I don’t know which I needed more after seeing the movie The Big Short — a box of tissues, or a long, wash-every-inch-of-me-with-disinfectant-soap shower, or a double shot of Grey Goose. It was, on the one hand, hysterical, because of the way they presented the story, but on the other slimy hand, it was a movie that forces you to come face to face with the worst of humanity. If you remember the cataclysmic fall of the market in 2007, you know the narrative. I will be perfectly transparent here (unlike Wall Street at the time), and tell you that understanding the housing bubble and the way the whole thing went down is hard, and I had to go over it before I saw the movie, during the movie, and after the movie, to understand it even a little (if you read this blog, you know I am proudly math illiterate).
Bottom line is that there were thousands of people screwing thousands of other people for the almighty dollar. How you could sleep if you’re making beaucoup bucks by essentially stealing from the innocent, is beyond my fertile imagination, but it happened. And it happened in a really big way.
The movie is brilliant in its telling. This could be a deadly boring story, although it has bad guys and good guys, and all the essentials of a great tale. But the way this film rolls is modern and quite brilliant. I mean, if you can get me to sit on the edge of my seat for what is essentially a story about numbers, it’s gotta be something pretty special.
Of course, it’s really not just about numbers. It’s about greed, lying, and green American cash dollars. It’s about the guy with the biggest toys winning, the rest of the world be damned. It’s about crooks, and hard-working people who believed in a system that was a total and complete lie.
It’s hard to even know how to feel after this film, because it’s so distressing, uncovering a period in recent history that can be described as nothing short of disgusting. It uncovers something you can’t unsee again, and in that revelation, you have to examine what we’ve become, and how money has transformed itself from a form of trade for goods needed to an almighty God. It’s a sad movie that made me laugh, and a true story that made me think, mostly about how we became a country of people who value the green pieces of paper with presidents on them, more than one another.