The monitor is a weekly column devoted to everything that happens in the world of WIRED culture, from movies to memes, from TV to Twitter.
On Wednesday night, Trevor Noah hit the bubble bath. On TV. Producers on The daily show, apparently, thought that would be the best way to explain GameStop Drama that has consumed the financial – and extremely online – world. The gag was good; he was essentially a floating head on Margot Robbie’s body recreating the scene in the 2015 Adam McKay movie The big court where the actress describes mortgage bonds and how to “sell” them. Considering the whole GameStop fiasco revolves around stock traders on Reddit trying to stick it to hedge funds bypassing the brick-and-mortar video game retailer, the implicit analogy between this week’s reality and the movie (which was also based on real life) couldn’t have been more fitting.
One of the main drivers of the GameStop share price fight has been the fact that retail investors – individual investors, not institutions – on the WallStreetBets subreddit turned GME (the company’s ticker symbol) into a meme. Suddenly everyone was talking about “stonks”. GameStop has gone viral, a story has emerged. Hedge funds trying to short-sell America’s beloved shopping mall video game retailer were the bad guys; The editors and others buying GME stock to jack up the price and “squeeze” the shorts were the heroes. Similar efforts have been made to rally around the actions of the theater chain AMC and Dogecoin. Thursday, Robinhood and TD Ameritrade, two services often used by retail investors, restricted trading on GME (and other stocks) after its price shot up to $ 500 per share. Elon musk weighed. Much like Twitter’s new favorite commentator, Dionne warwick, and, inexplicably, Rule Ja. It was all manic, to say the least.
It is therefore not surprising that The big court would become a point of reference. Social media – and regular media (hello!) – was inundated with references to the film as well as to those of Martin Scorsese the wolf of Wall Street, about broker Jordan Belfort. Considering that McKay’s film opens with a line about how “a few strangers and weirdos saw what no one else could… saw the giant be at the heart of the economy,” it’s easy to tell. see the parallels. Everyone wants to fuck the big guys who always seem to fuck the average people. But there is more to it. The big court it’s not just about trying to get one on Goldman Sachs. This is the culture that made this happen.
Take Margot Robbie to the tub. This scene wasn’t about finding a glitzy way to do an exhibit. The point was to get people to pay attention to what they had been ignoring (a volatile market built from subprime mortgages) by having it told by what had distracted them (celebrity). When the housing market – the market that Michael Burry (Christian Bale) bypassed in McKay’s film – crashed in 2008, it happened as America was absorbed by Britney Spears, Facebook and iPhones. Additionally, the bank’s elitist language made it difficult for average Americans to keep pace, so they ignored it altogether. McKay, when he made his film, aimed to turn that around by knowing that people could save money – if it was delivered in the right form. That’s why he asked people like Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, and Selena Gomez to explain the basics. The premise of The big court, he told me in 2015, when the movie was hitting theaters, it was to “take this 24 hour pop culture machine that tells us what Kim Kardashian is doing and then say, ‘What if this machine told us to real information? ”