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Robin Hanson on "Joker" vs. "Parasite"
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George Mason economist Robin Hanson offers a brilliant class analysis of two of 2019’s top movies: the critics’ choice Parasite and the people’s choice Joker:

Parasite Versus Joker
By Robin Hanson · January 25, 2020 10:00 pm

My take: Parasite is done in a style designed to appeal to upper class folks, and it is about class conflict from a more upper class perspective. Joker is designed to appeal to lower class folks, and it is about class conflict from a more lower class perspective. Which is part of why upper class critics prefer Parasite.

I’ll need to give some spoilers to elaborate on this; you are warned.

In terms of style, the difference is obvious. Parasite is done in art house film style

I think critics have a lot of real estate lust for the huge minimalist mansion in Parasite. It’s a rare fashion forward house that actually looks good and seems like it would be nice to live in.

The house is a set designed for the movie. Mr. Bong is the top director in South Korea and it wouldn’t be surprising if he could be the top architect if he’d chosen that career.

, while Joker is done in a mass market comic book style.

But note that Joker has very few special effects and was made for about $55 million, which is the kind of middle range budget that generally flops these days. I believe Joker may be the lowest budget movie ever to make a billion dollars worldwide (granted, that’s in box office revenue not adjusted for inflation — i.e., from Jurassic Park onward, not from Birth of a Nation onward).

Joaquin Phoenix is about a one to a million favorite to win the Best Actor Oscar and you can see why. This is a much more melodramatic-operatic performance than has been fashionable in recent generations. Either it works or it doesn’t, and it works.

Parasite has many complications and plot twists, while Joker moves along rather predictably. In Parasite emotions are relatively reserved and you have to look closely to see them. In Joker, emotions are pretty exaggerated and obvious.

Parasite mostly takes place in upper class worlds, focusing on their main concerns. Upper classes are focused on status differences near their level, and they mainly care about the lower class folks they see in the world around them. They wonder if they can trust them, if they are treating them well enough, and if they deserve their own favored status. Parasite shows lower class people who seem sloppy and dysfunctional in own world, but who show great competence when serving the upper class. They dress sharply, act properly and reliably, and are skilled at key upper class skills of charming, bullshitting, and acting obsequious as needed.

I really didn’t understand why the poor family in Parasite was inept at doing simple jobs like folding pizza boxes, but then suddenly turned into the Mission Impossible squad when they got a chance to edge in on the rich family. With those skills you’d figure they could make decent money selling cars or the like.

Joker is mainly about one low class person. It takes place almost entirely in his low class world, focusing on his ordinary concerns. When he ventures into upper class worlds he seems to like them, and doesn’t seem offended by what he sees there. He is, to be honest, objectively dull, stupid, with clearly lower-class tastes, habits, and markers (such liking cigarettes and guns). He is Hollywood-ugly, and socially awkward and unskilled.

This character tries to be good and to better himself, but he comes to feel that he is treated badly by many folks, and he doesn’t get the attention, help, or courtesy that he deserves. And he’s clearly right. As he starts to experiment with retaliating against those who treat him badly, he falls into a reinforcing cycle of increasing indignation, confidence, boldness, and even grace. When his retaliation happens to hit upper class people, he gets much more attention and validation, which spurs him on.

When he gains a public stage, his main complaint is that everyone treats everyone badly:

Everybody just yells and screams at each other. Nobody’s civil anymore. Nobody thinks what it’s like to be the other guy. You think men like Thomas Wayne, men at ease, ever think what it’s like to be a guy like me? To be anybody but themselves.

His audience may interpret his mentioning rich guy Wayne as a declaration of class war, but we know that it’s really because he sees Wayne as his mean father. The only clearly class-related complaint he voices is that the world shows more concern when high class folks suffer than when he suffers.

Like most low class people, Joker isn’t particularly envious of or even focused on the very rich. He says he isn’t political, and he isn’t interested in ideology. He is simply mad at most everyone for either treating him badly or allowing others to do so. He might be more mad at those who are better off than he, but he doesn’t make many distinctions within that majority.

Many other low class folks are inspired by Joker to riot and destroy, with no apparent political plan beyond gleeful retaliation at authorities and the world, to say “we are mad.” And that seems to me a relatively faithful representation of how most lower class folks actually see class conflict, and of typical consequences when they are inspired to act out.

… And yet Joker has inspired far more hostility than Parasite, especially from those who claim to side with the lower classes. A great many of those who love Parasite, and claim to support its violence of low against high class, hate Joker, many saying explicitly that they fear his inspiring real low class young men to also feel indignation and resort to violent retaliation. Extra security was even added to watch for violence at Joker screenings; no such security was considered for Parasite.

… But why so much hate from those who claim to side with the lower classes?

… Another possibility is that they see the upper class perspective on class conflict as correct, and the lower class one as mistaken. They don’t like Joker pushing the lower class view, and they don’t actually want lower classes to act; they instead want upper class folks to approve new policies to be run by upper class folks in the name of helping lower classes.

Despite all I’ve quoted, there’s lots more at Overcoming Bias.

 
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  1. Lagertha says:

    it’s a tough call, I liked both movies.

  2. Lagertha says:

    why are you jumping so much? People are agitated, today, bc, global climate change and all……….why add to it? hahhahhaahahaaaaaa – you are the Evil Twin!

  3. Anon[119] • Disclaimer says:

    Is Joker actually an enjoyable movie, or just an important, good for you, well made, deft commentary on the times, well acted, blah, blah, blah movie that you come out of feeling depressed? The descriptions and trailers make it look like a piece of shit that you’d only subject yourself to if you needed to prepare for a New York City or Hollywood cocktail party.

    • Replies: @JimB
    , @JimDandy
    , @J.Ross
    , @Alden
  4. Lot says:

    “ there’s lots more at Overcoming Bias.”

    Verbosely Autistic GMU Economists at the Movies!

  5. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    What does Steve think of Little LMM’s review of Joker?

    I thought she has some good points.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Andrew M
  6. Altai says:

    … Another possibility is that they see the upper class perspective on class conflict as correct, and the lower class one as mistaken. They don’t like Joker pushing the lower class view, and they don’t actually want lower classes to act; they instead want upper class folks to approve new policies to be run by upper class folks in the name of helping lower classes.

    This is essentially the problem with the modern centre-left. We saw it with the most recent UK election, saw it with Brexit, saw it with Trump. They don’t like the way the working class has sought to fight back. (The only way they were offered) And pretend to themselves they are still their saviours. Others have now gone actively hostile and instead of seeing the obvious (Bernie would have won and if he gets the nomination, will win.) choose to think they’ve all gone mad and are now just ‘racist’.

    But how much longer were they expected to wait? The left has join the right in selling them out for at least the last 30 years.

    • Replies: @Arclight
  7. OT has anyone checked in on Weihan to see if he’s still alive? I am NOT allow global coronavirus pandemic

  8. Newsflash: Some of you are mistaking boring for upper class. Happens a lot around here.

    • Replies: @Anon
  9. anonymous[167] • Disclaimer says:

    Both movies are overrated… and, just mildly entertaining.

  10. I really didn’t understand why the poor family in Parasite was inept at doing simple jobs like folding pizza boxes

    Folding boxes to get the maximum volume requires calculus. Pizzas vary from thin Neapolitan woodfires to Chicago deep-dishes, further complicating matters.

    Bong Joon Ho = Go on job, hon.

    His very name appears to violate narcotics and sexual harassment statutes. And is it possible to do anagrams in hangul?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @JimB
    , @Lot
  11. JimB says:
    @Anon

    Is Joker actually an enjoyable movie, or just an important, good for you, well made, deft commentary on the times, well acted, blah, blah, blah movie that you come out of feeling depressed?

    I enjoyed Joker, but came out of the theater feeling more baffled than depressed. What will Phillips do for a sequel? I suppose he could shoot a variation of Hannibal where the Joker is the sympathetic sociopath and Batman is Paul Krendler.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  12. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:

    JOKER is more ‘dangerous’ because many more people will see it.

    My take: Parasite is done in a style designed to appeal to upper class folks, and it is about class conflict from a more upper class perspective.

