If you feel fed up by the stalemate over the economy and you want to know who to blame, watch Inside Job. They are all to blame. This past week as the nation reeled from a heat wave, many escaped to the cool dark movie theaters for respite. Who can blame us? Let's face it, we need superheroes these days. This becomes most evident to those of us who avoid movies about robots and turn to the small screen to visit or revisit documentaries on DVD like last year's Oscar winner. Frankly, this should be required viewing for every American, even every European since my second home of Italy, Greece and many other countries here are suffering because of the crimes exposed in this film.
While it isn't as obvious as the summer blockbusters, Inside Job is a violent movie. The economic rape of our nation is shown. The faces and the voices are shown. The facts are shown.
Firstly, I want to apologize to former Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer, who was found hanging out with prostitutes, something that cost him his job and his marriage. After seeing Inside Job, I realize his hanky-panky was an excuse to scapegoat him because he tried to investigate what was to become among our greatest set of scandals.
Spitzer looked to point fingers at the criminals who bet against the citizens they served, the ones who lied and cheated for real on purpose and to kill our economy, and who, by the way, were also participating in sexual traffic at extraordinary levels. Investors sold deals to their clients whom they thought were "shitty," betting against those securities without telling their clients. That is a betrayal of the highest -- or lowest -- order. Billions were made through betting on the failure of regular investors, middle class people who are as easily progressive as they are conservative.
We need to look at why, from sea to shining sea, we are so easily wrapped into tightly segregated compartments so that we can't see the forest from the trees. That is right, folks. When it comes to what has robbed so many of jobs, food, education and hope we simply must ask, "What about us?" What about our own bubble wrap problem of being packaged in compartments that don't touch so that we lose the ability to connect the dots between one point bit of news or another.
Inside Job, the film by Charles Ferguson, brings home just how much many of us may have forgotten what is too inconvenient to remember or to even integrate in our awareness to begin with.
As we near the 2012 presidential elections, our country at large seems to be worried about jobs while it/we have lost sight of the price of de-regulation, or, more accurately, of "regulation" carried out by people who then go to work for banks leading the process of lack of regulation.
There is sense and common sense, and then there is arguing, the kind of system of believing something and seeing what we believe. This film shakes up that bipartisan trend and makes us quiver before the people profiled because, like it or not, they are us. At the very least, we must pay attention to our role in how we hold the criminals accountable (or not). Inside Job makes us realize that there are criminals who hurt all of the rest of us, even those of us who may have been so divided from our own ethics and reality checks as to go with our own greed and pleasure principle while it seemed to be working without sober reasons.
It doesn't matter whether you are for or against abortion when you/we allow the aborting of human livelihood and hope on such a huge proportion. Not to ever minimize the violence of genocide or rape, there is reason to make a connection to the purposeful throwing of people's lives into irrevocable loss. The profession of economics, particularly as it occurs in academia, has been severely tainted by professors being consultants to major businesses, thus losing any loyalty to the needs of the rest of us. Economic well being, as it turns out, means being able to live or having to die in terms of power, dignity and possibility.
I do have another question, one that comes as a result of opening myself to this film and to my own process: How guilty do we, whether progressive or conservative, feel on personal levels? How much do we minimize these scandals by not prosecuting and reclaiming funds taken because we too have been greedy, unconsciously playing the part of the "straight man" who avoided knowing from the start our own investments and money and home prices came with upcoming harm?
How tightly are we wrapped? How over-tightly? How divided are we from our own memory as we are kept distracted oh so sadly by the media and political forces? If we had been given the information in this film straight from the media, would we really be arguing with each other about everything under the sun?
A propos of the sun, light, warming and ecology in general, what has stopped us from an increase of unity as we see that everyone around has been hurt, taken by "collaborators" of the worst kind, those who gather together to hurt the public at large?
I also wonder, as we waste attention on make believe reality shows, do we have the appetite, the strength of character, to join together to hear this story through seeing this film for a start? It has lots of footage from the key players, and is clearly not a fake. We have an election coming up; we have people suffering still and immensely. And we have our own jobs as citizens not to continue our own rhetoric, perhaps lifting the bubble wrap off of ourselves, for a change and for a start.
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