As I sit here in an airplane, I experience a profound irony. I am watching Inside Job on my portable media player. This documentary explores the causes for the most recent recession/depression. "Ferguson has described the film as being about "the systemic corruption of the United States by the financial services industry and the consequences of that systemic corruption." In five parts the film explores how changes in the policy environment and banking practices helped create the 2008 financial crisis. Inside Job was well received by film critics who praised its pacing, research and explanation of complex material." (Wikipedia) As someone who was laid off in 2008 and is part of an industry with an estimated 70% unemployment rate, with many of those who are employed significantly underpaid, this documentary piques my interests very personally. My architecture firm in 2008 has two offices and nearly 220 employees. In its life as a company it had never laid off a single employee, and as the recession began to approach, the company did everything it could to keep the employees. Unfortunately, mirroring the economy, each of our groups lost their clients, first our development group, then our housing group, then our restaurant group, and finally our retail and big box groups. Within a short amount of time, my company had to laid off most of their employees and close one of their offices.
Along with most of my colleagues from college, we faced an undetermined length of unemployment. Most of us have sought out other professions, still holding on to the hope of one day returning to architecture. So that brings me to Iceland and airplane. Inside Job suggests that the economic collapse in Iceland was the "straw that broke the camel's back" that began the recession in 2008. I'm here today, sitting in business class because of that lay off in 2008. It's deeply ironic that I'm enjoying a luxury of sorts, while I watch a documentary about the reason as to why I'm (f)unemployed.
Either way.... everything ends up as it should. And I'm grateful for the "closed doors" that opened new opportunities.
(I'm flying somewhere over Michigan on my way to New York)
(I also watched 127 hours. Great movie. Creatively portrayed.)