    No. While art films and foreign films tend to attract the better-educated, that doesn’t necessarily make the films themselves more upper-crust in perspective. From what I gleaned from PARASITE — saw first 15 min and last 45 min — , most of the film is from a lower-middle-class perspective. The film features the rich, but they are seen than the world is seen through them. Mostly, the world is seen through the lower-middle class family who are caught between high and low(or lower). Even when the film features only the rich, they are seen through a mocking and contemptuous lens.

    Many globs and progs seem to misinterpret PARASITE because it’s a foreign film, therefore something they own culturally. Also, it’s less threatening to see class issues play out in another culture, just like Jews don’t mind talking about privilege as long as its white than their own.

    But if PARASITE had been made in the US with deplorable lower-middle class as main eyes and ears, it would have been even more hated than JOKER by elitist culture critics.

    Another thing. While foreign films and art films tend to attract the better-educated, the main audience are not of the upper class. Most elites prefer stuff like JOKER over PARASITE. Most lovers of art film and foreign cinema tend to be bohemian or intellectual types. Many of them went to college, even fancy ones, but they chose professions or lifestyles that aren’t exactly profitable. They may consider themselves cultural elites but they are certainly not of economic elites. Indeed, they spend a lot of their time bitching about how people who are richer than them have no sense for arts and culture.

    Even in a big city, most foreign films and art films attract just a handful of people, and these are not economic upper crust. Your average rich lawyer or doctor is too busy with video games or Hollywood movies. Of all the people I knew in high school, ones who did very well for themselves have cultural tastes almost identical to those who ended up on the bottom.

    And if upper class people do watch something a bit eccentric on occasion, it’s more a matter of buzz than genuine interest. They would rather go watch HAMILTON or watch middlebrow TV. Fukuyama thinks WIRE is art, and Jonah Goldberg thinks BREAKING BAD is really deep stuff. It’s laughable.

    • Agree: Kevin O'Keeffe
    • Replies: @Dumbo
    , @Forbes
    , @Bardon Kaldian
  13. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    People do sloppy work with undemanding dreary jobs.

    It’s like when kids are told to write: “I will not act the fool in class”
    a 500 times, they hardly think of penmanship and write rather sloppily.

    They are bored stiff and only care about finishing it as fast as possible.

  14. Anon[662] • Disclaimer says:
    @miss marple

    Some of you are mistaking boring for upper class.

    Check Prince Charles and get back to us luv.:)

  15. Joker might pretend to be about class, but it’s actually all about race. Specifically, it is about White men finally coming to the dawning realization that they’ve been betrayed, ripped off, evicted and dispossessed by Globo-Shlomo. That’s why everyone’s so afraid of it. Or rather, why conventionally (((everyone’s))) so afraid of it, even though it was mostly made by Jewish artists.

    The artificial movie-critic alleged crisis-of-conscience conflict between Joker and Parasite is basically a confession that Globo-Shlomo has a guilty conscience: they know perfectly well that they’ve plundered, looted, degraded and destroyed a great civilization, and that they did so as hate-filled spiteful outsiders and raiders. Now they want to misdirect and reframe the whole thing into fake class-conflict terms, when we all know this is coded racial language. The Cult-Marx people long ago swapped out Whites as the target instead of the bourgeoisie, and they’ve switched to promoting POC as their shock troops instead of the working class, but any student of historical Marxism knows that the goyim were the real marks all along.

    • Agree: Neuday
    • Replies: @Forbes
    , @ben tillman
    , @SFG
    , @J.Ross
  16. (No television in sight!)

    I love these people already.

  17. Anon[360] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    This is the daughter of Sir Ray Davies of Kinks fame and Chrissie Hynde. And what a nutcase she is. I’ve been sampling her other videos. She seems articulate and smart and interesting … and completely crazy. I think the kids of Hollywood celebrities turn out more or less like this also.

    • Replies: @Bugg
  18. and yet Joker has inspired far more hostility than Parasite, especially from those who claim to side with the lower classes.

    Is there any real evidence for this sort of generalization? I know a fair amount of lefties who liked Joker. The most cogent critique I have seen from the sort of overeducated person who prefers Parasite is that Joker is simply unoriginal and kind of boring – if you have seen King of Comedy, why watch Joker?

    My personal take is that both these films are fine, neither is a masterpiece. The Lighthouse is probably the best film of 2019 (and also the film most deeply rooted in Anglo-Saxon cultural traditions and most “reactionary”) and getting relatively very little attention.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
  19. @JimB

    “Joker” made an enormous amount of money for a “Taxi Driver” type drama carried by one performance. It wasn’t particularly to my taste, but audiences loved it.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  20. JimDandy says:

    I think it’s a great review. But I could sum up the negativity towards Joker more succinctly: Cis white males don’t have real problems, and pretending that they do is problematic.

    • Replies: @Keypusher
  21. Andrew M says:
    @Anonymous

    I’m not watching 6½ minutes of some random person warbling about their personal feelings of the movie. [Worse, there’s a 4½ minute Part 2.] She has other crackpot videos about avoiding EMF exposure, casting serious doubt on her judgement.

    I appreciate that video can provide exposure to the views of people who can’t write well (possibly even the same people who Hanson claim enjoyed Joker); but sitting through an eleven minute stream of consciousness is just painful to me.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  22. Jake says:

    “I really didn’t understand why the poor family in Parasite was inept at doing simple jobs like folding pizza boxes, but then suddenly turned into the Mission Impossible squad when they got a chance to edge in on the rich family. ”

    If your focus not on the way things are in the real world but why art made for Elite sensibilities has it that way, I’d say it is rather obvious: the Elite must believe that without them the underlings could not really function.

    And that is not totally absurd and self-serving, depending on what people are the underlings.

    Bantus fit that very well. Blacks in service to rich whites tend to get things done halfway right at least by the third time. The same blacks on their own almost always gravitate toward becoming what we see in every inner city or in every rural spot filled with the charming Numinous Negro.

  23. moshe says:

    “Many other low class folks are inspired by Joker to riot and destroy, with no apparent political plan beyond gleeful retaliation at authorities and the world, to say “we are mad.” And that seems to me a relatively faithful representation of how most lower class folks actually see class conflict, and of typical consequences when they are inspired to act out.”

    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    Well, this *would* be how an upper class person views the rebellions of the lower class, wouldn’t it?

    As an upper class person with a lower class pocket I happen to see it the upper class way as well.

    As far as I can tell, this is exactly what’s going on when black American riot and when white Americans (who have since surrendered their hitherto monopoly on mob violence to black Americans) vote for Trump. Hell it’s why *I* wanted Trump to win (I leave voting to others).

    But the more self-assuredly lower class (of whatever purchasing power) seem to be pretty sure that they’re “acting out” for a purpose greater than to “teach those bastards a lesson”.

    No doubt each of you knows a Trump supporter who actually trusted him to close the borders and yadda yadda yadda which is good for you because of Reason #1 or #2 or #3.

    No doubt fewer of you have been part of a 95% Black Mob who are airing their social grievances and solutions between their megaphoned and mob-violence struggles to be heard over the ear-raping capitalistic crash of the keytaps and card swipes of the better off.

    I take as logical the threat of the Dead Man’s Switch used by Kennedy as an excuse for helping the lower classes (or gaining more kennedy-family-voters or whatever); of the Proto-Israeli Biryonim who told British that they would fight unto Liberty which, if they don’t get, will be replaced by vengeance; and of the more familiar Strangelovian Doomsday Device.

    But, when standing among revolutionaries themselves, whether Sanderites, Trumpites or Fruit-of-Islamites, with what seems to me like canine stupidity, they quite obviously *Believe* that they are doing more than having a toddlerite temper tantrum.

    And whose to say that they’re wrong?

    Perhaps my own smugness at how often lower class revolutions require revolutions of their own belies the facts of the hardly considered question of whether the Russians, French and Cambodians were actually better off – at the Median – after their since-maligned revolutions of the underclass?

    I tend to doubt it, but far less so than I actually consider it.

  24. Dumbo says:
    @Anonymous

    Yes, this is mostly true. You would expect the rich or the very rich to have high cultural tastes, as they can afford anything from opera to going in person to Cannes to buying the whole Criterion Collection, but in fact I don’t think they do. Once I met a couple of very rich doctors and all they watched was the dumbest of the dumbest Hollywood action movies (Transformers, etc).

