Can Society Be Saved? (Joker vs. Parasite) – Wisecrack Edition

What’s up Wisecrack, Michael here. If you
kept up with all the great films of 2019, you might have noticed a recurring theme:
The have versus the have-nots, the rich vs. the poor, the fat cats vs the… malnourished
cats? Whether it’s J-Lo and her crew scamming
Wall Street lowlifes in Hustlers, underground-dwelling doppelgangers seeking revenge in Us, or the
monstrously unlikable grown-up rich kids in Knives Out, 2019 was full of movies that explored
the gap between rich and poor. And this theme wasn’t confined to the big screen, as TV
shows like The Righteous Gemstones and Succession depicted families of wealthy jerks regularly
screwing over honest folks in order to keep their mountains of money. But of course, we’re here to talk about
two of 2019’s best poster-children for class conflict: Joker and Parasite. Two drastically
different films, both of which seem eager to explore social division in modern society.
Through people who dream of improving their lot in life, we get to ask the question: are
those dreams destroying us? Let’s find out in this Wisecrack Edition on Joker and Parasite.
And of course, spoilers ahead. But first, a quick summary of the two films. Joker tells the origin story of Batman’s
least favorite clown, and his pre-villain persona, Arthur Fleck. Fleck is a mentally
unwell clown-for-hire and aspiring comedian who also must care for his ailing mother,
all in a Gotham that clearly mimics the collapsing New York City of the seventies and eighties.
After losing his job, Arthur also loses his shit and murders a few admittedly-awful finance
bros. In the process, he accidentally inspires the downtrodden Gothamites to don their own
clown masks and rise up against… something? Eventually, Fleck kills his favorite late-night
talk show host on live tv and does a blood-stained victory dance in the chaos-filled streets
before being locked up in Arkham asylum. Oh yeah, and at one point he thinks Thomas Wayne
is his dad and pays a creepy visit to his not-really little brother Bruce. Fast forward to present-day South Korea, and
you get Parasite, a movie about the Kims, a poor family that scams their way into gainful
employment under the very wealthy Park family. Things go well until they discover that the
Park’s former housekeeper has been hiding her husband in the basement for years. All
hell breaks loose, people get stabbed at a birthday party, and the Kim family ends up
far worse off than they started. Capitalism wins — the end. While these films feature wildly different
settings and tones, and were made in different languages by filmmakers living on opposite
sides of the world, they both pose the same question: namely, what does class stratification
mean for society? Let’s start with the basics: what exactly
is each film trying to say? Joker is a little bit vague. In an interview,
Todd Phillips said he rooted his film in the all-too-common belief that the system is broken,
while also “exploring the consequences of cutting social services for mental health.” So, a few interesting things here. As we’ve
noted before, the film is obsessed with recognition and visibility. Arthur dreams of being acknowledged
by his comedy role model, he complains that his social worker is ignoring him , and he
argues that, unlike his affluent victims, nobody would notice nor care if he was lying
dead on the street. On a societal level, the masses raging against
Thomas Wayne’s machine are sick of their needs going unheard, of their suffering being
invisible. But the revolution isn’t all rainbows and
drum circles for Todd Phillips. The mass movement in Joker is excessively cruel, profoundly
disorganized, and loosely led by an apolitical psychotic murderer. As such, the film functions
as a kind of warning. It’s not necessarily an indictment of capitalism, but rather, of
the extreme inequality it can breed. The film imagines what happens when the people at the
bottom of the financial ladder are deprived of the most basic human needs and dignities,
and, subsequently, are rallied to violence. Of course, such a situation is not exclusive
to comic book universes. In fact, we can better understand the revolutionary terror of the
Joker by examining the actual Terror during the French Revolution. For a quick history refresher: After generations
of peasants were trampled upon by the cake-eating aristocracy, they violently lashed out and
reclaimed the country for themselves. And while this revolution did lots of good things
— like emulate the ideals of the American revolution and, eventually, led to the abolition
of slavery in the French colonies — it also caused some pretty awful stuff, like indiscriminately
beheading their political rivals. The violent “us vs. them” dynamic facilitated by the
