Patrick Bateman is Hollywood

Well, we have to end apartheid for one. And slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and world hunger. We have to provide food and shelter for the homeless, and oppose racial discrimination and promote civil rights, while also promoting equal rights for women. We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values. Most importantly, we have to promote general social concern and less materialism in young people.

Serial killers are often stereotyped as creepy looking guys in ratty clothes who stalk people at night. This idea is not entirely true. If you look at the roster of the most famous serial killers ever known, you’ll see a wide range of personalities and backgrounds. And among those personalities and backgrounds, you have handsome, charming men. American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis stars crazed serial killer Patrick Bateman as he charms his way through life to hide his violent personality. On the outside he’s pleasant, he smiles, he laughs at your jokes and tries to stay on top of all the right fads. Just under the surface, he arrogant, greedy and shallow. And deep under the surface, all those negative emotions seem to help fuel ever increasing bloodlust. But here’s the real subject I noticed that seems awfully familiar, especially after so much dirt has been leaking out of Hollywood. And that subject is the same technique used by politicians, charming serial killers, and Patrick Bateman. They all say what you need to hear so you will give them what they need.

In American Psycho, Bateman tries to keep his friends and fiancé happy out of a need to fit in, not because he particularly likes any of them. In fact, one of the staples of the book is the extreme lack of awareness outside their own personal worlds. Characters rarely remember the people they mingle with. Their main concerns seem to be wearing the right things and being seen in all the right places. The world of American Psycho is one where its characters are slaves to commercialism. Their cliques revolve around a shallow show of elegance and decency. And that elegance and decency cover up what terrible people they actually are. Now, keeping that in mind, and remembering all the things Hollywood celebrities say and do compare to what they have actually been saying and doing…some eerie parallels start coming to light?

The speech I’ve quoted above was rambled off by Patrick Bateman for his friends while at a restaurant. In the movie, he just says it in one extended sitting, but in the book, we get a little something more. For example, in the middle of his impromptu speech, we get this little break in the middle:

“The table stares at me uncomfortably, even Stash, but I’m on a roll.”

Anyone who’s familiar with the character of Patrick Bateman knows that he doesn’t care about those things. He’s saying them to look good. He’s vein, egotistical, and shallow. He only kept the speech going because he thought the longer he could make it, the better and smarter he’d look. But, on the outside, he almost seems too good. Too perfect. He has all the right opinions. Buys from all the right brands and says all the right things. He’s fit, handsome and charming. And with the darkness of Hollywood being revealed through the #MeToo movement – don’t Bateman’s actions seem all too similar of Hollywood celebrities?

Hollywood celebrities to say all the right things, dress in the right clothes and hold all the right opinions. They advocate for charities and perform public works. The side with any issue that makes them look compassionate. The actors can push out crocodile tears on command and they can feign outrage when they need too. But now we know it’s all been a lie. It almost seems like the more vocally Anti-Trump they are, they more skeletons they have in their closet. And it’s not just Hollywood celebrities showing their blatant hypocrisy. J. K. Rowling, the writer of Harry Potter, famously vanished from Twitter for a short while after a few political commentators called her out on her pro-mass immigration stance. J. K. Rowling sided with the notion that the people should start taking care of these “refugees,” housing them etc. But when Rowling was pushed to do the same thing…silence. The same went for several other celebrities. They loudly voice their “compassion,” and never follow through. Words are all they have. They never follow through. They just say things that get them applause. They just take stances that get them invited on prime time T.V. or to get people to see their new movie. Robert De Niro is famously guilty for this, threatening candidate Trump with physical violence, then walked it back so it wouldn’t hurt sales for his next movie. But in the end, it all makes sense. These are not good people. They’re pretty people getting paid to act like good people. They’re basically overpaid prostitutes.

So, is Patrick Bateman a good representation of Hollywood and the Social Justice wave in general?

In my opinion…he’s a perfect match.

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