    Also because watching art-house or foreign movies today is not a status marker, from their point of view there is no upside to sitting through a three-hour black and white movie spoken in a strange language if they gain no points for that.

    People who like arthouse films are a middle-class subset, people who probably studied something in the humanities or who have a special sensibility / curiosity.

    • Agree: Old Palo Altan
  25. BB753 says:

    Steve Sailer did like “Parasite” an awful lot but wasn’t over-enthusiastic over “Joker”. Does that make Steve Sailer an upper-class critic?

  26. Arclight says:
    @Altai

    The professional left and its largely white elites are not really interested (or familiar with) the lives and preferences of the lower classes they claim to champion. The primary purpose of the lower class is to provide the votes for selected politicians to get into office and do the things elites want done. When they deviate from that – as you noted, with Brexit and jumping ship from Obama to Trump – a do-over is necessary to produce the correct result.

    It also shows the unnatural high/low coalition on the left can be fractured, something a healthy chunk of Republicans seem not to be interested in with their fealty to tax cuts, refusal to deal with immigration, and enthusiasm for endless foreign entanglements…but I think the Democratic party sees this more clearly, which is why they have tripled down on racism as an explanation for everything since it’s the only arrow in their quiver (albeit one that seems to work for now).

    • Replies: @Alden
  27. Bitfu says:

    Parasite deserves credit for taking an empty plot with subtitles, and presenting it to an English speaking audience in such a way that they will actually sit, and see it through. Other than that, it really was a stupid, stupid movie.

    I know it’s supposed to be some sort of biting satire on inequality. But once again, the hive-mind gets it all wrong. In order to be a satire, it has to be specific to the society/culture being satirized. But inequality isn’t ‘societal’, it’s universal—across time and across all species. It’s just the way it is. Satirizing inequality is like satirizing old age. It’s not interesting and it sure as hell isn’t insightful.

    Past that, the underlying theme seems to be: If you’re on the ass-end of inequality, anything goes. It’s not your fault, and even if it is–THEY made you do it, so it’s not.

    It’s been said that if God is dead, anything goes. The message of Parasite is the same: If the Equality God is dead, anything goes.

    In worshiping both the gods of Diversity and Equality, the modern left walks a perilous tightrope: Celebrating our differences while insisting that any difference between us is some sort of crime. ‘Diversity is our Strength, and Equality is our Cudgel.’

  28. Joaquin Phoenix is about a one to a million favorite to win the Best Actor Oscar and you can see why. This is a much more melodramatic-operatic performance than has been fashionable in recent generations…

    Dunno if “one to a million favorite” applies here. Based on the existing odds — The ‘Most Popular Bets’ on Oddschecker — Phoenix has a nearly 99% chance of winning the Best Actor Oscar, with runnerup Adam Driver being less than 1%, and others around 0.1-0.2%.

    Low odds — like Phoenix’s 1/12 line — mean heavy favorite in a zero-sum contest.

  29. Keypusher says:
    @JimDandy

    I think it’s a great review. But I could sum up the negativity towards Joker more succinctly: Cis white males don’t have real problems, and pretending that they do is problematic.

    Yeah, I think it’s about that simple.

    A third possibility is that Joker is seen as a quite distinctively male lower class person. While critics talk about class, this may really be more about gender.

    If Hanson were intellectually honest, he would have followed with a “fourth possibility” — the racial angle. But he’s not, so he doesn’t.

    • Agree: JimDandy, sayless
  30. Pericles says:

    Haven’t seen either, but from RH’s description, Parasite seemed more like resentful social climber (middle class) against social superior (upper class). When the upper class looks down on their smelly inferiors — who have been practicing their manners really hard — well, it’s just cause for running the guillotines.

  31. The OG Joker:

  32. A real “Parasite” movie would be about US elites. True parasites–useless, destructive and unfortunately are proving fatal to their host population.

    BTW, when is a conservative politician–or even media noisemaker–going to stop spending all their cycles responding to “racist!” and call the Democrats the “Parasite Party”?

    It rolls nicely off the tonque, is memorable, and does it’s ideological work upfront. And it’s true. So all the honking in response will only further sharpen the point and deepen the wound.

  33. Bugg says:
    @Anon

    I recall Ray Davies being confronted by a radio disc jockey with the news that her mom, Chrissie Hynde, had left him for Simple Minds’ singer Jim Kerr. Davies sounded completely shocked. She soon left Kerr too. No surprise she’s not well adjusted.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  34. CMC says:

    Hanson,

    I really didn’t understand why the poor family in Parasite was inept at doing simple jobs like folding pizza boxes, but then suddenly turned into the Mission Impossible squad when they got a chance to edge in on the rich family. With those skills you’d figure they could make decent money selling cars or the like.

    First of all, 25% of the boxes were crap. There were four people in the Parasite poor family. One possibility is that one of the members (mom?) was 100% awful at the box task and the other three were 100% perfect.

    Second, the Parasite Poors didn’t turn into the Mission Impossible squad. They weren’t doing Mission Impossible things. Boiling water? Tutoring? Chauffeuring? Really? That’s like hijacking an armed moving train in sub zero weather in the Himalayas?

    Hanson is rhetorically blowing this up on both ends.

    The real deal, imho, is that the PP’s weren’t even eligible, weren’t even in the running for ‘selling cars or the like’ because they couldn’t compete in that world _in the job getting_ process. Any corporate entity with reasonable Human Resources staff exercising due diligence would suss them out as poors with zero social power, zero credentials, and lots of red flags —fakes, frauds.

    Take the box company example. The pizza company was a shoestring operation, but even that measly corporate entity knew —probably because the PP’s played it straight and honest with them, that the PP’s were basically powerless. And what did the pizza company do with that info? Did you see them as some sort of ideal fair dealing commune? No, they came off to me as not hesitating to use that power differential to push the bargain. Which bargain was probably being pushed in turn on them; like branding isn’t an upper level financialized corporate term.

    Again, it can’t be stressed enough: for the Poors to get into any larger, more complicated organization, and at a higher level than entry level, they’d need credentials.

    Which is exactly what Mrs. Rich Naive says she doesn’t care about! She was almost proud of her not caring about paperwork i.e. credentials. (Maybe because she didn’t understand them? Couldn’t reasonable examine them or test them?) Rather, she wanted to see her workers and look over them in person. Never mind her judgment in that area apparently stunk too.

    [As an aside, I wonder if this rich woman’s need to hire staff is just a reflection, an imitation, a cargo cult type thing where she saw that her rich powerful competent husband had a staff and ordered them around and thought, ‘oh, to be powerful one needs to have people to order around; I’ll do that.’]

    So one axis of Parasite was that some things are still human to human, there are still some cracks in the system, it hasn’t all been put on computers yet. Cracks up, and cracks down. And that’s what the PP’s did; they lied to the naive mom and used that lever to get in. For the money.

    Playing it honest was a longer, narrower road. Lying and playing it to the hilt they had a total life re-set in a week.

    So here’s the question of the movie: do you believe the Poor kid could or would ever achieve the dream or plan that he talked about at the end? If you did, than you probably think the narrow hard honest road is still, in the here and now and foreseeable future way, open, despite any injustice of credentialism, mismatches in bargaining power, etc. etc. If you didn’t, what’s that say?

    *

    Me, I didn’t find the killing by the poor father of the rich one in Parasite at all justified; the rich folks there seemed mostly morally blameless, while the poor ones commit many wrongs.

    Me neither. It wasn’t justified.

    But did you miss the part where the rich father hesitates to reach for and get the keys? Look, either the Rich Father’s son’s life is hanging in the balance at that moment and every second counts, or it’s not. If it is, and he’s hesitating because of a mere unpleasant smell —and I’d say just a slightly unpleasant smell, just a smell that suggests a class difference, then he’s risking his son’s life over basically nothing, over a real nothing of foolish class pride. On the other hand, if his son’s life really weren’t hanging in the balance, if the father thought that his son’s seizure was only BS and his wife was just being a hypochondriac about it, then the hesitation over the smell is even more useless and the real problem is that the Rich Father was choosing to go with what he believed to be a fake crisis with his son instead of, and over and above, the obviously real, imminent crisis of the female tutor girl openly and notoriously and obviously bleeding out from a chest wound.

