Flashback Friday: Up in the Air (2009)

The workplace, in its various forms, is red meat for writers. There is so much material to work with that it is too tempting to not look away.

In the 2009 film, Up in the Air, Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), spends more time traveling than at home. As a downsizing expert, his job is to help corporations reduce their staff. On the cusp of earning ten million frequent flyer miles, his world is shaken up by two women.

The first is Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga). She is essentially the female version of himself. Though he is an avowed bachelor whose entire life is his job, Alex makes him question his decisions. The other is Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick). She is young, ambitious, and has ideas that threaten to shake up his professional normal.

Released at the height of the great recession, the overall narrative reflected a cynicism about the corporate world and the truth of white-collar jobs. We are expendable and replaceable (despite the promises of a family-like atmosphere coming from some managers and higher-ups).

What I liked was that both Alex and Natalie are given equal weight to Ryan in the narrative. However, there is a scene in which Alex is momentarily reduced to a sex object and Ryan is not.

Other than that, it is enjoyable and entertaining.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Republican Fuckery Part VII: Losing GOP Candidate Shoots at Democrats, George Santos’s Continual Lies, and the Debt Ceiling

To say that the American government is in a state of chaos these days is an understatement. It is thanks to one party and one party only. While the Democrats are doing the job of the people, the other side is all about power and nothing more.

The latest fuckery is as follows:

In what only be described as the love child of Kari Lake‘s extended tantrum and January 6th, a GOP candidate who lost his election for the state house in New Mexico was accused of shooting at the homes of state and local Democrats. Beyond the obvious issue of gun control, what I find disturbing is that these people think that violence is the answer. What the voters want does not matter to them.

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Meanwhile, George Santos continues with his lies. While the questions continue to pile up, he acts as if he did nothing wrong. Adding insult to injury is the right has taken him into the fold. BTW, he was the subject of SNL‘s cold open last night. It was brilliant and Bowen Yang was hilarious. When someone is being parodied on the show, they have become a national figure.

And finally, the debt ceiling became a major headline last week. It is as follows:

The debt limit, which is set by Congress, represents the maximum amount the federal government is allowed to borrow to pay its debts. 

If the amount of government debt reaches that threshold and lawmakers fail to lift the borrowing limit, the U.S. would be unable to pay what it owes and could default. 

It goes without saying that decisions have to be made. The question is, what will be sacrificed? As usual, Kevin McCarthy is putting the country last. He would rather hold onto the gavel than prevent another recession. If I don’t pay my bills, my credit score will go down the toilet and I will eventually be evicted from my apartment. What makes the Republicans think that they can play with our financial future?

Just another day in the United States.

Bernie Madoff-May You Be Forgotten

When a person dies, the Jewish response is the following: “may their memory be a blessing”.

Bernie Madoff, the Ponzi schemer who stole millions from his clients a dozen years ago, passed away yesterday at the age of 82.

I don’t normally pay attention to what is happening on Wall Street. It’s never been my thing. But I do pay attention when someone of Madoff’s stature re-emphasizes the stereotype about Jews and money. The anti-Semites make up enough lies about us, the last thing we need is validation of those falsehoods via real world examples.

I also pay attention when the economy tanks and there are more people looking for work than jobs needing to be filled. The revelation of what he did added salt to the wound of the Great Recession, creating more uncertainty and stress for those affected by his greed and selfishness.

I would normally say than when a co-religionist of mine passes, that their memory should be a blessing. I cannot say that about Madoff. I can only say that may he be forgotten.

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