guillotine is similar to what we see in the final act of Joker, as the clowns gleefully
attack anyone who looks like they have a 401k. This kind of dynamic can easily turn a reasonable
group of downtrodden folks into fanatics. Fanaticism is a term we usually associate
with religion, and one that differs from it’s less violent cousin, enthusiasm. Philosopher
Immanuel Kant argued that, during the French Revolution, the mob-induced terror crossed
the line from enthusiasm, which is reasonable, into fanaticism, which is not. While it’s
perfectly moral to enthusiastically campaign for values like liberty, equality, and fraternity,
the same can’t be said for “guillotine-ing people who you don’t like” – that’s
fanaticism. If people like Thomas Wayne treat the poor as mere objects to be used and discarded,
the disenfranchised conversely, and fanatically, treat the wealthy as objects to be destroyed. The tension between enthusiasm and fanaticism
is what makes Joker such a compelling watch. In the first act of the film there is room
to genuinely empathize with and want the best for Arthur after he’s been repeatedly wronged.
But after he turns to fanaticism, we’re left mouths agape at how his journey has gone
so wrong. But if the message of Joker is “you better
keep the poors happy or else,” the message of Parasite is oh so much more complicated.
Because in Parasite, the bad guy isn’t greedy rich people or murderous clowns, but a system
that forces us to leech off of others to survive. In Bong Joon Ho’s world, both everyone and
no one is a bad guy. In fact, the wealthy Parks are kind of nice and normal. Sure the
wife is weird, but we can’t help but empathize with a guy trying to go camping with his kid.
At the same time, they’re pretty unsympathetic to and uninterested in the plight of their
employees, who they fire without a second thought the moment they become an inconvenience.
The film masterfully frames this obliviousness by showing how a simple rainstorm affects
the families in drastically different ways. While it ruins the Parks birthday camping
plans, it clears the sky, creating a beautiful day for a birthday party . This is juxtaposed with the Kim’s experience
of the same storm, which turns their toilet into home-ruining geyser of literal shit. There is an amazing ambiguity in the film’s
title: are the Park’s parasitically living off the labor of the working class – your
traditional Marxist argument – or are the Kim’s parasitically living off the plenty
of their wealthy employers ? Or, obviously, both. Unlike the Joker, which imagines terroristic
revolution as a reaction to the callous cruelty of people like Thomas Wayne ,
Parasite instead imagines how modern day capitalism turns everyone, rich or poor, into monsters.
The Parks objectify their hired help, and the Kims objectify the Parks as a cushy bank
account. But to figure out why, we need a little help from Communist Santa Claus: Karl
Marx, and his writing on alienation. To understand alienation, we need to understand
alienated labor, and to understand that, just regular labor. Marx outlined his theory of
labor and alienation in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, coincidentally the same
year PBR was first produced. No, really. According to Marx, labor connects us to the world and
to humanity. To over-simplify, and betray television’s greatest libertarian, there
is nothing more life-affirming than to be Ron Swanson, building a canoe, not for some
boss, but for the sheer joy of creation. Importantly, in laboring we shape the world
around us in concert with our fellow human beings. This affirm what Marx called our “species-being,”
or our communal existence as the human race. But what happens when we labor not for ourselves,
but for someone else? In the Kim’s case, that means folding pizza boxes in the hopes
of earning a few dollars to pay for our recently terminated wifi. We become alienated from
our labor, and hence, from our species-being. And hoo-boy, is that bad. Marx warns that
alienated labor turns our perspective inwards, towards the individual, and away from our
species-being. We thus become estranged from not only the objects we create – like our
aforementioned canoe- but from our fellow humans. Perhaps nothing encapsulates this better in
Parasite than the way the Kims interact with other members of their class. Rather than
showing solidarity for the similarly downtrodden, or at least, deciding to live and let live,
the Kims see other working class people purely as competition. The family slowly sabotages
all of the Park’s servants in order to replace them with members of their own clan. Like
a parasite, the family moves into a host organism, hijacking its structure for its own ends.
But in a grand reveal, they discover: the former housekeeper’s husband has been living