    Either way, that’s a man that the poor father could be tempted to see as not a man at all, not a real father, not a decent human being —not deserving of life.

    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
    , @Anonymous
  35. Alec Baldwin was originally supposed to play Thomas Wayne but backed out. It’s too bad, because the character was clearly written with Baldwin in mind. In particular, Wayne’s condescending use of the word “pal” is reminiscent of Baldwin’s character in “Glengarry Glen Ross”.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  36. Both movies are flawed but Parasite was absurd for the reasons Steve outlined – it is an upper class liberal fantasy of the lower classes, held back only by arbitrary fate. Perhaps its class logic would make sense in 19th century England (think Jude the Obscure), but in contemporary Korea it’s laughable – people that good looking, cunning and indeed book smart would be comfortably in the top 5% in urban South Korea.

    Parasite appeals to upper class liberals because they actually like to see themselves as arbitrarily hoisted into their privilege or, in the US context, to have earned that privilege through race. Focusing on race and fate distracts from their real structural advantages (tax system, inheritance, increasing returns to small IQ advantages, Ivy League networks, Picketty stuff, etc).

    As far as Joker is concerned – it is an improvement over the Nolan films which celebrated a kind of globalist corporate authoritarianism. They truly were Hollywood propaganda at its slickest and nastiest.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  37. CMC says:

    PS: There was also a family formation contraception angle in Parasite. Did you see the shot of the condom packages bedside? Whose bed? Why? What significance that?

  38. those who claim to side with the lower classes

    Are they even bothering to claim it any more. Isn’t the whole point of IDPOL to relieve themselves of their AWFL burden? To let the lower classes themselves bear the Knapsack of Privilege for awhile?

    • Replies: @Lot
  39. I generally frown at OT comments, but I’ve got to just this once. Google released a search engine for datasets. See https://datasetsearch.research.google.com/

    The first thing I tried was “intelligence race.” Search for naughty things. Go have fun.

    • Replies: @Rob
  40. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @blank-misgivings

    people that good looking, cunning and indeed book smart would be comfortably in the top 5% in urban South Korea.

    There is an excess of educated in East Asia.
    Also, the hierarchy is far from meritocratic as bribery and corruption are big part of privilege.

    it is an upper class liberal fantasy of the lower classes, held back only by arbitrary fate

    This is a complete misreading of the film. While the film does not deny the smarts and talents of the rich man, he and his family are seen as amnesiac and part of the power that keeps buried the troubled history that led to the current state of the country. The near-ending where the flood leads to bursting pipes and stuff shooting out from below is like the dead bodies emerging at the end of POLTERGEIST. All the repressed history of that country in the name of ‘muh GDP’.

    Only superficially does the film seem to feature pleasant elites and unpleasant lumpens. Look through the veneer and the rich are no less parasitic and indeed perpetuates a system of global parasitism.

    Consider there is no sympathy for the dead rich man. He and his family are soon forgotten after the melee,
    And even though the lumpen father murdered him, our sympathy is directed towards him as he hides in the basement and awaits a time when he can re-emerge and reunite with his family.

  41. Lot says:
    @Desiderius

    Do people in the USA use the word “knapsack” in speech? It seems like something out of a Great Depression coming of age short story.

    In actual speech I have only heard backpack, except for children a backpack used for carrying books is a bookbag. And “rucksack” is something you say in the military or long distance hiking.

  42. Lot says:

    I can’t think about movies, the coronavirus is going to get us all. Ahhhrrrgggg!

    How much is China underreporting infections? Seems to me that if we get 5k entries from China a day all in (returning citizens, tourists, migrants, etc), we’ve had about 100k in entries this year and 3 have been confirmed positive, a 3/100k rate.

    China claims only about 2000 cases in an exposure area of about 500,000,000 people, equal to an infection rate of 0.4/100k. Is it really possible that the rate of US arrivals is 10 times higher than in China’s exposure area and 25 times higher than the all-China rate?

    China thus may be underreporting by a factor of 10, 20 or more.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  43. Hemid says:
    @Lot

    Only old-money WASP aristocrats say “knapsack.” That’s why it’s a woke shibboleth. It’s who they are (led by).

    Normal people say “backpack.”

    Nazi-nostalgics say “rucksack.”

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  44. Lot says:

    • Replies: @peterike
  45. JimDandy says:
    @Anon

    Enjoyable? It’s not a feelgood movie. But it’s a good movie.

  46. @Lot

    Well the Patient Zero AWFL who created the Knapsack of Privilege (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peggy_McIntosh) concept wouldn’t be out of place at a Gatsby soirée.

    I have trouble taking it seriously because:

    (a) it’s mendacious, blood libel bullshit

    (b) it makes me think of My Sharona

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  47. The Baltimore Sun has an article up on Dr. Sakran, the gun violence doctor who claims to have gotten a death threat on his windshield.

    https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-cr-sakran-death-threat-20200126-xacxbm74xjc4hk7umb3ppgrlja-story.html

    • Replies: @PennTothal
  48. “Their chic, tastefully furnished, perfectly lit house sets the stage so for the epic twist so well, says Bong, “because houses usually should feel very mundane, cozy, and comfortable. And when that is threatened, that is when we feel the most fear.” ”

    Mundane? Perhaps a more accurate choice of wording would be “predictable”. Semi-synonymous, and yet more to the point.

  49. JimB says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Folding boxes to get the maximum volume requires calculus.

    It’s an area maximization problem since pizza thickness is constant for a type of pizza e.g. deep dish. Therefore, the formula for the volume will be a parabola which can be solved with algebra for a maximum.

  50. @Andrew M

    She has other crackpot videos about avoiding EMF exposure,

    Her thoughts upon which apparently do not include not sitting in front of screen for two hours watching movies.

  51. Lot says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    “ Folding boxes to get the maximum volume requires calculus”

    Would it require any math? If you’re limited to 90 degree angles, cubes are the most efficient and you get as close to that as you can.

  52. Forbes says:
    @Anonymous

    It’s the kind of review perspective you get from an over-educated college professor. He’s not economic elite, but views himself as having a sophisticated perspective, therefore cultural elite, while confusing them as the same thing.

    It’s the old story: price (or cost) and value are not the same thing. Price contains important information, but value is a judgment–like taste or preference, it’s not quantifiably objective.

    Of all people, you’d expect an economics professor to understand this concept…

  53. J.Ross says:
    @Anon

    Maybe Joker is to Joaquin Phoenix Acting what Electra Glide in Blue is to Robert Blake Acting (or Killing of a Chinese Bookie for Ben Gazzara, etc, etc). If you like this actor, here’s the best chance to see him stretch his legs. If you want a movie, you might be scratching your head.

    • Agree: sayless
  54. Reports that Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash.

  55. @Anonymous

    Another thing. While foreign films and art films tend to attract the better-educated, the main audience are not of the upper class. Most elites prefer stuff like JOKER over PARASITE. Most lovers of art film and foreign cinema tend to be bohemian or intellectual types. Many of them went to college, even fancy ones, but they chose professions or lifestyles that aren’t exactly profitable. They may consider themselves cultural elites but they are certainly not of economic elites. Indeed, they spend a lot of their time bitching about how people who are richer than them have no sense for arts and culture.

    I’m not an American, but from what I know about the US-and, to be honest, about affluent European countries- you’re right.

  56. Forbes says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    The Cult-Marx people long ago swapped out Whites as the target instead of the bourgeoisie, and they’ve switched to promoting POC as their shock troops instead of the working class

    Bingo.

  57. J.Ross says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Per the unholy predictive power of South Park and Team America creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Alec Baldwin has destroyed his acting ability by taking himself hilariously over-seriously.
    They also predicted the Merkelboner and the domination by militantly atheist mustelids.

  58. @Bitfu

    ‘Diversity is our Strength, and Equality is our Cudgel.’

    Genius.

  59. Forbes says:
    @Bitfu

    In worshiping both the gods of Diversity and Equality, the modern left walks a perilous tightrope: Celebrating our differences while insisting that any difference between us is some sort of crime.

    Prog-left: You’re going to do as we say–AND you’re going to like it!

