Blogger photog of Orion’s Cold Fire has written a trenchant, insightful essay about the political and cultural revolution occurring in the United States now. It’s called “The Falling Down Revolt,” taking its name from the 1993 film Falling Down, starring Michael Douglas.
In that film (as photog explains in a follow-up essay, “I’m the Bad Guy? How Did That Happen?“), Douglas plays a disgruntled private defense contractor who, despite obeying all the rules and following the script that was meant to guarantee a decent life, has lost his job, his family, and, ultimately, his sanity. After facing numerous obstacles and inconveniences of post-modern life—gang violence, traffic jams, fast-food bureaucracy, etc.—the protagonist snaps, going on an intense, cathartic killing spree.
For photog, the film serves as a metaphor for average Americans who do everything they’re supposed to do—work, support their families, pay their taxes, obey the law—but are, in turn, rewarded with scorn, derision, and indifference (or even hatred) from political and cultural elites. Those elites don’t see these Americans as the backbone of the country, but as “backwards” rubes who cling to outmoded, bourgeois and traditional social values.
Neither photog or myself are suggesting that working- and middle-class Americans should erupt into a bev-rage this summer; rather, the frustration many Americans (including ourselves) feel is that of being hoodwinked. Instead of the beautiful cheeseburger in the picture, we got a squishy, shriveled mess.
In a comment on photog’s essay, I drew a parallel to the 2018 remake of Death Wish starring Bruce Willis. To self-indulgently and arrogantly quote myself:
[T]his guy [Willis’s character] that did everything right was screwed by an elite indifferent to and incapable of addressing a rising tide of criminality and violence. He finally broke and took matters into his own hands. I’m not endorsing vigilantism, but he realized he was a chump.
I think (metaphorically) the country has woken up to the chumpitude our elites foisted on us for so long. Tucker Carlson’s monologue diagnoses this malady thoroughly, as you and I have both written about. (Hyperlink added)
The “Falling Down Revolt” is an excellent name for this movement of normal, traditional Americans who just want a fair shake—and who are tired of being blamed for everyone else’s problems while their own are steadfastly ignored or ridiculed. Kudos to photog for coining and applying such an apt metaphor.