The movie “Less Than Zero” is about three drug addicts.
All treea dem, Clay, Blair, and Julian graduated high school together.
Clay left for college while Blair & Julian stayed at home.
Before he left, Blair was Clay’s girlfriend. After he left, Blair was Julian’s girlfriend.
Clay (apparently) stopped using drugs altogether. Blair & Julian increased their cocaine consumption.
When Clay returns to town during the Christmas holiday break, he has two problems.
His best friend Julian is a junkie.
His girlfriend, who’s now screwing his best friend, wants Clay to help Julian.
Who Are You?
The reason I wanted to discuss this movie is because there are a lot of people who spend all of their time trying to get back *UP* to zero.
Every day, you see them posting items on social media where they’re trying to convince themselves that they’re actually somebody. That they count for something. That their life is worth something.
If you have to attempt to convince yourself that you’re a valuable person, you have way more problems than writing on Facebook and Instagram is going to fix.
While you’re busy trying to get back to the surface and stop yourself from drowning in your own self-inflicted sorrows, other people are on the surface and swimming forward.
They aren’t wasting time wondering if they’re worth something because they already know that.
And then the same pity-wallowers get upset when the swimmers are miles ahead of them in life, when the fact is that they spent every day trying to vertically arrive at the surface while the people they’re sad about have been progressing and improving their lives the whole time.
There’s a parable called “The Good Samaritan”. A lot of people (or, as your boy Trump would say, “Many People Are Saying…”) mistake this to mean that Samaritans were good.
Obviously, the fact that there is *THE* good Samaritan demonstrates that this person was an anomaly, which means the rest of them WERE NOT GOOD.
Similarly, when you go around posting “LOOK WHAT THIS PERSON DID!!! :O”, you aren’t actually proving to yourself that you’re worth something. You’re proving that YOU DON’T BELIEVE that you’re worth anything, so that you’re SURPRISED when someone you consider to be similar to you actually does something valuable in life.
Therefore, you’re telling on yourself.
Another thing that could be considered a parable is when they say “If everywhere you go, you smell a goat, it might be you.”
That means that when you post every week about how horrific your dating life is, you aren’t really telling stories about the myriad screwed up people in the dating world. You’re telling a consistent story about yourself.
When you post the pictures of you making out with your dog, you’re telling on yourself.
When you date someone for a couple of months and then all of their pictures suddenly disappear from your social media properties, soon to be replaced by the next temporary boyfriend or girlfriend, you’re telling on yourself.
When you bitch and moan about a problem you’re having and then a full year later, you’re still bitching and moaning about the same problem, you’re telling on yourself that you weren’t able to figure out A SOLUTION TO YOUR OWN PROBLEM IN A FULL CALENDAR YEAR.
You Got Got
When the movie starts, Clay is *WINNING*!! 😀
He’s coming back from college, where he was probably bagging chicks left and right. He seems to have kicked his drug addiction because when his dealer Rip offers him drugs, he doesn’t accept them as if he’s disinterested. He’s driving a classic convertible car that costs I-don’t-know-how-many-thousands-of-dollars as a college freshman (18 years old). His father is still rich and prospering. He’s still in shape. Clay is basically the definition of “not a care in the world”.
So he comes back to town and finds his ex-girlfriend, Blair.
Blair is cocaine addict, but she claims to have it under control.
She’s also a model, which pays her enough to finance her drug addiction.
When Clay finds Blair, she fronts as if she doesn’t want to give him some, but then by the end of the movie, she’s riding him in woman-on-top, so there’s that.
Before that happens, she informs Clay that she wants him to help Julian, who’s a drug addict for real, as opposed to her. 😀
So here’s the first problem… Apparently, Julian never reached out to Clay for help because Clay seems surprised when Blair tells him how screwed Julian’s life is.
So what Clay *wanted* was to spend time with Blair, but what he *received* was the bait-and-switch of Blair asking Clay for something that Julian never asked him for.
This is a problem because Clay still wants to be with Blair, but in order to be with Blair, he has to clear out all her problems, and unfortunately, one of her problems is Julian’s drug addiction.
Women’s physical attraction is wired through their emotions, while men generally don’t have that problem.
This means that if Clay didn’t help Julian, he wasn’t going to be able to receive proper sex from Blair because she would be emotionally upset at Clay until he did something or at least tried his best.
This means that Clay had only two plays.. Help Julian and get his girlfriend back, or leave both of those addicts where he found them.
Barrel Of Monkeys
When Clay decides he’s going to help Julian so he can get Blair to do the right thing, he receives direct and vehement resistance from Julian! 😀 hahaha The addict he’s trying to help screams on him that he doesn’t want his help AND didn’t ask for his help.
