I’ve been rewatching a number of movies lately and rather than just unconsciously digest media, I figured I’d do a series of reviews/analyses of those films. We’re starting with Wolf of Wall-Street.
Although the movie is completely outlandish, it’s a great ride and very well directed, edited, scored, written. No wonder it won over a dozen awards.
Ironically, I’m one degree of separation from the infamous Jordan Belfort – through a mentor of mine, who worked in the same circles as Jordan in the 90s on Wallstreet.
It’s a modern heroes journey ultimately, a man goes from naive house-husband, to insanely powerful, wealthy Wall-Street Titan, to a humbled man, working on using the talents he learned to (finally) help people with the skills he’s picked up along the way (in a completely legal and ethical way). I find it ironic that’s in this final chapter of Jordan’s current life when the movie and book came out (but that’s kind of just how time works right)? But it’s ironic that it’s only AFTER all the infamy is done that he truly found success – both in terms of his writing/story, the movie and his successful sales consulting business.
Jordans first moments on wall street, through his time selling pink sheets shows his ultimately skillset – selling. Being able to frame things in such a way that entice, purport to provide value, and more. He’s able to sell immediately, naturally. And this is the skillset he uses at each juncture in his life to both propel him and to rely on after everything else has crumbled.
Sales, like so many other amazing movies, is one of the central themes of the film – from Jordan’s breakthrough calls while selling pink sheets, through his buddy’s ability to “sell me this pen” through the end of the film when we come full circle and he’s selling himself as a sales consultant at a conference.
Why is sales so important? It’s funny in my early life I would have never thought sales would become a pivotal part of my own life – nor would I have invited it. But, after a series of events – it became critical. Marketing/sales (as some people like to say, marketing is just sales at scale) is what someone is doing every moment of the day ultimately.
The world lies outside oneself – to some extent – and it is this world we are marketing or selling to. How do you move, act, look, speak? What is your body language, the words you use, the dress you wear the watch on your wrist – all of this is communicating something constantly, regardless of whether you’ve thought of these things or not, others are consciously or unconsciously using them to analyze your own personal “marketing.”
ABC – Always be closing
What are movies like this trying to sell us?
Jordan’s Jail Time
I do find it interesting, in this particular chapter of my own life trying to understand what Jordan did wrong exactly. The FBI, as so many movies do, presents itself as a moral authority, working for the public. But we know that the FBI is anything but, particularly at the ends – as they’re often behind a number of operations to help push the country in certain directions (false flags for gun confiscation and public adoption, fake assaults on politicians, and even the latest ridiculous show of the warrant and search of former President Trump’s residence – which was corrupt from top-down). Hell, even Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the FBI stepped in to demand Facebook supress the Hunter Biden laptop story – which would have clearly helped the Trump re-election (although anyone that knows anything, knows Trump clearly won).
So what is the FBI doing in this movie? It seems that the FBI has quite the PR department, I see more positive mentions of them in movies than nearly any other agency. Ultimately, reading between the lines, is this just butt hurt normies angry with men that are able to buck the system, achieve greatness, ascend the class system while helping and taking care of friends and drinking, and drugging with as many women as they want (one thing I know makes many men particularly angry).
Or is it just being honest? A bad man, wrapped up in ego and extravagance ripped off people and needed to be brought to justice? Knowing what I know about the case, everything anyone was “owed” was returned, and no one had anything outstanding, so you be the judge.
Eat the Rich
One underlying theme I see at this particular point in time is a theme running through many movies right now – and that is that these rogue wolves of the money system need to be brought to justice. The phrase that gained traction during COVID was #eat the rich… what does that mean? Zooming out, I believe it means that the real controllers are going to reset the economy, destroy it and present an easy alternative (that makes everything “equal” – of course it won’t actually be).
And the only people with anything to lose are those with things to lose. If the majority of the proles are pissed enough about the game, and praise the flipping of the board (where everyone is reset) it will be successful. If enough people are pissed about the rules of the game being changed (the last couple hundred years of commerce) then it’ll fail.
This reminds me of the recent executive orders by Biden to forgive $10,000 in student loans. Some are excited. Many are pissed. I for one am pissed. It’s an unfair system – rewarding the laziest of the bunch. I worked my ass off to have 0 loans and know many that used loans to galavant around the world, buy cars, attend parties, and more nonsense unrelated to actual schooling. Obviously there are more fair ways to distribute $10k.
In Wolf of Wallstreet the villain is setup as a group of crazy men, who do things with no abandon. At least until the Steve Madden case, they literally were only selling PINK sheets – doing nothing illegal, simply exploiting humans greed by selling them something that might not in fact be a good investment, but seemingly doing it above board. So back to the point, they come across as proper villains, adding to the “eat the rich” narrative – rich people are reckless, get away with crimes and abusing the system. But I believe a closer reading of the movie not just proves that wrong, but actually is a misdirection – pulling the attention away from the real controllers of the game – the Banks themselves, the institutions that setup the rules of the system we live within, and their team of ridiculous petty enforcers.