in the Park’s secret basement for years. Someone beat them to their own grift. Rather
than feeling compassion, the Kims maintain a cutthroat ethos that is necessary to survive
modern day South Korea. For Marx, this kind of perversion is built into alienated labor.
Everywhere it creates beauty, while deforming the workers who built that beauty. “It produces
palaces – but for the worker, hovels… It produces intelligence — but for the worker,
stupidity, cretinism.” Whereas Arthur lashes out violently and without
logic to his social situation, almost everything the Kims do is a necessary strategy for survival.
The fact that surviving under capitalism can turn a person cruel is noted by Mrs. Kim,
as she muses that she, too, would be nice if only she were rich. In other words, compassion
is a luxury for those with enough money to know which professional chef is cooking their
next meal. Like Joker, though, Parasite culminates in
a brutal murder. Mr. Park is disgusted by the smell of Mr. Kim, which is a pretty unavoidable
part of living with our aforementioned shit geyser. When Mr. Park shows similar disgust
towards Mr. Kim’s recently murdered, basement-dwelling rival, Kim loses it. In both cases, the downtrodden
men react violently to the class divide imposed by modern day society, in a misplaced attempt
to reclaim a piece of their humanity. Now, some of this alienation is explored by
Joker. But in a much more general way. Sure, Gotham’s economy has produced a palace for
the Waynes and a hovel for Arthur, and sure, there’s the sense that the working class
has been estranged from the benefits of the world they have labored to build. It’s also
worth noting the very intentional scene where we see a bunch of caviar-eating rich people
blissfully enjoying Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times – a film about the alienating and dehumanizing
nature of early 20th century factory work. But let’s talk about perhaps one of the
biggest differences between the films. Joker shows the calamity that ensues when the dream
of upward mobility is no longer believed by the masses. Parasite shows the calamity that
ensues from the believing in it. The two films really parallel each other here.
The Kim’s are gifted a scholar’s rock, an item that, according to the film, is supposed
to bring prosperity to its owner. They dream of escaping their basement, of attaining the
kind of wealth the Parks have. But this symbol of wealth, becomes a cursed object used to
bash in Ki-Woo’s skull. Even after his dreams backfire, Ki-Woo dreams of being rich and
successful enough to purchase the Park home, and thereby rescue his father from his basement
exile — a situation, of course, created first and foremost by their relentless hustle There is no mystical rock in the Joker, but
there are plenty of bad jokes. That’s because Arthur daydreams not necessarily of becoming
rich but of becoming a successful comedian. But Arthur’s burden is his inability to
be recognized, to be taken seriously. For the clowns he inspires, their burden is their
poverty. For Joker, people are burdened by the societal
inequality that leaves them disenfranchised and voiceless. They dream, or at least rage,
for a better world. They just happen to do it in all the wrong ways. But for Parasite,
the burden is the dream itself. So what, if anything, are these films trying
to say about class antagonism? It’s important to note, while the Kims only seek to improve
their own lot in an unfriendly system, the masses in Joker agitate to burn down the system
that’s hurt them. It seems like Philips is providing more of
a warning than a model for change. Philips is basically cautioning us about the anarchy
and violence that could hypothetically come if people desperately gravitate towards violent,
radical movements. With Parasite, Bong Joon-Ho seems to be saying
something a bit more nuanced about the world we live in, as the violence in this film doesn’t
exist as some anarchic and terrifying exception to the system — rather, it’s a direct function
of the system itself. There are no inherent heros or villians in capitalism, or in this
film. There are just two different types of people shaped by their own positions in society.
And this is what makes the conclusion of the film so sad. The Kim’s son dreams of reuniting
his family by getting rich, but as the audience we know that he has about as good of a chance
transcending his social class as Arthur does of landing an HBO special. So what do you think, Wisecrack? Is it better
to start a revolution or scam a nice rich family? Let us know in the comments. Thanks
to our amazing patrons for supporting the channel and our podcasts. Hit that subscribe
button, the only thing you have to lose is your chains. Thanks for watching.

