White Men Falling Down

7 months ago

I’ve made a few videos pointing out the obvious degeneracy in Hollywood films but I think it’s more important to point out the more dangerous and subtle social engineering that has been going on in Hollywood for most, if not all of its history. One example that I think has become particularly relevant today is the film “Falling Down”.

By now you’ve heard of Richard Russell, the 29 year old airline employee that stole a Horizon Air turboprop plane from Sea-Tac International Airport and after performing a few acrobatic stunts and speaking briefly with air traffic controllers, crashed the plane in an apparent suicide. What you may not know about his discussions with air traffic control because the mainstream media conveniently failed to mention it, CNN going so far as to edit out the audio when they aired the conversation, was when Russell asked air traffic control if he could get a job if he successfully landed the plane. After the controller said that he could probably get any job if he pulled off the landing, Russell said replied very matter of factly “Nah, I’m white”.

This statement has had many looking at Russell as a symbol of the frustrated disenfranchised white male in america. A symbol of a man who wanted to show the world what he was capable of doing before going out in a blaze of glory. I’m not going to comment on whether or not I think it’s appropriate to lionize what Russel did especially when we will never know for sure what motivated him to do what he did but I would like to discuss the film that many have seen as the same kind of symbol. A metaphor for the disenfranchised white male trying to live in a country that their ancestors would no longer recognize. A country that has undergone changes that make the descendants of the country’s founders feel like unwanted foreigners in their own land. That film is Joel Schumacher’s 1993 film Falling down.

Because who better to express the plight of the disenfranchised white christian male in america than a wealthy gay jew from New York. Now before you start commenting that I’m being anti semitic for mentioning that Schumaker is Jewish or homophobic for mentioning that he is gay, let me read a quote from Shumaker from an interview he gave BBC:

“I don’t like to use the word God because it’s so overused in the United States – not so much in Europe – but it’s become politicized and has this ugly meaning now. Like asking someone if they believe in God has become an attack – like if you don’t believe in Jesus you’re not one of us!”

This quote is a clear example of Shumaker’s cultural bias. A bias that is repeated throughout the film “falling down” and a bias that is shared and sometimes artfully concealed by many others in Hollywood.

The film begins with William Foster, a middle aged man played by Michael Douglas, who just for full disclosure’s sake is also Jewish (father Kirk Douglas’s real name was Issur Danielovitch). Foster is stuck in traffic in LA surrounded by several symbolic threats or annoyances as he sits in his overheating car. First we see a Hispanic girl holding a blonde white baby doll. A white woman who is completely disengaged from her surroundings but focused on doing her makeup, a bus load of misbehaving diverse children a symbol of the next generation of Americans. 2 businessmen arguing loudly on a cell phone in a time where having cell phone was very much a luxury, a stuffed Garfield cat which could be taken as a symbol of the shallow commercialized culture of the united states. Symbols of debt and Christianity, possibly the same Christianity that Schumaker himself saw as a threat. This montage of imagery drives William Foster out of his car and into the concrete jungle of LA.

While getting out of his car and just abandoning it on the freeway could very well be seen as the breaking point, this is not where William Foster goes completely off the rails. What sends Foster into the tailspin in which there is no coming back from is his first encounter with the various people he will meet throughout the film.

This is where the bias, unconscious or not really begins to show up. The theme of debt and economic hardship is repeated throughout the film and it is this outside pressure that drives foster over the edge. Foster goes into a convenience store to get change so that he can use a payphone. The store is run by a Korean immigrant that demands that he buy something in order to get change. When he discovers that a can of soda has been overpriced to the extent that it would leave him without enough change to use the pay phone, this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

This is perhaps the most crucial scene in the movie and the subtle blame shifting is performed to perfection. Europeans have a history and you might even say a natural dislike of usury. By this i mean everything from predatory loans to price gouging. Any time people use their position of authority in a way that it is unearned to extract money from the people around them or extort money from people not by providing value but by exploiting people who have no other choice. This behavior was seen as so reprehensible to the Europeans who founded this country that it was exactly what led to the revolutionary war. People often forget that it was the financial exploitation of the american settlers by a royal family who lived half a world away and did nothing to earn the treasure they were demanding of the first Americans that lead to the violent uprising and eventual independence of this country. The entirety of american culture is built on the idea that you earn what you get and you earn it by adding value to society and that anything less than that is extortion that justifies violent revolution.

And that is what happens in Falling down. However the catalyst isn’t the bankers, it isn’t the politicians, it’s not even a common thief robbing our protagonist at gunpoint. Instead it is a Korean immigrant charging too much for a can of soda. In the midst of his violent outburst, William Foster mentions prices that have skyrocketed out of control since the 1950s but instead of blaming any of the real causes or people behind inflation and rising prices the blame is inexplicably placed on a small business owner in the bad part of town.

Rather than tackle the real economic concerns of the audience this film was designed to attract, Schumacher makes a bet on bigotry and makes the Korean shop owner as unpleasant as possible to shift the blame away from the ruling class and further muddies the waters by throwing in a line about foreign aid going to Korea hoping that the audience will take the bait.

Now that the A story is in full swing the film shifts to the B story. The B story has many parallels as it follows another white male who is dealing with the end of his usefulness. Robert Duvall plays a cop who is retiring, it’s his last day on the job and he’s being replaced by strong independent Hispanic woman played by Rachel Ticotin. We learn that Duvall’s character is retiring and moving to Arizona and his character represents the older generation of white men who faced with personal crises, in his case the loss of his daughter and a unstable wife, has decided to check out of society voluntarily. At first this this is presented as a kind of impotence. His character is ridiculed, all in good fun, and he seems to have accepted his fate. This changes as the film progresses and to be honest it’s the B story that I feel is the more honest if most overlooked part of the film.

