“These are dark times, there is no denying.
Our world has perhaps faced no greater threat than it does today.”
During the oscar movie season it is my goal to try and watch as many of the nominated films as possible. This year I was not able to frequent the movie theater as often as I did in the past so I waited patiently for the titles to make their way to the streaming world. Last night the parental units and I sat down to watch The Big Short, which if you don’t recall was nominated for five oscars and won for best adapted screenplay.
In 2008, I was fourteen and didn’t know anything about why the housing market crashed and eight years later I don’t know a hell of a lot more about banking and finances. So as the movie began and started throwing phrases around like Collateralized Debt Obligation I found myself having trouble following the dialogue. And at the core that is kind of what the movie is trying to get across. No one understands. People throw around this jargon and make really enticing deals but no understands what they are getting themselves into, and no one cares about the consequences.
Towards the end of the movie Steve Carell’s character gives a speech. He says:
“We live in an era of fraud in America. Not just in banking, but in government, education, religion, food, even baseball… What bothers me ins’t that fraud is not nice. Or that fraud is mean. For fifteen thousand years, fraud and short sighted thinking have never, ever worked. Not once. Eventually you get caught, things go south. When the hell did we forget all that?”
And when the housing bubble does collapse, as we are all aware of, he goes “I have a feeling in a few years people are going to be doing what they always do when the economy tanks. They will be blaming immigrants and poor people.” Guess what? That is exactly what we are doing. We like to turn the tables and blame people coming into this country. We like to blame poor people by saying they don’t try hard enough and they are a leech on the system. When the biggest parasites that exist can be found on Wall Street. I found myself sitting on the couch with this fear that hit me like a ton of bricks. We live in dark times. A world where fraud is not prosecuted, but instead rewarded.
This is a world where Donald Trump is running for President, where banks are left to do as they please, and where we can’t travel or walk down our streets without the fear that we will be attacked. It is complete insanity. We live in a pivotal time where we face threats at every corner and if we don’t educate ourselves, if we don’t speak up then we will be completely bulldozed. Doing the right thing is hardly ever the easy thing but it is my eternal hope that we keep striving for it anyway.