Generation Zero: a brief review

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 12:03 pm by George Smith

If you’re so inclined, the Steve Bannon movie/documentary focusing in on an unusual theory of cyclical American crisis is “Generation Zero” and it’s on YouTube in its entirety.

A Citizens United production, it features a host of talking heads, most of them from the far right (Newt Gingrich, Dick Morris, etc) while also including the authors of “The Fourth Turning,” “amateur historians” Neil Howe and William Strauss. Outwardly based on the financial crisis of 2008, it starts off by condemning hippies and Woodstock (there’s apparently a Manhattan Institute expert who’s made a career out of this) while mourning how said hippies and Woodstock-goers desecrated the idea of Fifties America, setting the stage for a culture of permissiveness and instant gratification. You’ll recognize it as an old complaint from relatively recent American history. The kids weren’t all right and they grew up to ruin everything.

In some way this is tied to Saul Alinsky and eventually ACORN and how the idea that people who were not solvent, African Americans, were given millions of liar/NINJA home loans by Wall Street, combining some manner of greed with a nefarious plot. In reality it was greed and off-the-scale financial swindling. It’s not logical but for the movie it’s portrayed as something obvious. The big banks compounded things with credit default swaps and so on and so on until the house of cards collapsed and we got the Great Recession — in “Generation Zero,” the CRISIS point.

“Generation Zero” attempts to be very populist in tone in a “we,” the people, versus “them,” the liberals and banksters way. You won’t follow how Woodstock somehow became the banksters but this isn’t important, it’s just a given. When you watch, Steve Bannon has a knack for making everything seamless through the use of stock footage: video of sharks attacking, swimming, eating chunk meat bait; flowers blooming, animals being preyed
upon, a tornado ripping through a Midwest city, the odd thermonuclear fireball or shot of the Crossroads test.

It sounds off when described in this manner but, like other docs in the Bannon catalog like “Clinton Cash”, “Generation Zero” achieves a certain time marches onward flow, like the changing of the seasons.

More on “The Fourth Turning” and the ideology of Steve Bannon at the NY Times, this weekend.

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