Over Christmas we went to a few movies and while I liked all of them, two kind of jumped out from the screen and into this blog post; The Big Short and Room. You could say there is a lot about excess and scarcity in both films; a lot about more and less and what that might mean to people.
In The Big Short there is a lot about more (and more) money. And more money is something that we have a socially constructed perspective to mean something good. In Room there is a lot about less; an entire world in a small shed for a 5 year old. And for us outside the shed, and for his mom we have a socially constructed perspective to mean something bad. The 5 year old does not have this socially constructed view however so he is pretty much fine with his world being Room.
So the concept of more and less only begins to take on meaning when we have comparisons and assign some kind of value to the things we compare. I would say in our world right now we have assigned much more value to the concept of more than we have to the concept of less. We might talk a lot about less but most of us grudgingly endure it if it happens to us and we do our best to escape it somehow or other. I’m wondering perhaps if we might have even gone further with the concept of more.
That more is Room for us.
I was intrigued by the title of the movie Room. It seemed like it should have been called ‘The’ Room; after all it was a thing, a place, a noun. But it was referred to by mom and child as Room, more a state of being than a thing. More an essence than place. More a whole than a part.
Has more become that for us? Something we no longer compare to less but something that quite simply is our current, socially constructed state of being, and like the 5 year old in Room, we’re pretty much fine with that. Near the end of The Big Short Steve Carell’s character, who has ‘sort of opted out of the game’ sells all his ‘shorts’, effectively playing the game again because if he doesn’t sell, they will get nothing in return. He sells because there is simply no other game to play.
The game is Room.
So what might be the more or less of 2016? It feels like I almost need to start over here; to move away from the comparisons of things and simply try and understand the concepts of more and less in different ways. It doesn’t seem easy either, but here I am in 2016 and we’ll see what happens….
What’s the more or less of your 2016?
Author – Tom