Our lives break sometimes, so much so that things can seem like they’ll never be “good” again.
Reminds me of Michael Douglas in “Falling Down” (1993) – “An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.” – IMDB
It’s one of my favourite movies – for me an all time classic, Michael Douglas at his best.
A commenter on my previous opinion post brought the movie to mind. She had this to say :
Why do people do heinous things in order to acquire money? Perhaps it is because they cannot find a way to put a roof over their head etc by the normal means of working for money, or are burdened by all the taxes and restrictions placed by an ‘advanced’ society. A person’s most valuable financial asset is their ability to work. If that is taken away by economic circumstances, ill health, or govt restrictions, then the temptation to do ‘something heinous’ arises. Because others see these issues and see that the same thing could happen to them, then yes, a love of money arises, because that represents security. My parents/grandparents generation knew that if they worked well all their lives they could survive until a modest retirement. My generation can expect to live much longer, but be unemployable by the time they’re in their 50s. The next generation cannot exist on a minimum wage job. There is no security. Take away the security and people will naturally take measures to reinstate it.
She has many true points here – I can’t disagree with anything she says, she’s spot on. There’s many reasons why people may become disenchanted with society or very angry at the hand they’ve been dealt in life. Enough so to consider resorting to crime in order to get money, or just to “lash out”.
AND HARD NOT TO EMPATHISE – WE’RE ALL AWARE OF THESE ISSUES OR SIMILAR ONES THAT AFFECT US PERSONALLY.
I liked “Falling Down” because it explored how a person might react given a bad hand, a real bad hand in life. Bill, the protagonist lost is his job, his wife left him and he can’t see his daughter. HIS entire feeling of “security” entirely seemingly irreparably BROKEN. All through what he sees as “not his fault” – he blames just about anyone else he can.
My favourite scene from the movie :
Bill Foster: I’m the Bad Guy?
Sergeant Prendergast: Yeah.
Bill Foster: How’d that happen? I did everything they told me to. Did you know I build missiles? I helped to protect America. You should be rewarded for that. But instead they give it to the plastic surgeons, you know they lied to me.
Sergeant Prendergast: Is that what this is about? You’re angry because you got lied to? Is that why my chicken dinner is drying out in the oven? Hey, they lie to everyone. They lie to the fish. But that doesn’t give you any special right to do what you did today. The only that makes you special is that little girl. Now let’s go. Lets go!
– “Falling Down” (1993)
I especially like the “They lie to the fish” – always makes me laugh out loud, because it’s so true. We get lied to all the time. The problem arises when we build our lives on the lies, and then one day realise it’s not real, and that we don’t have *any* real security – this can make us very angry indeed … enough to spark off the rampage that Falling Down dramatically illustrates.
Life does throw shit at us, sometimes it’s a whole truckload. We get knocked down, the wind knocked out of us. It sucks, anyone who’s been there knows how it feels – totally rotten. Getting up can be HARD, really HARD sometimes. Age doesn’t make it any easier …
Crime is almost never an answer – I feel the same about it as I do about vigilantism (as I mentioned on my gun control update) :
We ventured into vigilantism, which was interesting and I gained a lot personally discussing. My conclusion is that vigilantism may be as bad or worse than the original crime, because of the repercussive consequences. An eye for an eye springs to mind, and that makes the whole world blind eventually. A possible outcome is anarchy if people go around killing others for revenge, retribution or “justice”. With lynchings or vigilante killings going on, well, who’s next, could be me or my loved ones or yours. This is why we have justice systems in most civilised countries in the world. And Police (and armed forces) to uphold the laws. I do appreciate the anger that people feel when justice isn’t served, there’s plenty I’ve seen that’s unjust personally. However I don’t agree that this is a justification for possessing a gun, or vigilantism, or lynchings.
Falling Down – Is It A Justification For Crime ?
How do we come to terms with issues that frustrate us enough to consider stealing, violence, torture, lying, blackmailing, killing etc ?
Is crime ever “right” or “just” or even really “a solution” ?
I already know my own personal answer – but I’m leaving the floor open on this one … for debate, perhaps 😀
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