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[Xmca-l] Re: The Measure of a Man



Hi, Mike -

Thanks for being brave and taking a  look at this film. 

Because this is a fiction film, rather than a documentary, we can assume that the writers/director chose to show us what we see.  At the beginning of the film the main character and his friends have just been laid off from some manufacturing job. He is a skilled machinist. They had a union and are considering suing the company for faking a bankruptcy, but our main character is exhausted and doesn’t have the will to proceed with the fight. He’s got some things going for him: he's a middle aged white male, married, with no serious health problems. And he’s in France, where compared to the US there is still a certain level of social welfare benefits. 

I think it is a useful touchstone for people on xmca to look at because it shows how totalizing the neoliberal agenda is. This is what life looks like when everything is for sale. It doesn’t affect just one aspect of life, like education, employment, housing, healthcare, government or transportation. It takes on a different face in each of these. The underlying rule of everything being for sale distorts each of these differently. 

Would this guy vote for Trump?   

Helena Worthen
helenaworthen@gmail.com
Berkeley, CA 94707
Blog about US and Viet Nam: helenaworthen.wordpress.com



> On Dec 15, 2016, at 12:20 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> 
> Hi Helena --
> 
> I have started to watch the movie you recommended for thinking about
> neoliberalism and related
> issues. It is VERYwell made but it is so painful that I can only bring
> myself to watch it in small
> doses. From the very opening discussion with the bureaucrat about the logic
> of him losing his job and the dead end of retraining for non-existent jobs
> is excruciating. And then it gets worse when he starts getting bad
> financial advice, and then you learn this is a working class guy with a
> family who are each sturdy, decent people with difficult lives in good
> times..... and then you see the trailer house they live in and have to
> sell........ and its painful.
> 
> But so far, its a 10 for quality and dramatic, intellectual value.
> 
> Its there on Netflix for me. Are there people who cannot access it
> anywhere? It  raises so many
> valuable issues.
> 
> Just right for the Xmas holidays, to balance the multiple showings of "Its
> a wonderful life."
> 
> mike