We now go back Foster who is calling his ex-wife on his daughter’s birthday. We never learn the details of their separation but what is interesting is how the blame is implicitly placed on foster. His ex-wife admits that he has never been violent but still has a restraining order on Foster and doesn’t allow him to see his daughter. In true 90s fashion, Foster is an obsolete father and his single mother ex wife is the blameless victim who fears his toxic masculinity.

Robert Duvall’s character is similarly powerless when it comes to the power his wife has over him. She calls him up hysterical and he submits to her irrational behavior.

Foster, having decided to take a load off in the wrong neighborhood is confronted by 2 Hispanic gangsters that tell him he needs to pay a toll for being in their hood. Foster first attempts to reason with his assailants, much in the same way he tried to reason with the Korean shopkeeper. This is an important and honest aspect to his character and the demographic he is meant to represent. His first response is always to reason with people and he doesn’t resort to violence until negotiations collapse. When they do collapse however, he reacts disproportionately and devastatingly. Plan B as reluctant as he seems to resort to it, is always excessive force.

We now go back to Robert Duvall’s character who humbly accepts being rebuked for not knowing the exact ethnicity of another one of the younger officers. This scene is a contradiction of itself. It openly chastises the old white man for not knowing one Asian is Japanese while at the same time as making a racist mockery out of the Asian Korean scapegoat from earlier in the film. This is when the A and B stories begin to merge as the Korean shopkeeper first tells Robert Duvall’s character about Foster.

Foster who is now trying to once again to call his ex wife. But the Hispanic gangsters from earlier in the film have tracked him down and open fire on him in a drive by shooting. They manage to shoot several people but miss foster and crash their car. Foster then goes to the crashed car and has motivation and opportunity to eliminate his enemies. Once again in what I feel is an honest portrayal of what Foster represents he doesn’t react out of vengeance but after inflicting a non-fatal injury simply takes their weapons and leaves.

Foster goes to a bus stop and appears to be disgusted by all the diversity in this part of town. He tried to get on the bus but is pushed out of the way by all the non-whites and eventually gives up. He then is confronted by a government worker who stops him and tells him he can’t go that way either. He then tries to walk through a park and is confronted by a grifter who is trying to extort money from him. As I mentioned before, this is something that Americans identify with.

These are the nuggets of truth that make this film so appealing to its audience. The director masterfully presents scenes that will resonate on a visceral level before layering in the propaganda.

For brevity’s sake I’m going to skip over some of the more repetitive aspects of the film like this scene where the two young minority cops once again are dismissive of Robert Duvall’s character as he begins to figure out who Foster is and the scene where Foster who is upset that the burger joint is no longer serving breakfast and after trying to negotiate once again over reacts and threatens the manager. The scene where he shoots up a phone booth because someone complained he was using it. These scenes show that it’s not just the people of other races that he feels disconnected with but that society itself is impersonal and disconnected. That the cohesiveness of the culture and basic humanity seems to be gone. And that’s when we get to the more predictable Hollywood propaganda.

Foster goes into a military surplus store run by a cartoonish skinhead type that inexplicably chases a painfully out of place gay couple out of his store. It turns out that the skinhead has been listening to a police scanner and knows who foster is. And once again in a stunning lack of self awareness this film that is supposed to be sympathetic to disenfranchised white men gives us the most exaggerated caricature of an evil white man in Hollywood history  who in addition to hating gays, minorities, and women, has a secret Hitler room complete with a can of zyklon B. I’m not kidding.

So now in this movie that white people are supposed to identify with, Foster, the disenfranchised white man, kills the cartoon character evil white man with the secret hitler room with bazookas and cans of zyklon B. After murdering the Nazi, Foster takes the bazooka, and dresses up in tactical gear. He shoots a bazooka that a black kid teaches him how to use. Scares a rich old guy into having a heart attack, and begins to head home.

Robert Duvall and his strong independent Hispanic woman friend crack the case – and by the way, just as a side note as to how much our culture has changed and you can make of this what you will, but for his retirement the other officers hire a stripper to come down to the station. I just think it’s important to know that when they made this movie, the filmmakers thought this was totally normal behavior.

Anyway, so we finally get to the showdown at the end. Foster has a gun and is with his ex wife and daughter at the end of a pier. Robert Duvall’s character tells him he can relate to all the changes in the world but that he should just suck up and take it instead of going on a rampage. Foster knows that there is no way out of this situation that will ever give him the life he wanted, that he will never have his wife and daughter again and that the world is no longer for him. He tells Duvall’s character that he has an insurance policy that will go to his daughter and that she will get the money if Duvall will shoot him. He then pulls a toy water pistol out and Duvall shoots him dead.

But this is not the depressing end of the film. The depressing end is after all of this Foster’s worst fears are realized. The filmmakers discreetly end the film with Foster’s daughter, despite her father’s body being fished out of the ocean a couple of blocks away. And Foster’s ex wife, despite having watched the father of her only child shot dead just moments ago, they don’t even postpone the birthday party they had planned for the evening and carry on as if Foster never even existed.

None of the things that pushed foster over the edge get resolved, either in the movie or in real life. This movie was made over 25 years ago and while it’s certainly worth watching and you certainly would not be allowed to make this movie again, even if you killed even more Nazis in it, it’s certainly not the redpill movie that many think it is. Its cleverly dressed up propaganda that in my opinion defended the status quo and in many ways told us that even if we try to reason or even if after that fails we react with overwhelming force, in the end once we’re gone nobody not even our women and children will remember us.

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