Originally published at: https://geektherapy.org/itll-happen-to-you/
#317: Link and Josué tell Lara about George Romero’s lost-then-remastered The Amusement Park, which is an emotional PSA about elderly abuse. The existential dread sets in, but the end point is finding compassion for those our society mistreats.
Josué Cardona 0:11
Welcome to GT radio on the Geek Therapy network here at Geek Therapy We believe that the best way to understand each other and ourselves is through the media we care about, my name is Josué Cardona. And I’m joined by my fellow co hosts, Lara Taylor.
Lara Taylor 0:22
Josué Cardona 0:24
and Link Keller,
Link Keller 0:26
hello Fellow Olds
Josué Cardona 0:30
Lara’s the oldest person here remember, never forget. So,
Lara Taylor 0:35
by a month!
Josué Cardona 0:36
what are we talking about?
Link Keller 0:39
Today we are talking about a film that is available on shutter it is called the amusement park. And a little fun history. This was a sort of a PSA done by George Romero in 1973. And it got showed at like, one film festival, and then it got lost. And just a couple of years after George Romero’s death in 2017, like 2018 2019, they found some copies of this film and were able to restore it, and then they put it up on shutter. And so I watched it this last week, and again earlier today. And it was very interesting, and I thought it would make a good topic.
Josué Cardona 1:34
Link Keller 1:34
Josué Cardona 1:35
Yeah, no, the history of it is really interesting. Do you know any more that you describe that as a PSA? Did he make it? I mean, it’s obviously a PSA in the in the in like the definition, the dictionary definition, sense of the word because it has an introduction, or it’s telling you, right, he even says at the beginning and at the end, it is bookmarked with, like if you have been moved to action, there are organizations that you can go to, to support older individuals. So
Lara Taylor 2:08
that sounds like a PSA to me.
Link Keller 2:10
It was it was produced for the Lutheran Service Society of Western Pennsylvania and the Pitcairn crab Foundation, which is I assume, also in Pennsylvania, but yes, it was intended to be a PSA about elderly abuse. And I imagine that George Romero’s, like, I’m gonna zhuzh this up a little bit, I’m gonna get a little metaphorical I’m gonna get a little loosey goosey with it. And he, well, he Lincoln Maazel, the main character specifically says, we intend for you to feel the problem. To experience it, it is meant to be more of not a like, documentary. It is meant to be something that you feel emotionally when you watch this, less than an hour long film. So I think that it was successful in that.
Josué Cardona 3:08
Link Keller 3:10
It is. It is hosted on shutter, which is a horror streaming service. And it sort of rides the line of being horror. I find parts of it horrifying, but it’s not scary. Right,
Lara Taylor 3:24
but you can find things horrifying that are not horror.
Josué Cardona 3:28
I think it definitely falls into horror, though. Because, because it’s not in the sense that it’s scary, but that it’s tapping into fears.
Link Keller 3:36
Josué Cardona 3:37
These are like yeah, it’s it’s absolutely highlighting and exaggerating. Things that are terrifying. And, and you’re kind of bombarded by them. Right? It is like an overwhelming it’s a nightmare. Like, like I was watching. I was like this, this plays out, like a nightmare. In multiple ways
Lara Taylor 3:59
Is it your Nightmare Josué.
Josué Cardona 4:01
I mean, I think it’s a lot of people’s nightmare, even when they when it starts again, it has this it has this introduction by the by the actor who plays a main character. And one of the first things that that he says is that this is this is that people live their lives and are successful and hope to get to a point where then they can take it easy when they can retire. And they can reap the benefits of what they’ve of what they’ve created and what they’ve gained, right maybe what they’ve earned, and that there’s even an expectation that you would have, that society would recognize that that you contributed something like even that. You just have a lot of experience. To share, but that instead society turns its back on you and doesn’t help you and things get harder. And and so those two, it’s such a, it’s not at all what you think you’re building toward is kind of what it is kind of how he introduces it. And, and he’s just talking to the camera at the beginning, right? This is before the actual movie begins. Yeah, that’s just and he bookends that at the end, you know, with, with, like, kind of a quick recap. But that idea alone is like being alone not having someone to help you, or just being treated in this this terrible way. It’s, um, I think he made a list of all the worst things that could possibly happen to you, or all the things that you see happen to elderly people or that, you know, like happened to either grandparents or, you know, any complaint you’ve ever heard from someone in a nursing home. And then he kind of he built a park out of it, where all of those things are concession stands and attractions and part of the experience there.
Lara Taylor 6:13
That is not a park I want to go to
Josué Cardona 6:15
That’s it sounds like a nightmare. Right? It sounds it sounds like a like a nightmare. So So is it my nightmare? I think? I think I don’t, I hope that my life doesn’t turn out that way. But it, it most likely, a lot of those things will probably play out at some point.
Link Keller 6:36
Hopefully not all in an afternoon. but Yeah, yes.
Josué Cardona 6:43
Yeah, I have a lot of thoughts on it. A lot of thoughts on it. But I’m curious how you feel about it. Link
Link Keller 6:49
I decided I thought it was really cool. I particularly liked in one of the early scenes when Lincoln first goes out into the park and he’s looking around, and he’s seeing people having fun. And he goes, and he sees people lining up for a ride. And they have I wrote them down because it was so funny to me. They had signs and it said requirements for this ride. Individual income over 3500 must not suffer from and then it has a list of health issues, including diabetes, which I wrote down. And then
Lara Taylor 7:27
this should be on the diabetes podcast,
Link Keller 7:29
we should put it on the diabetes podcast. must pay cash, no credit accepted. And then it cuts to people being kicked out of line. And they’re like, why can’t we go on this ride? Why can’t we go on this ride and it cuts back to the last sign which says must not fear the unknown, which made me laugh so hard.
Lara Taylor 7:48
nobody can get on that ride
Link Keller 7:50
I don’t think it was supposed to be funny but it was very funny to me. Because it’s like, like, the first one is like you have to have enough money to participate. And then it’s like you can’t have any sort of disabilities to participate. And then it’s like, you have to have money now. Like it can’t be theoretical money. And then also like you, you can’t be afraid of the unknown is like, okay, so nobody goes on this ride, then what the heck. That’s what about you? Wait, wait, what was your experience?
