With rampant narcissism threatening to trash civilization as we know it, the time has come for Assholes: A Theory, an entertaining and oh-so-timely new doc from acclaimed director John Walker.
Built around a lively conversation with philosopher Aaron James, author of the New York Times bestseller of the same name, Assholes: A Theory investigates the breeding grounds of contemporary “asshole culture”—and locates a few hopeful signs of civility in an otherwise rude-’n-nasty universe.
Venturing into a predominantly male domain, Walker moves from the frat clubs of elite colleges to the bratty princedoms of Silicon Valley and bear pits of international finance. Why do entitled assholes thrive in certain environments? What explains their perverse appeal and success? And how do they keep getting elected!
Assholes: A Theory investigates the breeding grounds of contemporary “asshole culture”—and locates a few hopeful signs of civility in an otherwise rude-’n-nasty universe.
Weighing in with pungent commentary are observers like actor John Cleese, referring sweetly to the hedge-fund trade as an “arsehole factory”—echoing law professor Saule Omarova’s tart appraisal of financial services as “a quintessential asshole industry.” While Leslie Miley, one of the few African-Americans to rise through Silicon Valley’s ranks, assesses the damage done by the move-fast-and-break-things mantra, and former police officer Sherry Lee Benson-Podolchuk shatters the clichéd image of the courteous Mountie with Women Not Wanted, her exposé of misogynistic assholery within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Other featured interviews include policy consultant Robert Hockett, who worked for both Occupy Wall Street and the US Federal Reserve in the wake of the 2008 crash; banker Paul Purcell, who has pioneered a novel “no asshole rule” at his company; and Italian LGBTQ activist Vladimir Luxuria, a former parliamentarian who famously locked horns with Silvio Berlusconi, the p***y-grabbing prototype of the 21st-century demagogue.