That's regulatory capture!
October 28, 2014 1:05 PM   Subscribe

LEMONADE WAR: a short film starring Patton Oswalt, Taylor Buck, Mo Collins and Werner Herzog. View more films here from We The Economy: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss.
posted by brundlefly (20 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Love how Herzog pops up out of nowhere and then gets interrupted.

Also recommend Episode 19.
posted by Flexagon at 1:23 PM on October 28, 2014

I could watch Herzog reading cereal boxes.

Thanks for posting this, I have been looking forward to the project since its announcement.
posted by el io at 1:31 PM on October 28, 2014

posted by mfu at 1:37 PM on October 28, 2014

The effect of Werner Herzog's voice is like a scalp massage administered by a loving God.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:50 PM on October 28, 2014 [7 favorites]

el io: "I could watch Herzog reading cereal boxes. "

Don't give him any ideas.
posted by symbioid at 2:00 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

How much would you pay for a tv show called Werner Works it Out where Werner would make everything right? You would pay all the money. That is what you would do.
posted by basicchannel at 2:46 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

I was watching What Dreams May Come the other day (don't ask) and there's a part when Robin Williams steps on a face (just don't ask) and by god if the face isn't Werner Herzog! So odd.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:04 PM on October 28, 2014

The effect of Werner Herzog's voice is like a scalp massage administered by a loving God.

(Summoning my best Herzog voice...)

"You are deluding yourself, but are so caught up in the dream, that you are like a pony on a farm. So much power and speed at your beck and call, but all you see is the carrot dangled before you by the farmer, lost in the endless chase for that delicious moment just ahead, giving no thought to the harness around your neck or the pain in your tired hooves plodding along in the field. "

"Herzog's voice can indeed be like a scalp massage administered by a loving God, but it is also at times a punishing smack or a thundering hammer upon your brow, or even worse, the long abyss between those moments that he chooses to speak, where the absence of any message is deafening, and the remembrance of his words echoes through your soul and you die a little, because only then do you realize how vast the emptiness is within it."

( /end Herzog voice)

Umm... how'd I do? I agree with you Atom Eyes, but when I read that a little Herzog popped into my head and made a series of demands, the first being the above statement, but also something about wanting a grilled cheese sandwich, which might have just been from 'regular' me but hearing the words 'grilled cheese sandwich' in Herzog's voice makes it feel so much more significant somehow and is simply just fun to imagine.
posted by chambers at 4:45 PM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

I keep expecting klaus kinski to pop out of the shrubs snorting no doz , waiving a rusty cutlass and decrying the empire that is Merv Griffin.
posted by clavdivs at 5:06 PM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

The effect of Werner Herzog's voice is like a scalp massage administered by a loving cold, unfeeling God, who looks down upon the madness of civilization with the passive visage of the scavenging birds of prey, awaiting the death that will provide their next meal.
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:43 PM on October 28, 2014

All Herzogian speeches stem from this, his finest moment:

[On the jungle] Kinski always says it's full of erotic elements. I don't see it so much erotic. I see it more full of obscenity. It's just - Nature here is vile and base. I wouldn't see anything erotical here. I would see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and... growing and... just rotting away. Of course, there's a lot of misery. But it is the same misery that is all around us. The trees here are in misery, and the birds are in misery. I don't think they - they sing. They just screech in pain. It's an unfinished country. It's still prehistorical. The only thing that is lacking is - is the dinosaurs here. It's like a curse weighing on an entire landscape. And whoever... goes too deep into this has his share of this curse. So we are cursed with what we are doing here. It's a land that God, if he exists has - has created in anger. It's the only land where - where creation is unfinished yet. Taking a close look at - at what's around us there - there is some sort of a harmony. It is the harmony of... overwhelming and collective murder. And we in comparison to the articulate vileness and baseness and obscenity of all this jungle - Uh, we in comparison to that enormous articulation - we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half-finished sentences out of a stupid suburban... novel... a cheap novel. We have to become humble in front of this overwhelming misery and overwhelming fornication... overwhelming growth and overwhelming lack of order. Even the - the stars up here in the - in the sky look like a mess. There is no harmony in the universe. We have to get acquainted to this idea that there is no real harmony as we have conceived it. But when I say this, I say this all full of admiration for the jungle. It is not that I hate it, I love it. I love it very much. But I love it against my better judgment.
posted by basicchannel at 6:56 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Came for the Patton Oswald, stayed for the Werner Herzog.
posted by scalefree at 7:03 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I actually squealed with joy when Werner Herzog came on screen.
posted by azarbayejani at 8:08 PM on October 28, 2014