  60. J.Ross says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I know a guy away from keyboard I absolutely respect, he would be welcome here, smart guy, he’s definitely done better things with his life than me. I meet him at a party, Joker comes up.
    I groan about the 4chan party line response, that Joker is how the establishment sees “incels” and is part of the global unpersonning of dissidents.
    And he tells me he saw the damn thing four (4) times. I saw 13 Hours, Oblivion and Red Cliff twice in theaters, and have seen certain other movies many times on video but those would be top shelf fare like Lives of Others, Soldier of Orange or The Boat. He absolutely blew my mind when he said that. But it seems to be representative. Younger men (younger than me) love this movie.

    • Replies: @SFG
  61. Altai says:

    OT: With all the silly hagiography for Kobe Bryant after dying is his childish bling helicopter. A good article on the seemingly endless forgiveness granted mostly black athletes with regard to rape, murder, manslaughter and wife beating versus saying something ‘racist’.

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kobe-bryants-rape-charge-i-885653

    I also like how Kobe Bryant is supposed to be a role model for black boys. All black boys need to do is all be very tall with fast twitch muscle and they’re set! Really just a sad statement on the lack of decent black role models actually that Kobe was probably the best there was. I just saw another one praising his being able to speak Italian. (As if growing up in Italy and being able to speak Italian is something amazing)

    I just saw a news reporter say ‘Terrible news for Los Angeles, America and the world.‘ o_O

    • Thanks: Lot, sayless
  62. @Hemid

    In the UK it’s ‘rucksack’ for the old, esp. outdoor types, ‘backpack’ for the young, though this can cover everything from a 15 litre day or kindergarten back up to an 80-litre backpacking* bag.

    * walking and camping with all your gear, tent/stove/food/water/clothes/sleeping bag – is usage the same in the US?

    “Knapsack” is more archaic, sort of thing the soldier carries in a Hans Christian Andersen tale.

    “A soldier came marching along the high road: “Left, right—left, right.” He had his knapsack on his back, and a sword at his side; he had been to the wars, and was now returning home. “

    http://hca.gilead.org.il/tinderbx.html

  63. Rob says:
    @Alan Mercer

    What fun!

    First thing I tried was ‘IQ race.’ First or second was population IQ 2012 to 2060. I checked it out, and they gave a best case 6 point increase and a worst case .85 point increase. I couldn’t check out the whole database on iPad, but what delusional crap. Dysgenic trends overall and a 50 or so percent Hispanic population, and they think we’re looking at nearly a point gain as a worst-case? I have a feeling Pollyanna is going to be disappointed by the coming world.

  64. peterike says:
    @Lot

    Steve, we need a thread on the coronavirus because:

    1) Your commentariat will likely have much of interest to say.

    2) What we know already about this shows PeterIke’s Law gone into hyper-drive.

  65. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    The artificial movie-critic alleged crisis-of-conscience conflict between Joker and Parasite is basically a confession that Globo-Shlomo has a guilty conscience: they know perfectly well that they’ve plundered, looted, degraded and destroyed a great civilization, and that they did so as hate-filled spiteful outsiders and raiders. Now they want to misdirect and reframe the whole thing into fake class-conflict terms, when we all know this is coded racial language.

    yep, we saw that in the Dreher piece at TAC on the Caldwell book.

    Race ain’t a social construct; class is. And class war is something imposed from outside, as a classic divide-and-conquer tactic.

  66. @CMC

    First of all, 25% of the boxes were crap. There were four people in the Parasite poor family. One possibility is that one of the members (mom?) was 100% awful at the box task and the other three were 100% perfect.

    It was made pretty clear that it was the father who was doing a poor job folding the boxes. Just as the father would’ve inevitably been the one unable to accomplish a menial task, had that scene been taken from an Anglosphere film. The (South) Koreans have learned their lessons well.

  67. @Lot

    Do people in the USA use the word “knapsack” in speech? It seems like something out of a Great Depression coming of age short story.

    In the 1970’s I don’t recall any other term being used.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @sayless
  68. @Lot

    Do people in the USA use the word “knapsack” in speech?

  69. @Desiderius

    “wouldn’t be out of place at a Gatsby soirée.”

    Well, she would be actually.

    Her family were not from the Gatsby set, but from the New England Harvard abolitionist busy-body set. Her father was a brilliant and inventive engineer, but more significantly her uncle was Gardiner Coit Means, high priest of “collective capitalism” and cheerleader for all of the forces which have worked to destroy the American, white, working class.

    No doubt she sees herself as continuing a proud family tradition.

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @Reg Cæsar
    , @Desiderius
  70. @Lot

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1028161.shtml

    Based on this, some 3 million Chinese (probably more) might visit the USA and a somewhat lower number of Americans China. This makes for 500,000 monthly travelers, excluding those who travel between the two countries while being from a third country. The month is almost over, and I assume some growth since 2016, so it must be roughly 5/500,000, or 1/100,000. Which would predict some 15,000 cases in China.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  71. @Altai

    This was front page news here in my country, even though I suspect most people here don’t know or care who Bryant was. Some headlines say that Bryant has died in a helicopter crash, and only clicking through one finds out his daughter and three others died as well. Evidently, they don’t matter as much.

  72. @Altai

    The BBC 10 pm news makes Kobe Bryant the lead, apparently the media world IS in mourning.

    The number of people who follow basketball in the UK is up there with the numbers who follow ice hockey.

    PS – they’re making a Hollywood film, Ammonite, about Mary Anning, the pioneer fossil huntress. She’ll probably turn out to be a lesbian.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  73. @reiner Tor

    We can’t expect the percentages to be anywhere close to the same.

    WuHan is a major “city” (actually more than one city) with a major university. There appear to be flights between WuHan and a few major US cities these days. Which means, the percentage of Chinese nationals in the US who would have recently been in or near WuHan is far larger than the percentage of Chinese in China who have been in or near WuHan recently.

    All we can say for certain — we are in the early stages of something that could be really bad or just a little bad. China has the advantage of being a totalitarian state which can simply shut 30 million people off from the rest of the world, and have almost complete control over information coming out.

    • Replies: @Lot
  74. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @CMC

    First of all, 25% of the boxes were crap. There were four people in the Parasite poor family. One possibility is that one of the members (mom?) was 100% awful at the box task and the other three were 100% perfect.

    Also, there is the element of motivation. The woman in BLUE JASMINE is not dumb, but she sucks at most tasks because her mind is always fixated on bigger things. So, her neurons fire up only at choice opportunities, like using her charms and wit to lure that elite yupster. But learning basic computer skills or working as secretary is taxiing precisely because she finds it so beneath her. Also, consider the woman in HOUSE OF MIRTH. When she loses her station and has to work at simple jobs, she can’t cut it because she’s used to privilege. In a class-centric nation like Korea, one’s self of worth is closely linked with status and position. Without proper status, one almost feels as a subhuman. Same in Japan and rest of East Asia. It’s the dark side of Confucianism. Though Confucius didn’t mean for there to be snotty elite, he did rank the educated scholar-managerial elite as the most honorable. Thus, station became synonymous with knowledge and wisdom. In traditional East Asian society, elite educational elites were for literature, philosophy, and poetry. It didn’t teach business 101 or engineering 202, but now elite universities are all about earning credentials to work in top firms. There is still the large bureaucratic class that works for government, but society is mainly centered around capitalist conglomerates who buy up most politicians. Babbitry dominates but now with more veneer of sophistication.

    Second, the Parasite Poors didn’t turn into the Mission Impossible squad. They weren’t doing Mission Impossible things. Boiling water? Tutoring? Chauffeuring? Really? That’s like hijacking an armed moving train in sub zero weather in the Himalayas?

    Right. Also, the movie isn’t really about rich vs poor. The family is lower-middle class. They may be currently stuck in lowly job of folding pizza boxes, but they are middle in terms of cultural and social sensibility. The problem with globalism is the middle keeps shrinking. We see this in the US as well. So, not only is there an excess of elite-educated people who can’t attain elite status — consider all the graduates of fancy colleges in the US who toil at Starbucks, low-paying journalistic job, internships that go nowhere, adjunct professors who never seem to get tenure, etc –, but there is an excess of middle class people who can’t secure middle class existence. Class isn’t just about money but cultural attainment. While the family in PARASITE isn’t sophisticated, the members aren’t bumpkins or proles either. Also, the discovery of the basement folks creates another layer of economic/social status. The poor below the ‘poor’. (And of course, there are plenty of millionaires who feel ‘poor’ compared to billionaires.)