Josué Cardona 8:23
Yeah, well, I mean, in addition to this, I like the idea that it does play out like a nightmare. Um, I think it’s, it was painful to watch it. Like I told a friend yesterday that I was gonna watch this, oh I’ll add it to my list. I need to go back and tell them not to maybe. Because I don’t want to set up the expectations.
Link Keller 8:44
need a warning in there
Josué Cardona 8:45
Yeah, yeah. Because it’s, it’s super interesting. And I love that it is, it is effective at doing something. I’ve never seen anything like this in the sense that when we talk about the representation of elderly, the elderly experience in media, it is always minor, right. And then and then I think the most popular versions of it are right, we see all these older actors who are doing romantic comedies at their age, and they touch on the funny aspects of growing old, right? Like they’re making jokes about it in many ways. But but very rarely, like, if you have the tragedy of it, it’s it’s a small part, like you don’t make a whole show out of that. Because that would be incredibly depressing. This is an entire 50 minutes of compressed. They touched everything even even it’s so funny. The thing about fear of the unknown. The way I interpreted it, right, it was like maybe maybe you’re close to death and you’re starting to think about the end, you know, and it’s like no, no, like, yeah, of course a lot of people think about that, but the
Lara Taylor 9:55
a lot of people think about that when they’re in their 20s and 30s.
Josué Cardona 9:58
Yeah, but just a suggestion that it’s like either that or that you’re like, not open to new experiences or something like that, right? Like this characterization of all these qualities of being being older. Um, it is. It’s so much in one, just again, one after the other. And so the movie presents, it starts off with this man walking into a white room. Just beat up, right, like, completely beat up and he’s like, sitting down and he looks like he, he looks like he might be dying. He has been shot, like, I mean, he looks like it kind of bandage on, like all this stuff, then this other man comes in dressed exactly the same. He’s like, Hey, do you want to go out there and the guy who’s sitting down, like, there’s, like, he can barely speak. And he says, like, there’s nothing there. Like, there’s like, like, I don’t want to go back out there. There’s nothing there. And, and the guy’s like, okay, and then he goes out into the amusement park. And it’s the same guy I didn’t really like I really didn’t, I don’t know why I didn’t realize that the same guy,
Lara Taylor 11:05
didn’t realize it was the same guy?
Link Keller 11:06
the makeup was so good.
Josué Cardona 11:08
But it’s it’s a loop.
Link Keller 11:10
It’s a loop.
Josué Cardona 11:10
Right? So the guy comes out. So he goes out there. And he he tries to basically it’s the story of someone living in society as an elderly person. And then and, and society just kicked the shit out of you. Like he went.
Link Keller 11:27
literally and figuratively but definitely, literally,
Josué Cardona 11:30
also literally. And, and it’s everything, it’s so there’s so many moments in it, I’m sure you have a list that you want to go through. But after everything that he suffers, I think and, and when, when he I think that the time when he actually sobs and cries I think he’s also the most sad one. Which is where where he is, because they show they show him being abused, they show him being taken advantage of. They show things just being difficult. But the one where he really cries and sobs is when he’s pretty much ignored. Like, he’s he’s treated like he’s invisible. And oh, it’s just, it’s just terrible. I mean, and there’s so many. They thought of everything, like even, right? They there’s even a moment where he goes to a concession stand and he’s buying groceries. And then he can’t carry them. Like, like, he’s just got like these bags, like he can’t carry get this filmed in the early 70s. So I mean, that that context is important. Here, but not that much has changed in years.
Link Keller 12:38
Yeah, that was maybe a pretty heartbreaking,
Josué Cardona 12:42
Link Keller 12:42
It’s like, oh, this is just as relevant.
Josué Cardona 12:46
Link Keller 12:48
in 2020 Part Three as it is in 1973.
Josué Cardona 12:52
Oh, and the thing about the feeling, right, like, I want you to feel something, it made me think of the VR experiences that we that we have now that that are presented at festivals as as an empathy exercise for you to see through the eyes of someone else. And even though this movie is not shot in the first person, the way that a lot of it is happening is that the cameras in them is like so close to everything that’s happening, and to Him. So it almost it feels like you’re there. Um, so that that whole idea of like feeling it is very, it’s very strong like you do
Lara Taylor 13:34
you’re feeling it,
Josué Cardona 13:35
because you’re in the middle of it. It’s a crowded place. And it’s noisy, always. And so you’re close to him. And it’s like it’s kind of shaky. So for being for the like, I can imagine that now being a VR experience where yougo through all that
Lara Taylor 13:51
no one I would wanna do
Josué Cardona 13:53
it would be I mean, it would be incredibly effective. It’s like, oh,
Lara Taylor 13:55
oh it would it would?
Josué Cardona 13:56
Yeah, I think I’ve talked of
Lara Taylor 13:57
there are lots of things we’ve talked about on the show that are incredibly effective, but like, would be really hard to do. Right?
Josué Cardona 14:04
Yeah, yeah, I’ve talked to it’s been a while since I brought it up. But there’s something like eight years ago where Planned Parenthood made one where it’s this VR narrative, you’re there, you’re seeing a woman go to the abortion clinic, and and you’re going through, you’re seeing all the protesters yelling, you’re in the office with her talking to the doctor, that you go through this entire process. And you don’t actually see it through her eyes until the very, very end where they have like a digital CG experience, but the rest is just live action footage and you’re with her, but you’re close enough that you’re you feel like you’re
Lara Taylor 14:43
Josué Cardona 14:43
again, you’re feeling it, you’re having that experience with her and this movie feels like that. Because even when he’s far away, it’s again, I think it jumps back and forth. It’s, it’s interesting. It’s a so I think it was extremely effective in that sense. And it’s it’s very effective, again only the fact that it’s sold, would it make it hard to, I think, to share for the purpose with some people for the purpose of showing, like getting that message across. But holy shit would it be, I think it would be super effective with an elderly client or someone who’s thinking about, you know, their older age or even different forms of disability, they, and they will be able to point and be like, I’ve experienced that that has happened to me, or I’ve experienced this. And I’ve experienced that. I’ve experienced all those things. Thankfully, not in one day, but they’re all so. So I think. I think it’s a great piece of media to have in our back pocket to be able to reference in the future. Those are those are my initial thoughts.
