”Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!”— President Merkin Muffley, Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
All at once in a blinding flash a pink mushroom cloud rises above the bay at Bikini Atoll. It’s spectacular, the brightest light, and also, in a rush, eviscerating, leveling heat.
Luckily we are behind the camera—and the cameraman never dies.
The bomb and its fascinations makes an appearance on the big screen again this week with Christopher Nolan’s IMAX film Oppenheimer taking the Internet by storm. But not in the way you might think.
.The Internet is fixated on the film Oppenheimer is up against: Barbie.
The A.V. Club quips: “One of these films has a main character grappling with the concept of death. The other is Oppenheimer.”
It’s the faceoff of the summer, eclipsing even the Musk-Zuckerberg affair. Bobby Riggs v Billie Jean King. Tyson v Holyfield. Barbie v Oppenheimer.
Two things about this unlikely matchup.
First, Barbie is projected to gross $80-100 million dollars; Oppenheimer is projected to gross $50 million in its opening weekend. These are clearly the blockbuster movies of the summer, and, once again, the allure of popcorn and pulling up in the humid dusk to Bengie’s Drive-in Theatre in Middle River is proving more appealing than letting up on discretionary spending.
This just in as Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers were released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating a deceleration in costs in the month of June.
“Inflation rose just 0.2% in June, less than expected as consumers get a break from price increases,” reads a CNBC headline.
“Jerome Powell is winning,” Jim Cramer yells, always hopping on the bandwagon. Overall, the data put up is the smallest rise since 2021.
The S&P 500 jumped to a new high for the year after the soft inflation report. The Dow rose 100 points.
Secondly, when asked about a conspiracy theory circulating in online forums that Warner Bros. purposefully decided to release Barbie on the same day as Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan simply declined, “with a chuckle.” Any publicity is good publicity.
It’s only fitting that the movies of the hottest summer on record are about war and opulence, and that marketers have found a way to capitalize on the public’s obsession (and fears) of the threat of nuclear holocaust and the caustic nature of unrealistic beauty standards in an imperfect world.
The themes reek of fin de siècle decadence, with jet propulsion. A sign of the times, I suppose.
Follow your own bliss,
The Wiggin Sessions
P.S. You’ll forgive us for a short and sweet pop culture piece today. We’re on the move to Memphis, Tennessee to attend Mark Skousen’s FreedomFest.
We’re excited to meet and hear out a host of interesting characters including but not nearly limited to: democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Steve Forbes, former United States representative Tulsi Gabbard, performance artist Joseph “Afroman” Foreman, and the TV celebrity Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs.”
You can look more into FreedomFest by clicking here. Live Streaming for specific events is available.
Then we’ll “hit the town” and check out the Southern city’s blues scene over some American beers, verily pontificating on freedom.
Addison Wiggin is an American writer, publisher, and filmmaker. He was the founder of Agora Financial and publisher for 18 years. An acclaimed New York Times best-selling author, his books include: Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt, The Demise of the Dollar, and The Little Book of the Shrinking Dollar. Addison is also the writer and executive producer of the documentary I.O.U.S.A., an exposé on the national debt, shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2008. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his family. Addison started his latest project, The Wiggin Sessions, powered by Consilience Financial, in March 2020. He films from a homegrown studio in his basement.