    Now, the real question should be why doesn’t the family seek regular employment? After all, S. Korea has a labor shortage and has to import increasing numbers of foreigners for various work. So, why not find some job in construction or some such stuff? This is where class sensibility trumps economic reality. The family would rather hide and remain poor while folding pizza boxes behind closed doors than come out in the open and work at ‘lowly’ jobs that are given to foreigners with less ‘pride’. The family has a middle class mentality and would rather dream of latching onto the rich than work at regular jobs that are associated with lowly status. It’s like Japan is dying because most Japanese see most regular jobs as ‘dirty, demeaning, or dangerous’. Both TOKYO SONATA and DEPARTURES deal with the problem of Japanese losing their status and finding regular work. The father in TOKYO SONATA loses his yuppie job and fears his family knowing he works as laborer. A friend remains delusional and commits suicide. In DEPARTURES, a classical musician who loses his job works at cleaning dead bodies, a kind of modern burakuminism, and his girlfriend/wife is freaked. In the French film TIME OUT, a man is so attached to class prerogatives that he continues to pretend he has a fancy corporate job even though he’s lost his place. A kind of psycho-social parasitism infects all such people. They are so enamored of the ideal of fancy job and social dignity that it’s moon or bust for them. They want the Good Job or nothing. If they need money, they’d rather do some makeshift work than find real work. After all, the family can always rationalize that folding pizza-boxes is just temp work. It doesn’t DEFINE them. It’s just something to do to make ends meet before they find something really worthy of their kind.
    There was a news article that says there is near-universal college degrees among South Koreans, and this has led to impossible expectations. It’s moon-or-bust mentality. Also, as Koreans are now seen as ‘fancy Asians'(as opposed to ‘jungle Asians’), each and every Korean wants a fancy job. Same social sickness infects Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. And this affects childbirth because people don’t want a kid unless they can be sure to send him/her to good school. Also, as fewer kids means even women must work to fill jobs, there are even less jobs for men, and that means less opportunity for family-formation. This is really a death spiral. It’s no wonder so many people in East Asia want to move to the US, Canada, and Australia. Unlike nations like Guatemala that are teeming with people who wanna move Norte to work at any menial job(because even such aren’t available in Central America), many Fancy Asians wanna move West because they don’t want to touch dirty jobs in their own nations. They figure they can find jobs worthy of their station in the West. Or, even if they have to work at lowly jobs in the West, their kids will likely have a better job prospects in America or Canada with more opportunities. Or, maybe there is less shame in having a lowly job in the West because no one knows who you are or cares, whereas back home, all your relatives and friends know you’re a ‘loser’. Besides, lowly jobs in the West pay better than lowly jobs elsewhere. A Mexican can do lowly stuff in the US but return to Mexico and live a middle class life.

    The basement couple also seem infected with the germ of pride. Even though they are economically below the lower-middle-class family, they aren’t bumpkins either. The man seems rather literate and well-educated. The basement has a bookshelf. He seems an intellectual type. So, he’s not poor due to lack of smarts or talent. Rather, he would rather latch onto and leech off the rich family than go out into the world and do regular work. Book-smart and knowledgeable but unwilling to pick up a shovel. He’d rather stay in the basement and read books and be a kind of scholar-philosopher than be a regular worker.
    In some ways, Bong seems to identify on some level with the basement philosopher. After all, he’s an artist, and bohemian types want to live with arts and culture than do humdrum work. If Bong hadn’t found success as film-maker, he could be the type who’d rather fold pizza boxes or hide in some basement and read books and write scripts(even if they don’t see the light of day). And in a way, society needs such people because it can’t only be about money. Society needs critics, thinkers, intellectuals, truth-tellers, scholars, and etc. And yet, that too can lead to a kind of poisonous elitism where one feels oneself to be too good for humdrum stuff. In a way, so much of the intellectual class in colleges are like the basement intellectual. They make a lot of noise about ‘social injustice’ but they are really leeches of the capitalist system that creates sufficient wealth to support institutions where so many useless people pontificate endlessly about this or that.

    This is what intellectual class has become in the West:

    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/08/judith-butler-trotting-tired-excuses-defend-sexual-harasser/

    But even as they bitch about wealth and privilege, why did they choose careers as professors and intellectuals? Why do they want to work as artists? Because they believe themselves to be too good for lowly work of deplorables and immigrant-lumpens. This is why Bernie-Socialism is so appealing to the wanna-be-elites. It’s less about better wages and conditions for real workers than about more free stuff and entitlements for elite-wanna-be’s who want the goodies even without having made it economically.

    Bong seems to have two minds about the intellectual class. As South Korea concentrated so much on GDP uber alles and as its politicians were all useless toadies of US hegemony, it was the intellectual class and artists who dared to say anything daring and truthful. And to that extent, the basement guy is like a buried and suppressed conscience of Korea. Indeed, something he says before he expires seems to inspire the father to take radical action and slay the rich man. It sparked a realization on the father as to who the real enemy is. And yet, the basement guy is also a useless leech and conceited jerk who feels himself to be too good for the world of working folks. All said and done, he’d rather remain in the proximity of affluence than go where the real folks are.

    Hanson is rhetorically blowing this up on both ends.

    It’s possible that people like Hanson are misinterpreting the film. After all, superficially at least, the rich family seems more appealing than the lower folks. Also, as an Art Film, it eschews heroes-and-villains dichotomy of most morality plays, so people can make of it what they want.
    Or they could be trying to appropriate the film. It could be that, deep inside, they understand that it is an indictment on the globalist elites. Its point of view isn’t much different from that of Yellow Vest protesters. By showering honors and accolades on Bong, they get to buy him off. Or, by praising the film, they can present themselves as people who ‘get it’ and understand the injustices of the world, all the while shoving the under the rug that the film is largely an attack on their ilk.
    Didn’t Davos invite the guy who organized Occupy Wall Street? So, why not just Hollywoodize Bong?

    Elites like to bitch about how the white deplorables are ‘white supremacists’ who attack poor immigrants, minorities, and the like, but what they really fear is that the white deplorables re-direct their rage at the elites who pull the strings. This is why the cultural elites were threatened by JOKER because it directed a white hero-villain’s rage at the elites. And in PARASITE, the violence goes from low vs low to low versus high. When the father stabs the rich man, he is emotionally in alliance with the basement guy with whom he’d been at war earlier to keep his place in the rich man’s house. It’s like the house korean negro suddenly feels as one with basement korean negro and turns into a field korean ni**er.

    Me neither. It wasn’t justified.

    As a person-to-person matter, it was murder pure and simple. On that note, the rich man is an innocent victim. But the film is not about mere individuals. It is satire, and each character stands for something bigger than individuals. This is where PARASITE is somewhat like JOKER. The difference, of course, is that PARASITE says something about reality where JOKER really takes place in Tropeville or Tropolis. TAXI DRIVER had something to say about NY, but JOKER takes tropes from various works and jumbles them with pop cultural memes. For example, the yuppie thugs in subway only exist in Hollywood universe. If there are violent thugs in subways, they are likely black. JOKER takes from Art Cinema but assembles the tropes to make them palatable to the Rule of Hollywood. In contrast, PARASITE has its ear to close to social reality.
    However, both PARASITE and JOKER feature social archetypes than mere individuals. As such, the killing of the rich man has to be seen in a larger context. He isn’t just a rich man but The Rich Man.
    Consider. If a deplorable murdered a rich NY Jew, it’d be murder pure and simple. He should be tried and sent to prison. Justice must work that way. But suppose someone writes a book or makes a film about what led the man to kill the rich NY globalist Jew. Suppose the deplorable began to connect the dots and realized that people like the rich NY Jew is the kind who manipulates finances, sells opioids, spreads anti-white hatred, opens the gates of Great Replacement, pushes for Wars for Israel in which sons of deplorables end up dead, and etc.
    Now, suppose the NY Jew is a nice guy and pays his deplorable employee well. As an individual, he’s not at all a monster or villain. And as a kindly employer, he’s been good for the deplorable. And yet, when one connects the dots, he belongs to the globalist elite class that is destroying Middle America in more ways than one. So, even though it would be an act of murder, it would also be a ‘revolutionary act’ when seen in the larger context.
    Now, this is DANGEROUS thinking — it can rationalize the violence of people like Anders Brevik — , but all of politics is about generalization. Indeed, even the notion of ‘deplorables’ is a blow against an entire class of people. Also, there seems to be a concerted effort by Western elites to target and destroy the entire ‘deplorable’ class by means of drugs, great replacement, humiliation, dehumanization, and etc.
    As Western Europe and nations like Japan/Korea are political and cultural colonies of the US, what happens in the US happens over there too. So, there are two ways to see the killing in PARASITE. It is, on one level, an act of murder that cannot be condoned by society. But in the larger context, it is also an act of raised consciousness. Also, in killing the rich man, maybe the father was attacking the part of him that wanted to be like the rich. His violence seems reflective than merely reactive. It wasn’t so much a stab of envy and resentment at privilege but a stab into the heart of the beast that makes so many people fixate on the wrong things. In that sense, it’s different from the violence that erupts at the end of FAMILY GAME when the tutor loses it because he feels socially slighted. He takes it so badly because, deep down inside, his social outlook isn’t different from that of the father who hired him.

