November 27, 2017 6:09 AM   Subscribe

Steve Cutts (previously) brings us a tale of finding Happiness in the rat race.
posted by Catblack (18 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Happy Monday!
posted by pashdown at 6:29 AM on November 27 [1 favorite]

That too was a little blunt (with apologies to Dr. Send).
posted by hat_eater at 7:19 AM on November 27 [1 favorite]

Just because it’s blunt doesn’t make it false.
posted by nolabasashi at 7:42 AM on November 27

Just because it’s blunt doesn’t make it false.

But being simplistic and making generalizations does.

Many of the people who work office jobs are trying to make the money to buy things like rent and food and save for retirement; they aren't all silly deluded rubes who just want fast cars and consumer goods. Also, the prescription medication people with mental illness need aren't getting it just becuase they're trying to "take a happy pill and make everything okay", they are treating recognized medical conditions. Mixing that in with the super-frivolous things like sports cars does them a gross disservice.

If the animator wanted to make something "true" he should have added a frame at the end showing that the CEO of the company with all the rats is a Fat Cat on a silk pillow who pays off the pigs in government for keeping things the way they are. But this...this is just a rather obvious and predictable take on "materialism is bad mkay".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:12 AM on November 27 [11 favorites]

Oy! I thought this was a lovely and amusing and beautifully crafted short film...
posted by twsf at 9:51 AM on November 27 [1 favorite]

I liked it too! Reminds me of my summer vacation in London.
posted by haemanu at 10:24 AM on November 27

That was excellent. And sad. And true.
posted by shoesietart at 10:43 AM on November 27

Just how, exactly, are the rats supposed to drop out of the race? Unless you want to cosplay a hobo, there really isn't an option B.

And, the annual "let's judge Black Friday shoppers" routine reeks of privilege and classism.
posted by Beholder at 10:47 AM on November 27 [3 favorites]

And, the annual "let's judge Black Friday shoppers" routine reeks of privilege and classism.
Maybe, but I will gladly shit all over the assholes who go shopping on Thanksgiving. If they weren't out shopping, goddamn boss sure as hell wouldn't be keeping the place open and making me work. Screw the lot of 'em.
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 11:41 AM on November 27 [4 favorites]

But now that I think of it, how is it that judging black Friday shoppers "reeks of privilege and classism"? I bear them no ill will, since black Friday isn't really a holiday, but I count the folks who don't have to work that day as pretty damn privileged. Is "reverse" privilege and classism a thing now, like "reverse" racism? Clearly I'm missing something here. Wouldn't be the first time.
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 11:58 AM on November 27

A lot of people can only afford to buy gifts for their loved ones because of the Black Friday discounts. The privilege comes in assuming someone can just buy the items when they go back up to full price.
posted by sideshow at 12:23 PM on November 27 [4 favorites]

Metafilter: Unless you want to cosplay a hobo, there really isn't an option B.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:40 PM on November 27

Just how, exactly, are the rats supposed to drop out of the race? Unless you want to cosplay a hobo, there really isn't an option B.

And, the annual "let's judge Black Friday shoppers" routine reeks of privilege and classism.

In real life, there's not really an option either.

And you really haven't worked retail on a Black Friday, have you?
posted by Samizdata at 12:53 PM on November 27

Ah! I see your point there, sideshow. Can't remember the last time I would've been able to shop that day myself, and being foodservice rather than retail, I've always had to miss out on the deals...
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 1:05 PM on November 27

Nicely done but as a piece of entertainment itself it is too invested what it critiques to make a dent. If there's no outside there's nothing to resist.
posted by dmh at 2:25 PM on November 27

I guess I was just saying that it felt true to me. As someone who is also a wage slave (sic) I find myself chasing shiny objects or the next thing to buy. If only I had A, then everything would work out. Now that I have A I really need A and B....Now that I have A and B, I really need C. I wasn't trying to denigrate anyone else's lifestyle choices. I especially thought the bits with all of the advertisements were effective and appropriate.

Also, I liked the aesthetic.
posted by nolabasashi at 5:47 AM on November 28

Speaking strictly technically, the animation is quite good.

The message is just frustrating, since - as someone who very much wants to be in a more creative field - I've gotten rather sick of lectures from other artists who chide me about working in a desk job instead of working on My Art, and insist that the only reason I'm doing so is because I'm looking for a quick fix consumerist happy-making bauble; it does not occur to them that the reason I have been working a desk job is because I don't have a rich parent or a trust fund to pay my rent for me like they do.

I also have heard from a lot of people with mental illness who are getting frustrated with having their medication dismissed as quick-fix happy pills, the way this film does. Someone with clinical depression isn't just trying to "take a pill to be happy", they are treating a medical condition.

So the film is indeed technically good. It's just applying that technique to a really simplistic message.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:05 AM on November 28 [2 favorites]

I work as a sound engineer in the music business and I can 100 percent confirm that I know several studios / artists that are funded by family money. One of the reasons for this in the music business is that the barrier to entry for opening a professional studio is still owning a building and having a million dollars worth of equipment to actually compete internationally and draw bands and even then its’s tough to keep a room booked at $500/ day. The economics just don’t work out. $1,000,000/500=2,000 days of booked sessions, and this doesn’t include any of the real estate, paying people to work there, utility bills, etc. I guess more power to you if it’s a labor of love, but I know of at least one of these big studios that is cannibalizing work from smaller, less well capitalized studios.

TLl, DR. Money, fuck.
posted by nolabasashi at 8:49 AM on November 28

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