Parasite ★★★★★

"They're rich...but still nice."
"Not rich but still nice. They're nice because they're rich."

Progressives need to stop being so shocked when rich people side with other rich people. They will do it every time, in every instance, no matter what hardships they faced before, no matter what group they're apart of that is "supposed" to resist the rich and powerful. Ellen DeGeneres doesn't have to care about war crimes because she's wealthy. The Queer Eye guys are millionaires, they can afford to be centrists, and say dumb shit like "Reagan killed our elders by the thousands but at least his hair was on point." The parade of white women Trump hires to defend him know that they will have their wealth to fall back on, even while they advance policies that will directly harm women of lesser means.

Over and over again, progressives gasp, and treat these people like the exceptions to the rule when it's more of the same. Maybe it's so hard to comprehend that the rich will always side with the rich, when the poor can't side with the poor. Every structure we encounter is built to chip away at our solidarity, we're programmed to believe that clawing our way to the top is a realistic option (if we push enough people out of our way), and if we can't manage to do that, we can blame it on other working class people, on immigrants or welfare recipients, because it's so much easier to believe that you're different, that you'll break through, than to accept that the system is rigged for you to fail or cannibalize your fellow workers trying. Parasite was made for South Korean audiences, but it hits hard and it hits close wherever capitalism reigns, because it turns us into monsters by design, fighting and killing each other for scraps and praising billionaires for giving us the opportunity to do so.

It's mentally corrosive, as destructive to our health and self-worth as the unshakable smell of poverty, and the backbone of an affecting and darkly comic tragedy that delights and destroys you in equal measure. The expert whiplash is just as enthralling on a second viewing, and the coda is even more unbearably crushing. Bong's masterpiece, see it in theaters while you still can.

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