Lara Taylor 16:00
The initial ones?
Josué Cardona 16:02
Yeah. Yeah, Lara, but I think I think it’s definitely I still I do think it’s effective. And like Link said, it’s, it is super relevant even now.
Lara Taylor 16:13
There are a lot of things. I think it’s one, it might be one of those things that, as you said several times, I wouldn’t suggest it to someone. But it is helpful. It might be it might be something I don’t know. Like, I have to actually watch it to see if I would suggest it to somebody or not. But the idea of it is like, that’s pretty terrifying to me. That’s probably my nightmare. I have existential dread all the time.
Josué Cardona 16:45
Watching it during the day.
Lara Taylor 16:48
Sounds good. Sounds good. I’ll do that. I’ll get my nice little blanket and my warm that my warm cup of hot chocolate not my hot chocolate.
Josué Cardona 16:56
Lara Taylor 17:03
You got moments link that you want to talk about?
Link Keller 17:06
Yeah. So in in the intro, Lincoln is describing the various things that impact old people. And he lists, loneliness, failing health, lack of nutrition, lack of appropriate housing, lack of appropriate health care, and most importantly, a lack of compassion from other people, particularly young people. And each of those is illustrated through some event within the park. I think I tried to think which, which one really got to me, um,
Lara Taylor 17:55
all of them? Do you want to put them on a dartboard and throw? Like,
Link Keller 17:58
there were a lot of them. I think there’s one part where it shows this older couple and they’re standing in a line. And the gentleman is doing an eye test like you do at the DMV, and he doesn’t pass. And so they’re like, we’re revoking your license. But you the lady like you’re fine. And then they go and they get in bumper cars. And everybody is driving nicely in the bumper cars in the circle, and then this young jerk guy just crashes into this couple. And then immediately is like, Oh, the only thing worse than a woman driver is an old woman driver. How old Are you anyways? Like, there’s really railing on this woman. And there’s also a couple of parts that
Josué Cardona 18:50
I want to point out that that scene, right? This is one of those things, it’s like, it’s such a good nightmare, because they’re in bumper cars, and then they have, you know, the crash on the bumper cars, and all of a sudden, a cop shows up and someone else is there like and then the insurance person shows up, right? And so in a way, it’s like I get at first I was like, Oh, this is funny. And then I was like, Oh no, wait a minute. This is
Lara Taylor 19:16
this is traumatizing
Josué Cardona 19:17
this is this is how a dream turns into a nightmare, right? It’s like you’re having fun, and suddenly it gets all weird, and it’s tapping into all of these fears. And now this fun day out, you’re just you’re just playing, you’re literally in bumper cars, just having a good time. And all of a sudden again, your insurance agent is there and the insurance agents like oh, don’t worry, we’ve got you but your insurance premiums probably gonna go up. You’re like, wait, what? And then someone bystanders helping into like, oh, actually, you’re supposed to have your glasses. It can be home comes this whole other thing. You almost forget that. oh right. We’re in an amusement park on bumper cars. Right. So again, it feels like a nightmare. Yeah, wanted to point that out. Because that was that was That was yeah, that was definitely well
Lara Taylor 20:06
we might not be old, that old anyway. But we can all relate to cops showing up and insurance agents and it’s annoying.
Josué Cardona 20:17
Actually, my worst PTSD symptoms have been from a car accident that I had when I was like 21. And I used to have all these dreams that all of a sudden would would right. It’s like, I’m in a car, but then suddenly, I would lose control. And then and then it would turn into this whole thing where like, I couldn’t see over the steering wheel and like the car was driving itself and all of these things. And it always pissed me off so much, because they didn’t start that way. They just started like driving and then yeah,
Lara Taylor 20:46
you’re on a nice road trip with some friends or like, driving the countryside. Yeah,
Link Keller 20:53
mine is always like the brake, the brake doesn’t work.
Josué Cardona 20:59
Link Keller 20:59
it’s like, it’s like it’s too hard to push down. Or it’s like you push it down and the car only slows a little bit it doesn’t stop and says like, yeah. my nightmare. Yeah. There, there are a couple of parts that touch on the way that these issues. It’s being framed as talking about the elderly, but this these issues also applied to people of color people with any sort of disability, other minorities, they, they don’t get as much screen time because that’s not the focus. But I did love there, there were a ton of specifically black people included in in the film, which I thought was very cool. But definitely, it’s like the way that people are treated, ultimately came down to how much money they had. And within the amusement park, having money means that you are worthy of respect and not having money means you are subhuman basically. And I thought that that was really poignant, if horrifying, but also true.
Lara Taylor 22:17
But also truth. Society is society. That’s the amusement park, we are all on those rides right now.
Link Keller 22:23
Josué Cardona 22:24
there was very little metaphor here, it was all analogy. It was it was very on the nose very direct. And I believe that the first black people who appear on there are in line trying to get into the amusement park. And it’s, it’s almost like, and this is the way I interpret it. It’s like a thrift store, right? Where people are bringing in their things. And then this person is giving them very, very little value for it. But they but they feel like they have no choice. Like if they want to, they want to,
Link Keller 22:58
if you want to participate,
Josué Cardona 23:01
you got to give up these valuables. And, and they and they show how valuable it is to them. And how this person I’m just gonna give you $5 Right? He just gives a $5 for everything doesn’t matter what it is. Because like, look, this is silver like it’s real silver.
Link Keller 23:16
Lara Taylor 23:16
Josué Cardona 23:17
Everybody’s like, fine, fine. I’ll do it.
Link Keller 23:22
Yeah, yeah, the there’s, I think it’s two black people in front of Lincoln in line and they both have to pawn something to get in
Josué Cardona 23:33
right pawn shop, that’s what I meant.
