinations were also common in the movie. This is also a tell-tale sign of someone who didn’t make it. They generally make up fake “scenarios” in their head on what they “would do” if something happened. Both good or bad. This create a dream like trance (creating fake feelings of success) without needing to improve their lives. If you meet someone who makes up scenarios in their heads constantly you have got to bolt for the exit. They are more obsessed with worrying/faking versus creating and “failing forward”. Always bet on the guy making tons of errors at a rapid pace to gather a framework versus the guy “planning for years” with no experience. As the plans never work without skills to execute anyway
Conclusion: We would give this a zero. But. It was a very good reminder on staying neutral in public. We ramped up the high quality outfits and more flashy items (when appropriate) and it was a great way to remember the surroundings. Walking around with a high quality watch or suit in a Taco Bell is definitely not going to end well. So. For that we’re thankful for the movie. That was one positive to remember from a movie with no solutions, just anger and excuses.
Final note, if we really get to a point where people are entirely displaced by artificial intelligence and software code, we should be able to financially afford some sort of minimum housing/income. We’d rather have tax dollars go to something that taxes high earners and pays only for housing and food. The idea of handing people free money is simply ridiculous as the price of all the goods would also go up so the idea of a “guaranteed income” doesn’t really work (money handed to economically struggling people usually goes to drugs, just look at Seattle/San Francisco). What could work is a minimum housing/food delivery set up instead of paying for the current government waste. That’s a whole different topic as well though.