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Friday, February 06, 2009

What You Are Hired For Is To Help Us

by Jay Allbritton
Like a lot of people, I have a collection of lines from movies in my memory banks that pop into my head when my feelings match the mood of a character as they utter their famous, or not so famous, line. It doesn't have to be some ubiquitous utterence like, "Life is like a box of chocolates," or "Give me back my son!" It can be any obscure line in Bottle Rocket or The Big Lebowski. For instance, every day last week, I woke up dreading going to work, and every morning I would express that sentiment in my head with Anthony's (Luke Wilson) line from the beginning of the third act of Bottle Rocket when he calls Bob on the walkie-talkie and says, "I really don't want to do this robbery." It didn't matter that I wasn't going to be robbing anything, the similarity between Anthony's reluctance to do the robbery and my reluctance to get out of bed, take a shower, commute for an hour to get underpaid for eight hours, only to then commute for another hour back home made my fixation on that line the perfect vessel for my angst.

Similarly, today, as I watched Republican after Republican get up and pretend that more tax cuts will stimulate the economy, despite the evidence to the contrary, the line in Glengarry Glen Ross uttered by Ricky Roma (Al Pacino) to Williamson (Kevin Spacey) during Pacino's molten monologue near the end of the film--"What you are hired for is to help us, does that seem clear to you? To help us? Not to-fuck-us-up"--kept repeating in my head. In my mind's eye I could see President Obama walk up to Lindsay Graham and say to him, "What you are hired for is to help us, does that seem clear to you? To help us? Not to-fuck-us-up."

Anyway, here's the sequence leading up to Roma's explosion.

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