Link Keller 23:34
and Yeah, he get he gets up and he pulls out money. But he’s like, look, I’m on a budget. And so he’s trying to figure out like, how much can I afford here and the ticket guy is just like, hurry up chip chip chip, like, I don’t have time for you to like, do this is just the way that these people are being treated is like you, you have to you have to pay to participate in the amusement park, you have to pay to participate in society. And not everybody is coming in on equal footing.
Josué Cardona 24:06
It’s not fair. Yeah. Cuz he pays half the he pays half of $5 and gets a bunch of tickets. And someone behind them is like, he had a bunch of had more tickets than those other people, right? It’s something like that. There’s like this. And it’s all happening so fast. Again, it’s a freaking nightmare. The way that it’s playing out, yeah. One that I liked, that I just remembered was the they did show this perspective from the younger people. So they have this couple who goes to a psychic. And they’re like, Oh, we’re so in love. Just tell us like, will we be together forever?
Lara Taylor 24:43
Never asked that question to a psychic.
Josué Cardona 24:46
Yeah, so the psychic goes in and she starts looking and then basically what they’re what they see in the crystal ball is a news report of a an apartment complex and they’re talking to the to the super about, about why he doesn’t fix the building. Why it’s so rundown. And it’s just elderly people living in the building with like, rent controlled or you know, or they don’t say the word friend control, but it seems to be something like that.
Link Keller 25:20
Josué Cardona 25:21
And so it’s like, yeah, like, yeah, they can’t they can’t pay for anything more than that I’m trying to sell this building. You know, it’s just again, like this, this horror story, but it’s true. And then
Lara Taylor 25:31
a common horror story right now.
Josué Cardona 25:35
Yeah, yeah. And then embedded within it. Actually, there’s like, a lot of inception stuff. And now that I think about it, because as you’re seeing that vision inside the crystal ball, they focus then on one of the two of the people who live in the building. And one is dying
Link Keller 25:52
I think that’s supposed to be the couple.
Josué Cardona 25:55
Right, right, right. Yeah. Yeah.
Link Keller 25:56
like, here is your future. And the psychic lady specifies like, you can’t leave, like you have to watch the whole thing. Like, you want to see how it ends, I’m going to show you how it ends. And this this old woman who is, you know, with her husband’s partner, and he’s in bed and and frail, and she is calling a doctor to try and get help and getting totally just ignored, put off. And she is like, so upset and then needs money to like call on the payphone again, and people are just shoving her out of the way and ignoring her and whoooo
Josué Cardona 26:38
and she’s running a few blocks right to go to the phone to it’s the 70s. They could have a phone, but like that’s probably more expensive, or it doesn’t work in that building. Because it’s so rundown.
Lara Taylor 26:48
Back when you had to go to a payphone? Yeah.
Josué Cardona 26:52
Yeah. But again, I mean, there are still people who don’t have a cell phone. And yep, in New York, there are there are these newer payphones right? And
Lara Taylor 27:06
they’re still there? Yeah, I took pictures when I was there. And I told Nina, this is where payphones go to die like this is this is their Florida.
Josué Cardona 27:18
But again, the gaps exist, right. And so here, what they’re presenting is, all of this is what the elderly have to go through.
Lara Taylor 27:26
Josué Cardona 27:27
But they showed it from the perspective again, of like, this young couple, who is hopeful about their future. And a psychic saying, haha Guess what?
Lara Taylor 27:40
careful what you ask for
Josué Cardona 27:42
Link Keller 27:45
Yeah, that part touches on medical care stuff. And then there’s another part later, pretty soon after that, where Lincoln is injured, and he’s going into like the first aid tent in the park. And it is like a factory line of people just getting pushed through and somebody slaps a bandage on his forehead, and pushes him. And then he gets up to the front. He’s like, I need more help. I need to see a doctor and the lady’s like, well, where’s your paperwork? He’s like, I don’t have I don’t have any paperwork. And she’s like, we’ll go back to the front of the line. Why are you even complaining you have a bandaid now.
Josué Cardona 28:27
you should feel much better.
Link Keller 28:28
Yeah. And, and just like, again, it’s like this dehumanization where it’s prompt medical care is only available to productive members of society. If you are no longer productive, then you don’t get the medical care that you need anymore. We’re gonna save it for people who can still make money. And it’s heartbreaking. Also very funny to see just like a line of people getting shoved through and somebody’s just leaning over a counter and slapping a bandage on your face be like, there you go. That’s the medical care you deserve.
Josué Cardona 29:10
But that’s what it feels like.
Link Keller 29:12
Lara Taylor 29:13
And it’s a one size fits all fix, right? Just like BAM Band Aid next band aid. Next,
Josué Cardona 29:20
also, how dare you complain? Right. It’s like, you should feel you should feel way better
Link Keller 29:24
be grateful for what you get. And it’s like, ugh this isn’t what I need.
Josué Cardona 29:30
Yeah, the desperation you know, from everyone. Yeah.
Link Keller 29:37
Yeah. So there’s there’s another part sort of close to the end where it touches on the way that people will specifically seek out elderly as prey for scams basically. From straight up stealing Lincoln’s pocket watch out of his pocket while distracting him with a Don’t you think like, it’s important to make friends like, and at an amusement park, that’s the best place to make friends and Lincoln’s like, Yeah, I agree. And then the dude like, yoink, steals his pocket watches, like, God bless you and takes off. And it’s like, and then there are other people who are like talking about like, oh, we’ll help you, like sell your home so that you don’t have to spend all that money taking care of it, like don’t even like, we’ll take it off of your hands. So you don’t have to worry. And it’s like, like that, that, again, is very relevant today. How many, you know, horrifying, like, scam artists are specifically seeking out older people because they don’t have the supports. They don’t have, you know, necessarily the the knowledge required to avoid these things. And they’re lonely, and they’re seeking out connection. And it’s so easy to just be like, I can give you that. And then yoink steal from them.
Josué Cardona 31:04
And preying on the on the things on their limitations.
Link Keller 31:08
Yes, absolutely. Right. It’s like, oh, if I steal from you and just book it, like, you can’t chase me down, you’re old, you can’t run.
