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'Good' Will Hunting: "Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.?"

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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:05 AM
Original message
'Good' Will Hunting: "Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.?"
One of the best monologues on film.
So, so true.

Will: Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.? That's a tough one, but I'll take a shot.

Say I'm working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never met, never had no problem with, get killed.

Now the politicians are sayin', "Oh, send in the Marines to secure the area" 'cause they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number got called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some kid from Southie takin' shrapnel in the ass. And he comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile, he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And, of course, the oil companies used the skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon.

And they're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back, of course, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin' play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now my buddy's out of work and he can't afford to drive, so he's got to walk to the fuckin' job interviews, which sucks 'cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorrhoids.

And meanwhile he's starvin', 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat, the only blue plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what did I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. I figure fuck it, while I'm at it why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. Why concentrate on only the harm you can cause - If I can come up with a cure for a cancer
but that cure may have side effects that kill some people - should I stop working to cure cancers because they don't always work and they may have side effects. Is trying to cure cancers an evil job as a result?
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. I'm not sayin we wouldn't get our hair mussed
But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Depending on the breaks ...
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. NSA, DIA, DOD, CIAetc. are chock full of good liberals who believe in govt. and
want to keep our folks safe. Not enough folks here understand that.

That the Marines and Army went to Iraq kicking and screaming.

That it was NSA folks that squealed on the NSA.

That it was CIA folks that wanted the Plame investigation and told GWB NOT to invade Iraq.
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malletgirl02 Donating Member (938 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. National Guard
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 08:30 AM by malletgirl02
Also his point about the National guard at the very end is out of date. While it was true during Vietnam,it there are many National Units and Reserve nits in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. My dad was in the Reserves when he got activated to go to Iraq. I'm sure you knew this already, I was just adding to your point.

Edited for spelling.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Yep. It's not a dodge any more. nt
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. Yup that dig is starting to annoy the shit out of me... 599
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 09:33 AM by Statistical
599 Americans serving in the National Guard and Reserve died in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of those 599 souls was a friend of mine in my unit.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Not enough liberals
The Air Force is completely lost to the right wing loonies, what with their academy in Focus-on-the-Family land. And for every semi-enlightened Wesley Clark in the ranks of the military, there are probably 10 Douglas MacArthur wannabees. Political training is just not part of American education, in the military or the public schools. Civics and a commitment to the Constitution has been replaced with idolatry of the free market and religious instruction that capitalism is infallible. How else do you explain the current situation where the free market has made a horror of the health care system, but the only solutions allowed to be considered are more free market bullshit? Meanwhile, every other advanced society sees some sort of government administered system as the solution.

As a start, I would like to see every military cadet get familiar with the story of Smedley Butler, who knew the difference between "defending the country" and being a protection squad for some sort of racket.
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geckosfeet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
3. US foreign policy in a nutshell. Sell outs to the almighty $.
Thanks for the post. I only saw the movie once, but will watch again as it does hit home. I don't live in Southie but I live close enough that the regional references make me feel right at home. That was part of the appeal of the movie.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
5. "So, so true." Not.
That is about as absurd an abstraction of the workings of the NSA as could possibly be found and quoted.
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
9. A great film that also includes a gratuitous plug for.....
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 08:58 AM by Smarmie Doofus
... Howard Zinn's A Peoples History.

That said... I would have actually redone that scene. Not for content, which is OK and captures the essence of US foreign policy. But because real people don't talk like that... including the protagonist, up until that point in the film.

Edit to add: Meant to rec it but unrecced it. Shit. Maybe I should be driving that tanker.

Attention: Admins and Mods: how bout we move that friggin "unrec" button to the other side of the screen so it's not accidently clicked?
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
11. One of the best monologues on film? Wow. To each his/her own.
Sounds pretty contrived to me.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. "Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.?"
Because if you don't respond properly to something very similar to the posed in the narrative, they won't hire you.

If they don't hire you, there's no reason you should work for them.

When I was interviewed several lives ago, they asked the question point blank, while sitting on my living room sofa: You're hired to listen to an urgent intercept and precis it, or possibly transcribe or translate it fully, and then give the results to your supervisor. You hear on the tape that actions are being taken that, you think, could only be seen as very provocative, probably a prelude to an attack that would overwhelm our front line forces and lead to a game changer before we could mobilize. You know that the only pre-emptive attack would be a limited nuclear strike, which may not remain "limited", but that any conventional response would be too late and any nuclear strike after the fact would be unthinkable. Do you complete the assignment and report accurately what is was on the intercept? Do you leave out the problematic bits, or possibly alter them? Do you trust your superiors, in other words.

My answer was not satisfactory: I didn't know, I'd probably say that it was a difficult tape and make my decision that night, at home.
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