This is what dudes get for blindly doing what chicks tell them in order to get laid.
Sucks to be you.
Meanwhile, Julian steals Clay’s mother’s jewelry so he can sell it to buy drugs… Julian has been kicked out of his father’s mansion because he’s been stealing from his father to buy drugs, so now he’s homeless and sleeping out on the beach, although the movie never explains how Julian changes clothes throughout… Julian owes Rip $50,000 because of the drugs he’s consumed on consignment… Jullian is a junkie with no earning potential whatsoever…..
So Clay ends up stepping to Rip and telling him a) to leave Julian alone, and b) that Clay is going to pay Rip what Julian owes him, even if it means he has to sell his car, which ends up later in the movie with Clay having a physical fight against Rip and his bodyguard.
The derived solution to all of this being that Clay is going to skip town back to college, taking his newly re-upped girlfriend Blair with him and his junkie best friend Julian with him, and nobody’s going to pay Rip the $50,000 that Julian owes him.
Here’s the thing… If Clay would have forgotten about Blair, none of this would have happened. If Blair would have forgotten about Julian, none of this would have happened.
At the end of the day, everything worked out, but in real life, this is a typical barrel of monkeys that a lot of people get caught up in and lose their ability to *WIN* because they’re supporting *LOSERS*.
This is a very important consideration in life… Are you going to allow other people to drag you down with them, or are you going to cut them loose to lose on their own?
Personally, I like to help people who are helping themselves.
If I see you respecting yourself by doing the right thing by yourself, I may become involved in your initiative.. At least for a short time to get you past an issue that will allow you to continue to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and return to prosperity.
If I see that you are an incessant loser who leans on other people hoping that they’re going to bail you out while you never pay any of them back and continue to exist because of the goodwill of others, you can take a long walk on a short plank.
In the movie, Clay asks Julian “What happens after you pay him?”
That’s a very good question.
Julian isn’t a junkie because he owes Rip money. Julian owes Rip money because he’s a junkie.
Clay selling his car and giving Rip $50,000 USD isn’t going to cure Julian (who, by the way, is played by Robert Downey Jr., and then the critics were raving about how REAL his performance was! 😀 HAHAHAHA) of his addiction.
If Clay is winning and Julian is losing, what’s the incentive for Clay to diminish his own life and lifestyle to pick someone up who isn’t willing to pick themselves up?
That isn’t even the main problem here, though… The only reason Clay is helping Julian is so he can get Blair back online and functioning how she’s supposed to be as a proper girlfriend.
He knows that Blair and Julian come as a package deal, so even though none of this is his problem, ALL OF IT becomes his problem.
You Go, We Go
So this is a decision you’re going to have to figure out for yourself. How many bad decisions are you willing to eat from a “significant other”?
How far are you willing to let someone drag you into their personal abyss so you can keep having sex with them?
How long are you willing to try to salvage someone else’s life who’s clearly determined to ruin his or her life?
What’s the value you’re trading while you’re doing all this?… Meaning if you let that person go right now and then reconnect with them when they figure out how to live properly and prosperously, how much of that time that you would have wasted trying to raise them to the surface would all of you have benefitted from by your spending time swimming forward on the surface?
Look at Titanic. 😀 (Which I thought had a stupid ending, but still…)
DiCaprio died because he found one board that his chick could float on and then instead of swimming around trying to find a board for himself, he decided to hold her hand until he drowned.
That was worth what, exactly?
Put the chick on the board. Spend a little time making her understand how to not fall off of the board. Go save your own life. Live together happily ever after.
Yes, it’s very interesting and romantic for a dramatic movie for DiCaprio to croak in that situation, but that doesn’t work for anybody in real life.
When *your* lights go out, it’s all over. Everything is over.
So you have to decide whether you’re going to allow your affiliation with someone is more important to you than your own survival and/or prosperity.
Are you going to allow this person to get you killed?
Are you going to allow this person to get you arrested for something that isn’t your fault?
Are you going to allow this person to get you physically attacked?
Are you going to allow this person to create a situation where YOU have to physically attack someone else?
Are you going to allow this person to cause you to go broke?
Are you going to allow this person to ruin your personal lifestyle?
Is this why you worked so hard through elementary school and high school and college? So that someone can drain your prosperity with their personal loserdom?
I’m not saying you should abandon people that you love or care about when they fall on hard times.
Far from that.
I’m saying that there has to be a limit to it or else their rock bottom will be *YOUR* rock bottom too.