Josué Cardona 31:17
And, or the idea of like, selling you a product that fixes something, a problem that you have, right? It’s like it’s marketed for you, you know, who is more tired or has less and then here you go. And maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t, probably doesn’t.
Lara Taylor 31:33
That was something that came up. We keep seeing commercials on TV for Medicare Part C ads. And it’s just like, it feels real the way they present them. It feels really predatory. For sure. So
Josué Cardona 31:50
that’s probably some of the ads that are illegal. I mean, first of all, a lot of countries would they wouldn’t have to advertise an addition I mean, maybe
Lara Taylor 32:02
this is not even this is a supplement to the supplement.
Josué Cardona 32:05
No, I don’t know but like I said it’s a supplement to the to the only to the closest thing we have to universal health care to a government funded health care in the in the United States. But yeah, how much how much of the medication commercials which are illegal in most other countries? Are are exactly that type of thing, right? It’s like, oh, like your ear lobe itches. It doesn’t that suck isn’t a distracting? let me sell you something.
Lara Taylor 32:38
Don’t take it if you are allergic to the ear lobe itching medication. Well, how do I know if I’m allergic? If I haven’t taken it?
Link Keller 32:46
Ask your doctor who’s only available for four and a half minutes. 16 months from now. Good luck
Josué Cardona 32:53
Lara Taylor 32:56
And he’ll probably tell you, sure I’ll write you a prescription for whatever you want
Josué Cardona 33:02
just like with a bandaid.
Link Keller 33:04
And you should be thankful for your face Band Aid.
Josué Cardona 33:09
Lara Taylor 33:11
Now I want a band aid every time I go to the doctor. But it has to be a cool one.
Josué Cardona 33:18
I look up the articles about how much hospitals charged for a band aid.
Link Keller 33:22
Yeah, that’s a whole that’s a whole bag of worms
Josué Cardona 33:27
Yes, yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. All right, what else you got?
Lara Taylor 33:33
Yeah, what there’s got to be more to this.
Josué Cardona 33:35
There’s more of this nightmare. There’s a lot
Link Keller 33:37
I think I think I’m just gonna shift
Lara Taylor 33:39
I’m gonna have nightmares tonight
Link Keller 33:39
shift into the old link death positivity corner. And be like, I think ultimately, that a lot of this is touching on is tied to people, most specifically Americans and our culture of fear of death and death avoidance. Old people remind you that you are aging and one day you will die.
Lara Taylor 34:09
That is exactly why I’m
Link Keller 34:10
Lara Taylor 34:11
I am avoiding.
Link Keller 34:13
And so people you know, they show it several times there’s a room where they shove Lincoln in with a bunch of other old people and it’s like sort of physical therapy looking space, but it’s it’s just a hole to hide the old people and so they’re not clogging up the space for the rest of the young people enjoying the park. And I think that that is so representative of the discomfort a lot of people have with being around the elderly and old people is just this oftentimes unconscious, connection to death and dying and mortality. And I think that The amusement park really showcases the way that that doing that is detrimental not just to the people that we are shoving into holes to hide away, but to everybody. Everybody is losing out when we treat people this way. And I think that’s real poignant. I think that’s real hashtag death positive, to be all like, look, yeah, it’s scary. It is scary to grow old, it is scary to lose physical capacity
Lara Taylor 35:33
it’s scary to fear, the unknown
Link Keller 35:35
it’s scary to face. The unknown, it’s pretty, pretty terrifying. To be frank. it’s pretty spooky dooky. But if we don’t, if we don’t face that, if we don’t acknowledge that if we don’t engage with that, we are harming ourselves, we are harming vulnerable people, we are harming people who got us to where we are right? Society is built on the backs of the people who came before us. And when we try and erase that aspect, we are minimizing their contributions. And we are reducing our own ability to connect with them and to connect with our peers and to connect with younger people. Because to make those connections is in a way to have to accept that eventually, you’ll die. One day, it’ll happen to you, to you, to you.
Lara Taylor 36:38
Why thank you for that will be the nightmare tonight that will be the nightmare.
Josué Cardona 36:44
So that is definitely true. I don’t disagree with anything that you’re saying. Especially that unconscious piece, right? Like, maybe you’re not even thinking about that. The conscious pieces, I think that play out are the it’s more difficult to deal with, you know, with with certain people than others, not just not just the elderly, people who are sick, it’s exactly the same thing. But holy shit, it is so Alright, if there’s ever a moment to call out the the issues with capitalism, it’s here. Right? Because because it’s just that cost effective according to the effort you need to put into it to take care of people. And then and we don’t have the, the respect like culturally in the United States, we do not have respect for the people who are who are older. And it’s so weird, right? Like, what for the past couple years, we’ve talked about how we’ve had the oldest president we’ve ever had than the other oldest president we’ve ever had, and the oldest candidates, and you would think that that was coming from a country that really respected older people.
Lara Taylor 37:58
Link Keller 37:58
Josué Cardona 37:58
That is no respect to other people at all.
Link Keller 38:01
Josué Cardona 38:02
And and so it is, it is such a strange thing, because because, again, it’s it’s cultural, it is absolutely cultural. Because we could write like, there’s no incentive for you to help older people, there’s no incentive for you to do the version of like, being a nurse at a hospital versus being a nurse in an elderly care center. Right? Like, it’s, it’s different like you, it’s not it, there’s no support for it. And then and that goes, the money is following the culture piece of it, I think. And then actually, it’s a loop. It’s a feedback loop. Because Because then over time, we’ve never invested in that. So we have a certain feeling about it. And it’s like it’s not attractive. So why would we do that? And then it keeps the the health component of it is such a is so terrible. There’s a author of this book. Trying to, I think it’s Atul Gawande. It’s like, end of life, like living end of life with dignity book. Y’know what I’m talking about link? You read the death books.
Link Keller 39:17
You want me google it?
Josué Cardona 39:18
I’ll Google it. I’ll go okay. Being Mortal by
Link Keller 39:23
Josué Cardona 39:24
medicine and what matters in the end, right. And it’s an it’s
Link Keller 39:28
that is a very cool book.
