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Not Another Teen Movie

Good news/bad news from Krugman today, as he talks about how the corporate world is fed up with the GOP and is now giving to Democrats.

As he says, it’s good that Democrats will (presumably) find it easier to win elections. But as corporate contributions grow, so does corporate influence – at the expense of ours. We can’t match their money, and no-one believes we can deliver votes like the fundies. To the Democratic leadership, we’re just empty-handed, tinfoil-headed dirty hippies, upsetting their sugar daddies with our crazy talk about workers and fair trade and regulations and rule of law.

The situation kinda reminds me of a cheesy teen movie. The Democratic leadership is the nerd who wants to be one of the cool kids; the Republicans are the mean football player; the corporations are the popular girl that the nerd has a huge crush on; and we are the nerd’s ultra-nerdy friends, perfectly happy with our nerdery, sometimes embarrassingly so.

Right now, we’re at the point in the movie where the Popular Girl has just dumped the Mean Jock (he was bullying her, and the team is 0-10), and she’s started flirting with the Nerd for the novelty of it, or maybe just to get her homework done. This is where the Nerd becomes totally full of himself, forgets who he is, and starts acting needlessly, ostentatiously mean to his Nerdy Friends to prove that he belongs with the popular kids.

Now, in your standard teen movie, there could be one of two possible endings:

1) The Nerd comes to his senses after his Nerdy Friends call him out for being a jerk. He realizes that the Popular Girl is using him, and they both return to their respective tribes.

2) The Popular Girl learns to appreciate the Nerd’s geeky qualities, and joins the nerd tribe. Mean Jock flies into a blind rage and ends up humiliating himself.

Unfortunately, this is real life, so neither of these will happen. No, what’s more likely is what seems to be happening already: The Nerd chooses the Popular Girl over his Nerdy Friends, she manipulates him and cheats on him with the Mean Jock, all the non-popular kids hate him because he’s an asshole, and all the popular kids laugh at him because he’s a clueless wannabe.

Now if I could write the ending, the Nerd would stay with the Popular Girl, but since it’s biologically impossible for her to become a nerd, he would explain to her that the nerds are his friends and he has to be loyal to them, and she’ll just have to take him or leave him. Regardless of what she chooses, the Nerd keeps his friends and his soul, and wins the respect of everyone but the popular kids, who are beyond hope.

Alas, it’s not my movie.

(Note: All jocks and popular kids described herein are Teen Movie Archetypes; this should not be viewed as commentary on jocks or popular kids in general.)

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