    Either way, that’s a man that the poor father could be tempted to see as not a man at all, not a real father, not a decent human being —not deserving of life.

    Again, the two-mindedness of Bong. We see this in his earlier films too. MEMORIES OF MURDER unfolds rather like IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT. Local yokel bumpkin cops are messing things up, and a well-trained Westernized detective arrives from the city. He works more methodically and scientifically. He’s better mannered and more rational. So, we see him as a great improvement over the local yokels. And yet, he too isn’t without limitations and problems of ego and pride. He’s so sure of his ‘scientific’ method and pride of superior status that when the data doesn’t confirm his suspicion of the guilty, he loses it and become near-psychotic with fury. Though he restrained the local yokels from beating the suspects, he unleashes horrific violence on the man he suspects is the real murderer. In BARKING DOGS, there is an aspiring middle class couple. The young man is studying to become a sociology professor. Like so many of his kind, no dirty job for him. In contrast, there are the less tidy and even downright dirty lumpens who are crude and vulgar. And yet, it is one of the lowly lumpens in the basement of the apartment complex — again, the basement of metaphor — who speaks of the corruption and bribery that went into the construction of the building, esp relevant in a nation where certain huge buildings and bridges collapsed because insufficient materials were used to cut costs via graft and etc. It serves as a metaphor for the nation as a whole where so much goes unsaid about what really happened because everyone prefers amnesia over facing up to trauma. And even though the middle class couple seem more civilized than the lumpens — one of who is a voracious dog-hunter-eater –, we see how they use bribery(by stuffing cash under a cake) to secure a ‘clean job’ for the man at a university. Trauma and amnesia also feature in MOTHER. The son is semi-retarded, and the mother pretends not to know why. But it turns out the son remembers something her mother did that led to his condition. The mother covers up lots of dark truths to protect her peace of mind and the film ends with her on some tour dancing on the bus.

    One thing about Bong’s films that may seem a bit jarring is how family-centric they are. HOST was stupid but stood out as a action-horror movie with family at its center. Usually, we watch genre movies to forget about reality, life, family, obligations, and etc. In THE THING, it’s all loners without or away from family. Zombie movies are about individuals, and we hardly learn much about their family. GODFATHER deviates from most gangster flicks because it’s family centric. Most gangsters in movies are loners who strive to make it to the top. Movies make us focus on story and action, which are made more efficient and fast-moving without element of family. Yet, we follow an entire family throughout the HOST.
    The family thing seems to be both a source of strength and weakness in Bong’s movies. Family means someone to rely on when times are bad. Even when the world is against you or falling apart, you have your family. But family also means putting blinders on and ignoring the higher social good for the needs of the family. So, the woman in MOTHER tampers with evidence to save her son. And PARASITE is about two families whose main loyalty is ‘my folks’ than any sense of larger social good. All the International SAT cheating in South Korea seems to be a family affair. “Anything for my child” and “anything for my family”. Such corruption via familism has perhaps been less damaging to East Asia because, at the very least, the combine cheating with real effort, unlike some parts of the world where cheating merely substitute for effort. Still, cheating is cheating, but family-centrism makes Koreans blind to the dangers.

    • Agree: Aldon
    • Thanks: CMC
  75. @ben tillman

    Do people in the USA use the word “knapsack” in speech? It seems like something out of a Great Depression coming of age short story.

    In the 1970’s I don’t recall any other term being used.

    Expos and Muppets fans would know it.

  76. Lot says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    “ There appear to be flights between WuHan and a few major US cities these days. ”

    Not directly.

    We have 5 US cases out of an exposed population of about 14k (chinese arrivals + american returns daily) x 20 days or ~280k using the 2016 data from Reinor’s link.

    So that is 1/56,000. And that is with travel precautions the airlines and airports started taking about a week ago.

    The rate of confirmed cases in China is 2k/1.3B or 1/650,000.

    Wuhan is a 2nd tier industrial city, no reason to believe Chinese arrivals are 10x more likely to have been there than the average Chinese.

  77. Alden says:
    @Anon

    I’ve tried to watch Joker several times with the kids and their friends. Both boys and girls like it equally. I just get bored and pick up a book or get on the internet. It’s on Netflix amazon one of them.

    There’s a long set of outdoor stairs he uses going to and from home good photography there. Probably some symbol, goes up and down the steps daily but never gets anywhere. He’s Everyman but more emotional. I guess.

  78. Alden says:
    @Arclight

    Elites only care about black and brown lower classes. They hate non elite Whites and don’t even know about the Asian illegal slaves working in Asian businesses all over America.

  79. I’m calling out conflict of interest. A guy named Robin is going to be partial to Joker. Perhaps a guy named Kim might prefer Korean cinema.

    “Joker” vs. “Parasite”

    This sounds like a battle of the malware.

    https://medium.com/online-io-blockchain-technologies/joker-malware-the-virus-that-took-over-android-a822dc649459

    This is Robin Hanson. The bottom of his shirt reads “Rolling Her Eyes”. You’d expect a cock Robin born near the peak of hen Robins might be a touch misogynistic. Hanson was born between the peak male year 1956 (2,244) and the peak female year 1963 (14,434). However, Robin is a diminutive of Robert, and more than 80,000 of those were born annually in the 1950s.

    This pic is from an hour-long interview about the future of AI— he’s not keen on it.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  80. Alden says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Is the antiWhite racist witch any relation to the Gardiner’s of Gardiner’s Island NY or the San Francisco Coits and Hitchcocks?

  81. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Robin Roberts (the ball player) had a brother named George that owned a pizza joint in Overland Park. It was a rite of passage to go over there and see how long you could maintain a conversation with him without him mentioning that Robin Roberts was his brother. I don’t think anyone ever got past about the 3:30 mark. It was kind of like ((Herb Mooney)), the guy that owned Accent Sound, the stereo place: you were no audiophile until you’d been kicked out of Accent Sound a couple of times.

    Robin Olds, WWII and Vietnam air ace, was the other cock Robin that was pretty famous.

  82. SFG says:
    @J.Ross

    The next Fight Club? I do see the commonalities–angry young men, frustrated and with no constructive outlets.

  83. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I have no interest in sportsball and am not in mourning, but I certainly am sad that there was a fatal helicopter crash, and feel bad for his family as I would for anyone. Crashes are bad for aviation, obviously, and Bryant and his kid were certainly not people anyone would wish death on. There are people the world would be better off without but they were not in that group.

  84. J.Ross says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    While I partly disagree with this I notice that it’s truer to the movie than a lot of the other reviews (it explains Joker shooting apparently random people whose commonality is stereotypical disproportionate representation in certain occupations, ie, finance and entertainment): however I think the truer explanation is “Hollywood sloppiness.” Also the director went around explaining that everything after the initial asylum scene is all in his head.

  85. Ragno says:

    But why so much hate from those who claim to side with the lower classes?

    This one’s easy. They hate it because the people they hate more than anyone in the world – you and me, in other words – seem to like it.