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100 thoughts on “Can Society Be Saved? (Joker vs. Parasite) – Wisecrack Edition

  1. The French Revolution didn’t so much directly lead to the abolition of slavery – in fact, it could pretty much be said to be opposed to it. While its abolition inescapably follows the declaration of the rights of man, so does it follow from the self-evident truths of the American declaration of independence, and American slavery survived another 70 years. Rather, it was direct action from ex-slaves under arms (that is, slaves who had seized their own freedom), which demanded France abolish slavery in order to try and maintain control (though even that’s too simple an explanation)

    What led to the abolition of slavery was a desperation to maintain control of a Haiti in revolt. The whole revolution in Haiti was incredibly complex, and really important, but it was not groups like the Society of the Friends of the Blacks or the proud, vocal abolitionists (including Robespierre, who would later find you couldn’t just behead your way to the republic of virtue) demanding an end on moral grounds that brought abolition to French territories, but the realization that perhaps the best way to ensure control over a colony burning in rebellion against the metropole and envelopes in civil war was to position the metropole as the liberator of 90% of its population (not a typo – the vast majority of Haiti’s (then Saint Domingue) population were slaves).

    The history of Haiti is incredible, and one of a country that was tragically and unjustly choked by French debt from its birth (in an effort to secure peace and power, President Jean-Pierre Boyer signed a document offering to compensate the French for the lost slaves, who had already paid for their liberty with blood), A country which provided arms, men and transport to Simon Bolivar in return for a promise that he would free the slaves of the Spanish colonies (a promise he mostly kept), and whose triumph over forces of Napoleon’s imperial forces likely halted his plans for North America, changing the history of the United States. So often overlooked

  2. Class solidarity, every time, no matter what. That's the only way for the working class to come up. The ruling class has an impeccable record of solidarity and it's probably the most significant factor in their firm grip on power. FOX and CNN are an excellent example – regardless of left or right, they do a fantastic job of working together to keep the working class divided against itself. The IdPol weapons they employ are no doubt real and serious social issues, but the solutions (where possible) lie largely in disabling the power to oppress, not in endless culture wars.

    The Kims we're in an unwinnable situation from the start. Even if they had shown class solidarity in the basement, they would have been prevented by the legal system from usurping their employers position. In other words, they would have gone to prison for murder and theft – crimes the ruling class are less inhibited by due to the system allowing them legal ways to do the same (war, wage theft, police brutality).

    The only answer is fundamental systemic change, which is only possible with broad and unshakable working class solidarity and action . Class war is already being waged. We just haven't returned fire in decades.

  3. I mean the obvious soloution would be communisim but for some reason people think that equality and the absence of exploitation and abuse is worse than the devil.

  4. SO the ending of parasite is them still being fucked and the ending of Joker alludes to a glorious revolution a la France, and you say Joker is the warning?

  5. Did wisecrack not get joker ? That’s very interesting seems like that movie needs more dissection with its comic connection, 2016 connection and how Batman and his ideology fit into the future. The main characters in joker are Arthur and Gotham…. Thomas Wayne is a martyr… what does his death lead to and what does the ending all mean ? Why are so many people forcefully fitting joker into their ideology and what they see. Seems like it’s a simple Rorschach test and like Arthur said “I’m not political, I’m just trying to make people laugh” can you truly explain joker as black and white or is that the point and it’s simply up to you the viewer to decide what you see and get.
    A comic book movie
    A political movement
    A great movie
    A shit movie
    What do you see ?

  6. Joker is so overdone at this point. it's like drinking 20 energy drinks in one go. at first it tastes decent and when you drink more, it tastes like pure acid. it's overrated. good but, toxically overrated

  7. The fact that Joker becomes a leader of a violent movement without having a specific cause is kind of the point. He finds it hilarious that he gained so much power and recognition without even trying and just latches onto classism because it gives him some targets. In the end, it’s implied that it may just be one of the many possible fantasy backstories he comes up with for himself and he no longer knows or cares if it’s real as long as it supports his nihilism.

  8. My parents saw both of these back to back and absolutely hated parasite, accusing it of hating rich people for being rich

    …. ?? They lead a violent revolution against all the rich people in Joker fym

  9. Joker parece una antesala, o una visión menos materialista, de Parasite. Mientras que el cine estadounidense no se puede permitir una crítica material directa, y por eso está bien resaltado en el video la primacía de la cuestión de la visibilidad/invisibilidad, el surcoreano parece que si. Parasite es mucho más materialista en cuanto a la ausencia de moral en los medios para conseguir triunfar en el capitalismo. Joker baja línea moral porque el detonante de la revuelta social es un asesino, enfermo y finalmente un villano de comics. Es como una persona que te dice "mirá, está todo mal, pero no vayas por la vía violenta que es la de los tipos malos". Parasite es superior en tanto no hace el juicio moral y deja al sistema como principal villano.

