The “Affluent Middle-Aged White Men in Existential Crisis” film festival

I’m not familiar with every movie that’s ever been made about affluent, middle-aged white men coming to terms with their own mortality, but, if I were asked to weigh in on what films should be included in an “Affluent White Men in Existential Crisis” film festival, I’d definitely nominate John Frankenheimer’s Seconds (1966) starring Rock Hudson, and Eleanor and Frank Perry’s The Swimmer (1968) with Burt Lancaster. As we’ve talked briefly about The Swimmer before, I feel as though I should share a little background about Seconds, but I really don’t have the time right now… But here are the trailers for both. Check them out, and just imagine watching them one after the other in a movie theater filled with unsuspecting middle-aged bankers and ad men… I don’t know what would happen, but I suspect it would be an interesting sociological experiment.

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  1. dogmatic dolt
    Posted August 15, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    aloha, I have never seen Second’s and now knowing what it did to Brian Wilson I don’t know if I have the guts.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted August 16, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Wilson thought it was part of a plot to drive him mad, didn’t he?

  3. Kit
    Posted August 16, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I was intrigued enough by the Brian Wilson comment to search:

    “Beach Boys composer Brian Wilson saw the movie in a theater during its first run. Overworked and showing signs of a breakdown, Wilson both liked the theme of the movie (changing identities and starting over), and found its downside disturbing. He wondered later if musical rival Phil Spector had somehow convinced Columbia Pictures to produce the movie, just “to mess with my mind”.”

  4. dogmatic dolt
    Posted August 16, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, Decided that if I’m going to support Tulsi in her efforts to stop our endless wars I needed courage. So I found a copy (the Spanish subtitles were fun) and watched. Truly great black and white camera work. Howe must have been a buddy of Andy Warhol. Some of the scenes come straight out of an acid trip–or maybe those were my flashbacks. Once again MM thanks for sharing. Tonight The Swimmer–still not man enough to do a double feature.

  5. dogmatic dolt
    Posted August 17, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Aloha, could not bring myself to watch another movie about privileged white boys two days in a row despite my best intentions. So instead I watched “White Boy Rick”, a pretty decent film. But thanks to the evil Snyder-a movie that is quintessential Detroit was filmed in OHIO. They don’t even show the Detroit skyline.

  6. EOS
    Posted August 17, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink


    (This is for the other thread that isn’t working right now)

    Nearly all nations have some aspect of their economy socialized. It’s the social net that provides for the truly needy. But a greater degree of socialization than absolutely necessary is a detriment to our country, not something that makes us better. When the social net provides an inducement not to work for those who are able, it is a drain on those who continue to work.

    Your example of worker shortages being due to low wages is correct. In a capitalistic society, workers are free to choose employment at higher wages. Employers compete for the most qualified workers by providing higher wages and benefits. If an employer is greedy and not paying a fair wage for the work performed the workers can and should seek employment elsewhere. The difficulty arises when the government provides more income and benefits for not working than the free market provides for working.

    You have indicated that you believe Medicare for all will save money. But Medicare for all would provide medical treatments for millions of persons who don’t currently have access to care. How does that save money? It can only do so by limiting the availability of medical treatments for everyone covered by the only remaining health care option. Some think there will be cost savings by eliminating medical insurance companies. Can you name a single government bureaucracy that provides services in a more efficient manner and at lower cost than private enterprises competing for market share?

    Money is used as an exchange for labor. Those persons who have wealth accumulated it through work – either themselves or their relatives. They did not steal it from workers who voluntarily agreed to work for the wages offered.

    Everybody has different talents, skills, intelligence, and strengths. Some have more to start with and develop their abilities to the max. Some have less to start but compensate by putting forth greater effort and are very successful as a result. Others may think the deck is stacked against them and put forth very little effort as a result. Eliminating income disparities under these conditions is not a utopia, but a recipe for disaster.

  7. Jean Henry
    Posted August 17, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    “Scratch beneath the surface of a woman and you’ll find unexpressed anger; scratch beneath the surface of a man and you’ll find unexpressed sadness.” – a friend’s therapist; also another reason gender roles are toxic.

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted August 17, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    “But Medicare for all would provide medical treatments for millions of persons who don’t currently have access to care. How does that save money? ” — Well. EOS at least you have exposed yourself once and for all as fundamentally non-Christian.

  9. EOS
    Posted August 17, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I’ll let God be the judge.

  10. Jean Henry
    Posted August 17, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m cool with that.
    For someone who ascribes to the primacy of the biblical texts, you are selective in your reading.

    1 John 3:17 English Standard Version (ESV)

    17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted August 17, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

    — Proverbs 31:8-9

    Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life.

    — Proverbs 22:22-23

    Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—when you already have it with you.

    — Proverbs 3:27-28

  12. anonymous
    Posted August 17, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    “But Medicare for all would provide medical treatments for millions of persons who don’t currently have access to care. How does that save money? ”

    yes, let the poor just die because it makes financial sense. great plan.

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted August 17, 2019 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    It seems EOS doesn’t understand much about economies of scale nor does she seem very interested in looking at other models for health care which is provided to more people at lower costs in many countries abroad.

  14. EOS
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink


    If you studied logic you would know that your argument is a fallacy called a false dichotomy.

    The choice isn’t between creating a government run health care system that eliminates any other option for every individual in the country or allowing millions to suffer and die. Because there are unlimited options that would provide healthcare to all who need it without compelling those who currently have healthcare to abandon the benefits they prefer and for which they are willing to pay.

    The choice isn’t between supporting health care insurance that reduces the quality of care for the majority or being a follower of Christ.

    Please don’t quote random scripture and then accuse me of being selective in my reading. You don’t get to deny belief and then interpret for believers. Never once does the Bible advocate for government run social programs.

    Economies of scale often exist in profit driven environments, but rarely in bureaucracies. Government programs rarely accomplish the purposes for which they were intended, and when they don’t, funding is continually increased without any change in outcome.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    EOS– there are many paths to medicare for all. Many forms if government subsidy of health care. Having the Medicare for All option does not inherently mean an end to private options. There can be competition within government subsidized health care too– see Germany. Right now competition is not lowering out health care costs; it’s lowering health care access and quality. Insurance is already a form of shared risk, and so more akin to socialized services than a straight competitive free market. Your thinking is black/white and without nuance on this as in most matters.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    EOS — obviously the fucking Bible doesn’t advocate for government run social programs directly, you asshole. It’s almost 2000 years old. Don’t make specious argument and then lecture me about logic. The Bible is clear on the need for compassion and self sacrifice among believers in service if the poor. If you can find a passage opposed to caring for those in need, I’d like to see it. Since you believe charity should compensate where governments fail, please tell me what charitable health care none profits you support. Maybe St Judes. There are many. They are inadequate to the need, so please start working on that to show your Christianity has any substance.

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, Trump should be feeling existential insecurity (fox news polls show him set to lose to the top four dem contenders), but he lives in denial facilitated by his corporate supporters- those that remain.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Just getting out in front of the passage I believe EOS would like as it us relentlessly misinterpreted by people of her political ilk.

    Ps EOS one doesn’t have to be a believer to know or read the scripture or be interested in it’s lessons and interpretations. I think it actually is more present as a useful text away from organized religious doctrine and delusions of belief.

  19. EOS
    Posted August 18, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    No, you’re wrong and I’m not going to argue with you further. You ruin most discussions here with your ignorance and your hostility.

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