Josué Cardona 39:29
Yeah. And specifically, that book is all about how, like, Yeah, we’re gonna die. Why don’t we make that comfortable for people? Right? It’s all about like, all of the terrible things that people do to even try to, in many cases, like that book is about how people try to help. And you’re not helping these people, right. Like you’re, you’re, you’re making them suffer more. You’re doing all these, like there. Again, I think it’s this cultural that we don’t have an idea of how To treat people after a certain point, they’re just
Link Keller 40:03
Lara Taylor 40:04
And that goes for, like you said earlier the sick as well. Josué we don’t know how to treat people who are in hospice.
Link Keller 40:12
Josué Cardona 40:12
Link Keller 40:13
Yeah. Be Like Being Mortal is also there’s a documentary movie version of it.
Josué Cardona 40:19
Oh, I’ve never seen it
Link Keller 40:20
it’s very good it’s very much the the author is coming he is a doctor. And so he is coming from the perspective of the ways that doctors will actively harm their patients, in effort to avoid death to avoid talking about like, look, you’re gonna die. So like, how do you want this to go. And instead, we’ll do you know, really super invasive, painful treatments that maybe give you a little more time. But you’re not ain’t nobody getting out of this one alive. So. But
Lara Taylor 40:55
there’s a lot of that on my medical procedurals that I watched, like, a lot of like, the doctors will get into arguments over like, well, you’re supposed to save their life at any and all costs. And it’s like, what is their quality of life gonna be like they’re making this decision informed themselves. Don’t force them to have this treatment that is going to put them in agony for more time.
Link Keller 41:20
Lara Taylor 41:20
Josué Cardona 41:23
And they’re like, if you extend that out, right, like, oh, as you’re getting older, then let’s make a different version of this. And then that’s like, it’s been like warped, right? And then you end up with something. The nightmare like this where your your experience is just completely separate from the rest of society. It doesn’t even feel like it doesn’t feel like a natural progression. It feels like oh, there’s a cliff. There. Now you’re often in other rules are completely different for you. Nothing applies. And nothing that you did before matters. Sorry.
Link Keller 41:55
Asterix, unless you’re very wealthy, in which case everything will go great for you. Don’t you even fret.
Josué Cardona 42:04
Yeah, the way the way this movie presents, that is, Lincoln goes to a restaurant. And there’s another older gentleman, but he is loaded. So they treat him very differently than they treat than they treat Lincoln.
Link Keller 42:19
He gets his own table. They bring out a candelabra to put on the table for him. He’s he gets a big old cigar lit for him. And then they probably came. Lincoln is like making eye contact with him. And so this other dude like whispers to the waitstaff, they rotate his table, and then pick him up in the chair and rotate him with the table. So that his back is to Lincoln so that he no longer has to look at Lincoln and the other poors who can’t even afford a table in lunch. We’re just sitting nearby. And it is like, just really leaning into that whole idea is like simply I simply do not see it. I do not want to look at this thing. I don’t want to witness this injustice. I don’t want to witness that. Like given slightly different circumstances. That could be me. It’s like no, no. Waiters with my my big cigar.
Josué Cardona 43:22
But the waiters, like go through all that trouble bend over backwards to please him. Where when Lincoln sat down, they debated whether or not to even let him sit there. And after like putting freaking candelabrum has on his table for Lincoln. They just like slammed down a salt and pepper shaker empty
Link Keller 43:39
an empty glass. Here’s a water glass. I’m not putting water in it for you. like ugh.
Josué Cardona 43:46
And it’s the same waiters right, just showing the different experience of two people with very, very different means. Of course, that idea is repeated over and over again. Throughout the throughout the movie. Yeah, yeah. Terrible.
Link Keller 44:06
Yeah, I would say ultimately, this is an anti capitalist film and I love it for that. It very much points out the way that we absolutely mistreat people who don’t have means and it makes difficult situations exponentially more difficult.
Josué Cardona 44:28
You know, it’s funny because the realization is interesting to me of after Us right. And and the trend of racism in society being the the the monster Yeah, that the monster in the in the movie. This feels a lot like that, like a long like in that in that in that genre? I don’t know. Is there a name for this type of stuff? words for societies the monster?
Link Keller 45:03
Josué Cardona 45:06
social horror is that is that a thing?
Link Keller 45:07
I don’t know if that’s a widely used term I feel like I’ve definitely read it somewhere before but maybe by other people like me or just pulling pulling stuff out. Yeah.
Lara Taylor 45:19
Josué Cardona 45:19
but that is exhausting though
Lara Taylor 45:20
I when I put four into Google I get social horror movies, social horror novels, social horror film.
Link Keller 45:27
well There you go.
Josué Cardona 45:27
Do what kind of films fall into the
Lara Taylor 45:31
it is a is definitely a genre. Why did books come up? Social horror films? Unfriend, Dark Web, The Purge.
Josué Cardona 45:47
the Purge, yeah.
Link Keller 45:48
yeah the Purge fits. The Purge fits.
Josué Cardona 45:51
Link Keller 45:54
George Romero’s the amusement park is like the purge prequel.
Josué Cardona 45:58
It is the pre the pre prequel.
Link Keller 46:00
There’s already a purge prequel. the pre-prequel
Josué Cardona 46:04
Yeah, yeah. Like this is what happened in the 70s I forget how far back the prequel to The Purge, guys, but I don’t think it goes farther. That far back. Yeah, but these but this type of movie is exhausting. Is that I was gonna say Right? Because it is. It is just like, I love you know, movies that take him like I love black mirror because it takes an idea to its extreme, you know, and so, but these kinda things ah, it’s just, it’s just terrible again, the just just the warped sense of like, Oh, what if we just put every single terrible thing that can possibly happen to you when you get old? In one place?
Lara Taylor 46:48
In one place that is supposed to be a fun place.
Link Keller 46:51
Yes, that is such a great point is the framing of having it be an amusement park, and it’s
Josué Cardona 46:59
showing him hopeful at the beginning
Link Keller 47:00
bright sunny daylight and there are people milling about looking happy having a good time.