  10. Both films argue how in capitalism's zero sum game the inequaility created will eventually try to balance itself with violence, the system must be destroyed (as Joon-Ho pointed in Snowpiercer) otherwise we will go insane trying to change the world, as Arthur, or we will become addicted to hope until the end of our lives, as the younger of the Kims… Thanx!!!

  11. Wisecrack, you've really lost all sense of the purpose behind philosophy and instead only care about the content. You don't actually care about people, otherwise you wouldn't be positing this pile of liberal horse poop. Philosophy means nothing once you've separated yourself from average person, and you all have!!

    Also!! Stop with the ads at the beginning!! I don't watch these for your "shout out" or what fucking brand of watch you're wearing!!

  12. Neither, Marx was wrong about most things. his notion of laborer alienated from his labor, requires that he is not compensated for his labor. Not just that he is not fairly compensated, but that he is not compensated at all. It starts with a presumption of monopoly and the company store, as the only possible outcome for capitalism. Meanwhile, capitalism has made 3d printers and other means of production, cheaper to obtain for more and more of the population, meaning that the percentage of laborers alienated from their work, grows smaller under capitalism. The only problem is that it is not growing smaller fast enough to satisfy people. Under both socialist and communist regimes however, the alienation from laborer and labor, is actually more extreme. We live in a society where $10,000 could change many peoples lives for a permanent better, and millionaires and billionaires will drop that kind of money on a hotel room, or an old bottle of wine, and peoples solution seems to be "eat the rich", but a better solution would be to work for the hotel or the vineyard. There is likely not one single person who is capable of viewing this video, who is living in a society where they have been truly alienated from their work. It is only people who insist on having control of what their labor is, who struggle. "oh, i'm a creative, i'm an artist, I could never just work at a hotel or make sandwiches, or do construction, or work on a farm, or be a plumber", despite the fact that plumbers make up to $72K/year and are continuously over-worked because there are not enough plumbers to meet the demand. first world poverty is because people don't want to labor, because they labor away with the act of consuming products, as though consumer is an occupation. That's the real problem with capitalism, and that's consumerism, not the alienation of laborer from labor.

  13. 'Joker' is an exploration of the broken individuals cast out by society, 'The parasite' is an exploration of a social system where individuals are being broken down.

  14. It is really absurd to see people trying to seek help or sympathy from big corporations. The only entity should or is supposed to help you is the government and that is the one you should hold responsible.

  15. In the case of Joker: as he said in the source material (e.g. The Killing Joke) all it took was one bad day. | 3:38 – He thinks WE don't know that? (!) | 4:46 – It's a situation where they just say "F*** this! I'm going to start something as ANYTHING is better than THIS!" | 5:17 – The cake part was something made up as propaganda, although the obscene opulence was not made up…at least it wasn't off by much. | 7:13 – It's not always as simple as that, unfortunately… | 8:50 – He had a lot to answer for… | It's a bad joke that wasn't funny the first time.

  16. What exactly is wrong with fanaticism or violent uprising? What exactly is supposed to happen to the poor before they start lashing out? We denigrate violence but violence is what keeps people poor. There is a violence to debt, to wages, and property. There's violence in withholding medicine. Politics is violence. This video was pretty skimpy on the philosophy. A lot of textual reading but not so much analysis.

  17. The funny thing about the Thomas Wayne of the Joker movie is that he says he "made something of himself" but in true honesty he never did shit. He benefited from his ancestors work and did nothing with his life, he even becomes a murderous Batman in one universe. If you have to get to the 30th floor on a skyscraper and you use the elevator, did you go up or did the elevator?

  18. Revolution's better than killing the hand that feeds you. Help the rich to learn from their mistakes. aspire to be like Elon Musk. At least that's what I believe in… Except that stupid vacuum sealed express train thing!

  19. “Hi, we’re Wisecrack. We’re going to link everything to Communism being right, now please buy this product we’re being paid to promote.”