I kept waiting for Werner to get shot.

posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:47 AM on October 29, 2014

It's weird that I just assumed it would be Paul F. Tompkins playing Werner Herzog.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 6:18 AM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've been reading all of the quotes in this thread in the voice of Paul F. Tompkins playing Werner Herzog.
posted by glhaynes at 7:39 AM on October 29, 2014

That's repertory capture.
posted by flabdablet at 9:34 AM on October 29, 2014

I am 1000% on board with the Herzog/Oswalt lovefest, but I was hoping there would be more discussion about the content of this film. I haven’t had the time to watch the entire project, but the lemonade one, IMO, plays into the neo-liberal, baby/bathwater arguments regarding regulatory capture and small business. The tool, regulation, is necessary and beneficial for what should be obvious reasons; The problem, government corruption, can manifest itself in any number of ways, not just excessive regulation. It really concerns me, because I don’t think that was their intention, but it really comes off as a naïve, libertarian hack-job to me. I also think that economics/civics education that is accessible for Joe Palooka is a very worthy enterprise, but too much simplification without the proper context can lead to gross misinterpretation.

I also watched the GDP smackdown one, and it is just an ideological rant about GNH I guess. Not particularly helpful in terms of economic education; politically I think that it is definitely valid to discuss national priorities and evaluating policy based on who benefits, but GDP is useful as a measure of the economy, and GNH isn’t necessarily better. The problem is that you need to dive deeper into numbers like how labor share of GDP is decreasing while the financial share of GDP is growing massively, and how gains in GDP are going entirely to the upper class rather than being distributed, really at all, and how that distribution effects demand, and how redistributive policy increases demand and has multiplier effects that impacts growth, etc…

I think the wetheeconomy thing is a bit of a misnomer. I guess I’d like to see something like this that helped the average person make sense of what politicians and pundits are flapping their gums about, rather than more ideological axe-grinding.

But hey, Herzog in comedic roles, 2 thumbs way up.
posted by Colby_Longhorn at 9:58 AM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

I wasn't terribly impressed by this particular film, but I agree completely with you all that Mo Collins is proof of the existence of a kind and loving God.
posted by Guy Smiley at 3:33 PM on October 29, 2014

I get where you're coming from, Colby_Longhorn. The short is a bit a muddled as far as a clear message goes, and it seems to get itself caught up and lost in the buildup to and delivery of Herzog's speech. After a bit of thinking about it a bit, it gets even more odd when I thought about reading it just as an unedited script, without the actors we recognize present. I think perhaps they were originally going for something like the old 16mm 'morality discussion' films they used to show in schools throughout the 1950s-1980s. They would always have several points of view represented and would usually end before the story's resolution with a 'what would you do?' question designed to provoke discussion.

In this short, most of the 'regular' players in the discussion about regulation are there in some form, small business, big business, regulators, corruption, and even a bit of a worker's uprising fronted by small business, with a dash of anarchy thrown in. If it had been set up like a 'morality discussion' short, it certainly has many of the players and a situation that is a complicated mess - because the real-world situation is a complicated mess of rational rules and exploitation of those rules to their limits, fueled by each player's mix of assets at hand, such as resources, influence, innovation, and cunning.

The performances of Patton and Herzog overshadowed whatever the original message was, and really wonder what was left on the cutting room floor that was abandoned for the sake of not taking away from the moment. If there was an epilogue of some sort that made an effort to spur discussion, it could have been a really effective way to get people talking to each other about regulation from opposing viewpoints about what works and what doesn't, and what gets twisted along the way. It could have been so much more as a 'morality discussion' film in the old style - those broad performances are just what are needed to give a bit more empathy to the reasons the side you disagree with does what it does. It has the star recognition and humor to become viral and issues aplenty to start all sorts of arguments and discussion on various social media, but that potential kind of gets lost in the shuffle. I could be totally wrong about my theory on the original intent of this short, but so far to me it's the only one that seems to fit the best.

I watched a few of their other clips, and they seemed much more clear - the episode about 'what money is' was good as a basic primer, and 'your tax dollars at work' seemed fairly straightforward. I guess for this short, it won the battle of entertainment but did little if at all to aid the war on... unfair stuff.
posted by chambers at 7:15 PM on October 29, 2014

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