    Also: blue-checkmark Twitterati fly into a purple rage at the outrageous presumption of their social (and often, monetary) inferiors to engage in the same online ‘debate’ tactics – from dismissive snark to full-frontal venom – which they have arrogated to themselves alone. Time was when the trademark of a Democrat was the full-throated defense of the working class from the heavy-handed abuse of treacherous and debased plutocrats….’member that? Well, they’ve since simplified the formula to defending Negroes, sexual defectives, and border-jumpers, regardless of how predatory or parasitical, from the depredations of whites of any background or temperament – let alone ability, achievement or integrity.

    While noted economists and social scientists puzzle out how social-problem films clearly designed to appeal to intellectuals suddenly turned into entertainment for yahoos – TAXI DRIVER didn’t exactly swap the Vincent Canby audience for Vinnie Boombotz and his crew overnight – the rest of us can chalk it up/write it off to the ongoing death of the West. Anyway, the fluorescent pink hair and single sideburn now mandatory for today’s tastemakers should’ve sounded a very loud warning bell.

  86. @Alden

    Is the antiWhite racist witch any relation to the Gardiner’s of Gardiner’s Island NY or the San Francisco Coits and Hitchcocks?

    The grandmother of the living grandsons of President Tyler, the second Mrs Tyler, was a Gardiner of Gardiners Island. Literally– she grew up there.

    One of those grandsons is [sic] Lyon Gardiner Tyler, named for the original. The first real New Yorker.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Gardiner_Tyler

  87. @Bitfu

    Yeah, from the otherwise pretty good PBS for Kids Show Luna:

    “Everyone’s different but really they’re just like you”

  88. @Old Palo Altan

    …the New England Harvard abolitionist busy-body set.

    Abolitionists wouldn’t have had to be “busybodies” had the busybodies on the other side gone along with the Great Compromiser Henry Clay and his Colonization Society. But then they’d have had to pay white men enough to do an unpleasant task, which employers then found and now find itself to be an unpleasant task. No sympathy there.

    The fugitive slave policies may have been legal and constitutional, but nevertheless were invasive, and made a mockery of state sovereignty. (We didn’t invade Canada, Upper or Lower, to get them back.)

    “Underground railroads” exist to this day– one operates for North Koreans– and those living in the ambiguous in-between zones along the routes are forced into an uncomfortable moral position. “Finlandization”, if you will.

  89. sayless says:
    @ben tillman

    I still use that word. It’s what I call the cloth bag I use for grocery shopping.

  90. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bugg

    Davies has four children, all girls, out of three different women.

    Personal life

    Ray Davies has been married three times and has four daughters. Two of them, Louisa Davies and Victoria Davies, are from his first marriage in 1964 to Rasa Dicpetris.[42] In 1973, Davies attempted suicide by a drugs overdose following the breakup of his first marriage. He was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder.[43] Davies’ second marriage was in 1974 to Yvonne Gunner.[44] The couple had no children.

    Davies had a relationship with Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders during the 1980s, and their daughter is named Natalie Rae Hynde. His third marriage was to Irish ballet dancer Patricia Crosbie, with whom he had a daughter, Eva Davies.[45] Davies is bisexual.[46]

    Ray Davies has had a tempestuous relationship with younger brother Dave, the Kinks’ lead guitarist, which “dominated” the Kinks’ career as a band and has kept a full reunion from taking place.[43]

    Hynde was exceedingly isolative and protective of her girls, such that not a single picture of either of them ever was publicly shown until they were adults and pursuing activities in the public sphere. Davies apparently has tried to be involved in his children’s lives but in the case of Hynde fille this was somewhat limited by her mother. Hynde and her girls spent a fair amount of time with the Paul and Linda McCartney family, as they shared an interest/obsession with vegetarianism and animal rights.

    Hynde’s militant vegetarianism has pretty much dictated her choices in suitors: she as much as admits she got pregnant with Natalie as a way to tie her up from the drug culture (she lost two bandmates to drugs in a short time) and had Yasmin with Jim Kerr so that Natalie would not be an only child. Davies later admitted that the relationship with Hynde, who evinced a worshipful-acolyte fascination with him musically (the Pretenders covered ‘Stop your Sobbing’ early on and Hynde saw the Kinks at a very impressionable stage in Cleveland), was not likely to succeed and was a bad idea on his part. Hynde openly considers non-vegetarians more or less beneath contempt, although she did call James Jewell Osterberg “the world’s finest human” when he performed in a tribute they put on, having earlier stated that she had lusted for him but that she does not have sexual relations with carnivores.

    Since the two original bandmates -Pete Farndon (bass, and not especially key, though she was sexually involved with him at one point) and James Honeyman-Scott (guitar, dead at 25, and widely acknowledged as likely to be one of the best British rock guitarists when he matured a bit) died, Hynde, and sometimes drummer Martin Chambers ( a very good drummer, but not truly great) have been “The Pretenders” with whatever hired guns she fancied at the time, all British, all men, but generally quite good players-she is a good judge of talent. Pretenders shows never disappoint in performance quality, but there have been a couple of times when the audience has pissed her off, most notably in Dubai, where (after contractually agreeing to, among other things, not use foul language on stage, it being a Muslim nation) concertgoers refusing to put their cell phones away caused her to call the audience “a bunch of cunts” and walk off in a huff.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  91. “I really didn’t understand why the poor family in Parasite was inept at doing simple jobs like folding pizza boxes, but then suddenly turned into the Mission Impossible squad when they got a chance to edge in on the rich family. ”</I

    The only poor family member who was notably inept in the beginning was the father. And he didn’t become particularly capable later – he just drives a car and almost screws that up (and smells bad).

    The father’s incompetence and the unwillingness of his hypercompetent children to challenge him may be a subtle jibe at Asian deference to fathers (and father figures).

  92. @Alden

    Her family is unquestionably a distinguished one: the first Means in America, from northern Ireland, prospered and one daughter married an Appleton (and their daughter was the wife of President Franklin Pierce) and another a brother of Abbott Lawrence. Both the Appletons and the Lawrences are to be counted among the oldest and most distinguished of the Boston Brahmin families.
    Her own line were first Boston merchants, then Harvard educated ministers and then doctors, scientists and historians (also mostly Harvard men). The line which stayed in Boston was to be found in the Social Register; hers, which went to Connecticut and then New York, was not.
    As to your specific question: her Coits go back to a Joshua Coit who was a Congressman in the late 18th century, but there is no obvious connection to the San Francisco branch of this family, although they too were from Connecticut. I can find no explanation at all for the use of “Gardiner” as a given name (nor Winthrop, which was the name of her father and brother), and, given her own clear contempt for her own family and families like it, I will now drop the subject.

  93. @Old Palo Altan

    Gatsby fundraiser then

    Capulets and Montagues

  94. @Anonymous

    There are much classier and more effective ways to deal with toolboxes’ inappropriate use of disruptive devices.

    Many performers or venues implement stricter security, which can eliminate most things by limiting what is permitted inside and promptly removing bad actors from the premises during the show. I’ve been to plenty of shows where the wise-asses using flashes, smoking weed, or doing other things everyone had been warned were prohibited were effectively and with a quickness hauled away by burly guys uninterested in their protests or excuses. And it usually only happens to a couple of idiots early in the show, because anyone else prone to shenanigans quickly gets the message that they won’t be tolerated.

    More well-adjusted performers sometimes have fun with it.

    Nathan Lane is said to have famously taken the ringing phone from someone in the audience of a show, explaining to the calling party that he was in the middle of performing a play, so what was so important, please? or some such funny things.

    I was once at a performance by the Airborne Toxic Event with some moron holding up an iPad in the front row. Mikel Jollett playfully chastised the guy about staring at the show in a tiny monitor instead of experiencing it in real time; Jollett then took the offending iPad, gave a brief spiel directly into the lens introducing himself and saying things like “Hi, [idiot audience member’s name I forget]’s mom!,” and something like “Now he can put the stupid iPad away and we can all enjoy the show again.”

    I understand the frustrations about inappropriate behaviors, but cursing out the entire audience and then just walking out on them because of the bad manners of a few (or even many) is itself terrible manners and disrespect to everyone else who paid to see the show.

  95. Aldon says:

    Joker is as cucked as they come.

    What with the:

    1. Caring Negro womyn.

    2. Straight Privileged White Males “harassing” women on a train (instead of them being Kunta Kintes or Pablos as reflected in crime stats).

    3. All of the “elite” are goys with no Jews whatsoever.

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