  20. I had a terrible dream the other night. I found myself in a world where no one cared about their children. A world I couldn't wait to wake up from.

    A world where children were used as collateral and credit cards to borrow money, and they called it "national debt". Where people paid strangers to violate their children with scalpels, little boys as well as little girls, and they called it "circumcision". Where children had children, and they called themselves "parents". Where adults broke will and reason and virtue in the minds of their children, and they named it "religion". Where they hit, beat, even tortured their children, and they claimed it was "for discipline". Where people turned the Earth into a trash can, and they said "this is a better place for future generations". Where international child sex slave traffickers died under surveillance in prison, and they referred to it as "a suicide".

    Worst of all everyone in this world claimed to "love their children", and yet scarily a hand few ever did.

    Wake up, world. Please. For your children.

  21. I think failing to discuss the role of morality and by extension religion is an oversight here. Both films depict godless societies. Their only apparent morality is the hope that they will improve their lot in life. In Joker, people don't believe they can improve their lot and therefore lose their guiding purpose and therefore morality. In Parasite, the morality derived from the economic system is horrifying. The reason is because you can't produce a moral society without some form of religion. Capitalism does a great job producing wealth but it's a piss-poor moral system.

  22. Speaking of the unsaveability of the human race, you know what's hilarious? Zoomers will call their children ingrates when those children are furious at the world their parents forced them to exist in (because it feels better without a condom), and the zoomer will tweet 'ok boomer' as it does this.

  23. One who works hard, well and consistent may never get rich in their life time, but they also will never become poor. – Eddie

  24. i haven't seen Parasite but if its message is that nothing can be changed because of the nature of the world… well that is just bullshit.. the world around us does influence who we ar and how we behave but its NOT everything..

     with ounderstanding one's self, the system and how both affect each other comes Freedom of choice. .. you are not doom to succumb dangers and evils of the world once you know they are there.

  25. I live in a country that had to drown itselve in the blood of its own people and climp a montain of its dead children in order to create something good.
    Sometimes some cruel part of me wishes, that similar things will happen to china someday soon…..(i live in Germany)

  26. A nuance Koreans will know, but foreigners probably won't is that "Kim" as a surname while very common (first) also means "gold" [金] . While "Park" (Bak in revised) means "gourd" [朴] which gives the film a second dimension (It's third in the list of common surnames, by the way). (and if you don't know this as non-Koreans… Koreans are name obsessed to the next level).

    I thought noting this would help because I haven't seen any film reviewers notice this small detail, but should deepen some of the understanding.

  27. I got three ads for Chase Bank with Kevin Hart during this video essay on class inequality and can't help feel a little sour

  28. I Kind of agree with your interpretation of the movies, but they're completely opposite in that Parasite shows us how we are killing ourselves for the benefit of few, it states that trying to move up, destroys us more than saves. And at least for me it kinda points to "a systemic change is needed". Jojker is all ill intent, and phillips wants to show what a good boy he is to the rich, with a film that takes their side explicitly, and states that people revolting against inequality are just crazy, envious, violent, egoistic clowns, as is the character. Joker denies class stratification and blames inequality on mental ilness, lazyness, envy … Parasite is revolutionary in that it questions the "you can make it", "gotta move on up" capitalist propaganda , Joker is reactionary in that it imposes the "There is n other pill to take, so swallow the one that made you ill", "revolution would be worse" discourse, and proselitizes so much in it I'm in surprised you did'n mention.

  29. Capitalism is like being a king if your at the top ie the king everyone will plot to destroy you and when the king falls a new person will take his place and the cycle continues

  30. Sometimes A Revolution Has to happen before Change can Happen. The Frence were Right in my opinion, But they were also right objectivly as well.

    The wealthy are scum. They must be whiped away like the stain they are. Talking to you Bloomberg, Bezos.

  31. Parasite is definitely the better look at class consciousness. Joker is extremely shallow, the themes of social unrest and mental illness are merely window dressing. Parasite was also beautifully shot and acted. Joker had a good performance by Phoenix and some cool shots. But it’s content is near zero.

  32. Revolution is better than targeting one individual, revolution can stop the bad system but harming one family will not. I am not advocating violence though, it’s just if those are my only two choices I choose revolution.