Josué Cardona 47:06
And Lincoln’s wearing his Sunday best at the beginning
Link Keller 47:09
he is. a full white suit looking very sharp until he gets stuff spilled on him and he gets pushed in the dirt and then he bleeds on it. And he is looking very rough. By the time he gets back to the White Room and the cycle begins anew
Josué Cardona 47:24
Yeah. Again, he just got so beat up and was like dirty and like his hair was a mess. Like all of that enough was for me to not realize that it was the same.
Link Keller 47:33
I also I also did not like
Josué Cardona 47:36
oh, you didn’t
Link Keller 47:36
I didn’t Yeah, I got once he is bloodied and bandaged. That is the moment when I went, Wait, was he the guy in the room and then when he gets back to that point, and he goes back inside, and he sits down and he’s like, breathing heavy, he’s clearly like exhausted in pain, like, emotionally destroyed by his experience. And then the 45 Minute younger version of himself, walks in looking fresh and sharp, and his hair’s done and everything. And I was like, it’s still really hard to tell that that’s the same guy. But like, yeah,
Josué Cardona 48:18
yeah, part that gets me is the hope and him right. He’s, uh, he’s excited to be here. He’s like, Hey, I’m at the park. Hey, you want to you want to you want to go with me?
Link Keller 48:27
There’s, there’s nothing for you there. You’re not You’re not gonna like it. And he’s like, well i think I want to find out for myself. It’s like, oh, yeah, you will, you will.
Josué Cardona 48:38
He just repeats there’s nothing there’s nothing there. Right? I kept thinking about that. And I was like, Is there nothing there for you? Is there nothing there? Um, you know,
Lara Taylor 48:48
like wanna see nothing’s good there
Josué Cardona 48:51
no there’s nothing there and like the way I interpret is there’s nothing there for you like don’t don’t do that don’t go but he’s so again just beat up emotionally and mentally. And definitely physically. yeah.
Lara Taylor 49:07
And it only took 45 minutes Yeah,
Josué Cardona 49:10
yeah. To destroy a man
Link Keller 49:14
Josué Cardona 49:15
Yeah. Yeah. And me.
Link Keller 49:19
Josué Cardona 49:21
by the end I was destroyed as well. It’s again it’s it’s exhausting to even to have a concentrated version of this discussion, right like to have so much of it thrown at you because it’s not even like the intensity of something like like the purge or us right where it’s like it’s, it’s hitting you with like, oh right, like this is this is going deep on this one thing that’s just like, slapping you in the face over and over and over again with just here’s another one. Here’s a here’s another terrible thing. Did you think of this one? You probably forgot about this. Yeah, yeah, again, the part where he’s just like being treated like he’s invisible is the one where it broke him. And that’s, that’s a part of me that the most, I can’t think of anything that they didn’t touch. Right? They there’s even a thing of where he’s like, Oh, hey, kids, like, and they’re like, hey, dirty old man, like get away from those kids like, like, what? Right? Like there’s nothing like he can’t do anything without without it being a problem.
Link Keller 50:29
Yeah, yeah, they touched on that, where he’s next to a playground. And he’s like, offering to share a snack with some children. And another dude runs, I was like, get away, go on get. And then towards the end, the part that you’re talking about Josué is he sees a little girl reading a book. And she is kind to him in that she doesn’t actively ignore him. And he manages to get up next to her. And he offers to read the book to her and she shares some of her chicken lunch with him and is this really nice moment, and then her mom is like, Okay, time to go and just cleans up everything, yanks the book out of his hands does not acknowledge Lincoln in any way is just
Josué Cardona 51:15
but it’s building to that, right? it’s the worst part because because the whole time that he’s reading the book to her, you see the mom there and the mom never acknowledges him.
Link Keller 51:23
Josué Cardona 51:24
And then and so the whole time like you, you’re simultaneously seeing him for the first time feeling productive and appreciated.
Lara Taylor 51:33
And also being ignored
Josué Cardona 51:35
the entire time. The mother is is never acknowledges him and never acknowledges him even once he and he keeps reading, right? And the mom is just packing up. Like she can’t see him. He’s invisible. And then when she grabs the book and pulls it away from him, didn’t even say a word to him. It was even like, yank, just grabbed it putting everything away, like nothing like he would didn’t exist. And that’s the part where he like he sobbed and cried. Because nobody could see him. You know, nobody. That was that was it. That was like the breaking point.
Link Keller 52:09
Josué Cardona 52:10
Remember by that point, he had already
Lara Taylor 52:12
Josué Cardona 52:14
beaten, pushed, like literally, like, kicked by, by by a mob on the floor, chased by younger people.
Link Keller 52:23
Oh, yeah, that was that was the other part as he goes to what is labeled as like the freak show. And it’s just old people. They pull back the curtains it’s old it’s two old couples and then a decorated veteran. He’s wearing his uniform and with all the badges and bangles and everything. And all the people in the crowd are like, Ah, eww look at ’em they’re disgusting. They’re grotesque is like, that’s just all it’ll happen to you to you to you.
Josué Cardona 52:54
They see Lincoln in the in the audience, and then they chase him.
Link Keller 52:56
They’re like, Oh, he’s escaping, like, look that that freak is trying to this guy’s Yeah, is very fucked up. Yeah. Yeah. Great for illustrating the problems within our society.
Josué Cardona 53:09
The more the more I think about it, how twisted it seems. But he’s just pulling real examples. Like he could he probably drafted this in 30 minutes. You could have you could have just done a quick survey, and then built a movie out of like, Oh, yeah. These are the comments from the Reddit or from the Reddit thread, where we asked, you know, what is something that you don’t want to happen to you when you get older? And boom, there’s it
Link Keller 53:33
we got our top 10 list ready to go.
Josué Cardona 53:37
was like, Oh, we got 80 suggestions. Can we fit them all? Yes,
Link Keller 53:41
Josué Cardona 53:43
Ah, yeah. I’m almost as impressed as I was after Spider Man. No way home.
Lara Taylor 53:50
Link Keller 53:51
Josué Cardona 53:52
yeah. But I think this one’s helpful.