  33. Society is being attacked by the Billionare class (the 1%) . For society to be saved, it must be saved from their wrath. Democratic Government was invented to do this but has since been bought by the 1%. Remove dirty money from politics and you remove the overwhelming control of the Billionare class over government and thus society.

  34. I was thinking about past videos and the class dynamic discussion in this video.

    It triggered the suggestion "The facism of goop," in an extension and return to Adorno.

    See Netflix's newest foray, the goop lab.

  35. I'm tired of people saying that the revolution in Joker is hypotetical, a threat, or even unrealistic. Have you seen the news? Have you seen how are we living in latinamerica?

  36. moral of the story? kill capitalism before it kills us! in both stories the system leads to violence, regardless what side of it your on or if you decide follow it or rebel against it.

  37. I love the videos victimization of the Kim's. They're not trying to survive… They lost their Wi-Fi… They're a family of Machiavellian psychopaths. Capitalism had nothing to do with their behavior, only the behavior of the family they were scamming

  38. Communism killed more than a hundred million people in the last century. I'm not interested in Marx's theory of anything, labor included.

  39. This is why I think Joker ultimately fails as a movie and why it is so unpopular with critics. It is so hard to interpret the movie, and ultimately the message comes off as vague.

  40. My preference goes to Parasite: eventhough it can be found quite caricatural, the film is accurate about the fact that individual actions are shaped by relative social positions of these individuals. While Joker sometimes identifies some systemic elements explaining violence and social troubles, it clearly can be interpreted in a reactionary way. One reading could be "social unrest is caused by the craziness of the poor". The psychiatrization of social behavior is often a way to minimize its socioeconomic roots. Of course, the film sometimes answers that this craziness may be caused by the system itself, because of the lack of recognition that suffer the least advantaged people. But as you mentionned it, the Joker is more ambiguous than Parasite.

  41. Honestly in terms of actual social analysis, describing the quality of Joker’s take as more “general“ is a very euphemistic way of putting it. It just comes nowhere near Parasite‘s clarity and theoretical sophistication.

  42. One point I have to interject is Arthur in 'Joker' is an unreliable narrator. Was Thomas Wayne as terrible and dismissive as the movie portrayed him or did Arthur feel belittle by Wayne?

  43. I don't think that Joker is a movie about class divide. It does mention the matter but it's not as focused on it as Parasite is. The main topic of Joker is mental degradation and how different circumstances that aren't always fully controlled by individual may lead to horrible results. It shows that people involved into criminal behaviour do not come from nowhere.
    I believe the ending of Joker was meant to emphasize that people are willing to project their own beliefs onto meaningless stuff/stuff that has completely different meaning that they think it has and all of that happens with the help of media's sensationalism (a theme seen throughout the whole movie). Arthur motivations weren't political, they were purely self-centred. He didn't truly care about the movement he partially created, he only wanted to be noticed. He even said it on live TV – 'I'm not political', but the mob made him a symbol of its movement anyway. Funnily enough, the same thing happened with the discussions about the movie itself. It's constructed in a way that gives a room for different interpretations. Especially its politics are vague. It's a Rorschach test. Both left wing and right wing see it as their film or their enemy's film and use it as a mean for petty fights. I think a critique of political aggression is presented in the movie. And what the media did with Joker aligns well with the way they were presented in it. The movie actually managed to fully make its point by bringing out everything that it portrayed from the audience. It's not dumb. I didn't like how even this video presented it as inferior to Parasite. It's not. I don't even see the point in comparing them – they are about different subjects. Parasite in clearly focused on one while Joker is not and it seems to confuse people.

  44. I noticed the clips of Joker showing the disenfranchised masses have a lot of white people in them. Imagine the reaction to the film if it used mostly racial minorities, those who have been disenfranchised for literally centuries, by the conservative elite.

  45. Better to get over the stigma against homelessness and grasp the only measure of real freedom possible in the modern context. We struggle because we try to maintain the lifestyle that emerges from the disturbed cultural perspective we have these days. Fuck it, houses are a burden, a fucking box. Think outside the box and be free.

  46. It's worth it to note, when Emanuel Kant was denouncing the French revolution as fanatical and evil he was doing it as a British aristocrat afraid for his own well being

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