Lara Taylor 53:59
oh No, the other one was helpful.
Josué Cardona 54:01
Get out of here with that. Visit our No Way Home episode for context. Okay, so, any, any, any anything else you wanted to touch on? I feel like we I keep remembering the horrible things from the movie. though. I think we covered everything. Oh, no. do You remember the part where ohh.
Link Keller 54:25
I think I think a cool thing to touch on is more meta about the film. The other than Lincoln, who is an actor, all of the other people are volunteers.
Lara Taylor 54:36
Link Keller 54:37
And Lincoln makes makes note in the beginning is like for a lot of the elderly people in the film. This was the most exciting thing that had happened to them in years. And it’s like they were grateful to be included in this film. Like how exciting is that? Like I get to be a movie. I’m like 76 and I get to ride in a cute little roller coaster and people You’re gonna see me on the the silver screen and it’s like that’s not Hollywood we had to find volunteer volunteers from the local homes and stuff
Josué Cardona 55:15
Yeah, he said it was all allies and people who like cares about the cause right and he kept talking about it like this is this is a very important issue and and I hope that this makes you think about it and do something about that it moves you to action.
Link Keller 55:30
Josué Cardona 55:32
Yeah that’s good find was a good find. When did he get but did it come out? When did they release the remaster?
Link Keller 55:41
it was remastered and they showed it at another film festival, I want to say in 2020 and then it got put on shutter
Josué Cardona 55:55
Link Keller 55:56
my brains like Netflix, like it’s not Netflix,
Josué Cardona 55:58
Link Keller 55:59
shutter. He put it on shutter last year. So a couple months ago, the end of the year, but yeah, yeah.
Josué Cardona 56:07
And it’s a really good restoration.
Link Keller 56:08
Josué Cardona 56:08
Like, 4K, so yeah, yeah.
Link Keller 56:12
Oh, that’s that’s
Lara Taylor 56:13
you really get to see him all bloodied.
Link Keller 56:15
That’s that’s another thing. I don’t know how much of it is just due to technology at the time of when it was filmed. But Josué, you’ve touched on this a whole bunch. It is it is overwhelming. It is overstimulating it is loud, there’s people the the positioning of the camera, and how close you are to Lincoln and the people moving past him. It is overwhelming. Like, I was like, I’m getting some social anxiety and I am alone in my room like, oh, it was very effective. I don’t know how much of that is just that’s how that’s how it works. Because we don’t have super high def audio technology in the 70s. But it very well fit for the purpose of this film.
Josué Cardona 57:07
Yeah, yeah, the audio component in particular was very, adds to that overwhelming feeling. But it’s just like it right. At times. I was like, I wonder if it’s just distorted on purpose, or because this is what we have, or because he did this all on my camcorder, you know, for free for that Lutheran program or, you know, whatever it was that whatever budget they had, but there’s definitely something about the way that it sounds that it just adds to that feeling of it’s, it’s even hard to it’s hard to understand what’s being said at times. And, but I feel like it was deliberate. Yeah,
Link Keller 57:49
Josué Cardona 57:51
Yeah. Again, I think I think you want to spark a conversation about about the way we treat older people. This definitely
Lara Taylor 58:04
put this in front of some people.
Josué Cardona 58:05
Yeah, yeah. People who are dealing with with fears about growing old, I think this is a hell of a conversation starter.
Link Keller 58:12
Josué Cardona 58:12
And, and it’s, it’s also, for anyone listening who, who feels like they’re older, and wants to show a piece of media that really touches on a bunch of different things that you may be experiencing.
Lara Taylor 58:33
To family or friends who don’t understand.
Josué Cardona 58:35
Yeah, you can sell it as a George Romero movie. I mean that alone. I mean, that’s what pulled me in. Right. I was like, what a lost film.
Link Keller 58:43
I know, right?
Josué Cardona 58:43
damn right, I’m gonna Go check that out. Yeah. Yeah. and then you tell them, No, you have to sit down and watch the thing to the end. It’s short, it’s only 53 minutes. You said it was like oh, yeah, no, cool. I still had to do it in two sittings. Yeah, no, it was great. It was great. I’m really glad that
Lara Taylor 59:05
I mean, Link watched Eternals in 15 minute increments. So you could watch this in like, three-ish.
Josué Cardona 59:15
Shutter saves the day again. Yeah, it’s a shutter exclusive. While you’re there. Don’t forget to watch Psycho Goreman and then listen to our episode. On Fuji. It’s good. It’s good stuff. All right. Any any any final thoughts for wrap up? No. Lara’s gonna watch it. Link any any closing thoughts?
Lara Taylor 59:38
Go Go hug. Go hug an old person in your life.
Link Keller 59:41
Yeah, have a have some compassion for the olds they’re. They are people that old people are still people there are some that are assholes. There are some that are stupid and cruel and just awful to be around but have some compassion because one day it will happen to you to you to you
Josué Cardona 1:00:08
thank you for joining us for this episode of GT radio. For links to our community spaces where you can talk about this content and all the other content on that GT network. Check out the show notes. Visit geek therapy.org. For more on Geek Therapy, remember to geek out and do good. We’ll see you next episode. See you hear you? see you soon. See you next time. We’ll be back soon. What do I usually say I forgot. I’m gonna keep talking so link keeps holding the bye
Link Keller 1:00:43
Josué Cardona 1:00:46
Geek Therapy is a 501 C three nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world a better place through geek culture. To learn more about our mission and become a supporter, visit geek therapy.org
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Characters / Media
- George Romero’s The Amusement Park (1975/2019)
- Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
- Frontline: Being Mortal (2015)
- Us (2019)
- The Purge (2013)
Themes / Topics
* Cultural representation
* Aging and Death
* Death Positivity
* Elderly Abuse
* Feeling alone
* Getting older
* Existential Dread
* Health (Physical)
* Loss (other than death)
* New Life Event (New Rules)
Links / Social Media
Check out the GT Network: network.geektherapy.com
GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.org
GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord
GT Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/geektherapy
Join the Conversation!
What are your fears about growing old?