As a concept and not the movie, it is a goddamn bastion of liberty and autonomy, though on one hand, who really gives a Stalin's nipple if another peon of the cubicle population sits in your Steelcase chair and uses your station? It's insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but they touch your stuff (germs), occasionally take it upon themselves to move your stuff ($&%*#$!), and hell, why not break stuff, too, or at least screw up proxy configs?

This is my rule: If you sit in my cubicle and change *anything*, I will go Old Testament on your ass, albeit in a less dramatic way. One of the managers sat here for a day, and he took down the figures from my monitor, left coffee rings on the desk, and moved my papers (though I really hate someone touching the keyboard, etc). He's a putz anyway, so I went to his own veal-fattening pen and wreaked minor havoc in a "what's wrong with this picture" way. Until I get a corner office, I want to enclose this area with copper mesh and set up a kerberos-like robot sewer rat that I can control from my laptop. No, it's not "mine," but it is still eye for an eye until I leave this bloated, inefficient, despotic company.
I have been told my many people to see this movie, so after a while of wanting to see it I finally got the initiative to rent it. Overall, I thought it rocked, like everyone else here, in much the same way I thought Microserfs rocked, even though the activities of the characters differ quite a bit.

Most of the scenes depict what we would like to do at our jobs. Deflate the power our bosses have over us, rendering them to be, in light of truth, the often worthless figure heads they really are. Knock down the walls to our cubicles. Wear casual clothing even though most offices do not deal directly with the public anyway but yet we are most often required to dress up every day of our work week. Destroy a malfunctioning office appliance. Have the guts to change our lives, break up with those who are ruining our lives and make the move to speak where silence further prompted the awkwardness of the single sexes. Blow up the boss’ office. You know, the usual.

Despite the fact that most geeks are unified in their support of this movie’s depiction, I felt that the main character was not what I could consider most code slaves. Despite the fact that he had a cathartic revelation while his hypno-therapist croaks in front of him during a session, which is the impetus that catapults the action of the movie, he is not himself, to me, all that interesting. He is not articulate, not prone to creative hobbies, not revered for much outside of action. Perhaps most office people yearn for shiftlessness, but I was led to believe that they sought creative mental freedom (which allows also for the freedom of doing nothing, but humor me here), that they sought a sense of accomplishment through their jobs as they do in their personal lives, and that these were diluted by the dull, unrewarding, and repetitive staccato that their minimum pay, no future jobs. I mean, if you yearn to break out of your cubicle, I would assume that you have reasons, that you have things you’d rather be doing.

What I mean here is that I guess I think more highly of office geeks than this character would best depict. And his friends at work aren’t much more interesting to me. The one set in the opening scene said more to me about racial divides than it did about civil unrest. A white, geeky male derives his feeling of power and strength by memorizing lines to misogynist rap lyrics, gesturing as likely he’s seen on MTV, but then, when he sees a black man selling roses at the intersection, promptly and with slight fear, locks his car door. If that is an example of how my small framed guys find their inner source of rebellion in suburbia, then I am a bit disappointed. But I also find it amusing that punks wear Army issue gear and that fat people wear designer athletic shoes, so maybe I’m just too cynical.

All through the movie, rap plays in scenes where the characters are celebrating their new found union, energy, sense of accomplishment, laying of the naughty plans to rob the company, and printer destruction. Now, I love rap, don’t get me wrong. And I too derive a sense of empowerment from it. But at the same time, I do not consider myself to be as white-washed as these guys were, so completely (it seems) isolated from cultural differences and socioeconomic strata; in addition, they don’t seem to care about how things are and are content to keep them that way. Anyone who supports a type of music that is of a different culture but fears and is ignorant of that culture is a bit narrow-minded, IMHO, and likewise I wouldn’t want to characterize office geeks this way.

Having worked more in the service industry willingly than in the office world unwillingly, I personally identify more with Jennifer Aniston’s way of improving her standard of living, even if that only meant going to another waitress job down the street. That is usually how most of us upgrade our jobs; we stay in a similar field and shop around. That, the willingness to pick up and start over, even if just the water cooler is in a different corner of the box, is more noble and realistic. We like the drama of the lead characters more, of course, because they are daring, the do what we would not necessarily choose to do.

I have a similar reaction to the issue of Colombine. Some people, like I did when I first heard the story, were not ashamed that they thought shooting up frat boys was at least amusing, the stuff of their adolescent dreams ( I had those dreams too, believe you me). But then, when I read a little more than Newsweek would offer, I realized that it was more than just hatred of a high school class order. There usually is more to a story than lies on the surface. As I read, more issues came up, and the more complicated the story became. While I loved the flick, I had problems with it, problems that maybe not many people think about. Most people may say, “I just wanted to enjoy the movie and not think about all that.” And that’s their right. This is mine.

The lead character may have been a code cruncher, but I didn’t see in him the attributes I’ve seen in geeks that I know personally, and maybe I’ve just been lucky to have met some of the most interesting, intelligent, creative, multi-faceted, and unique geeks. I thought it could have been made much better, and the story would have been more fulfilling if it couldn’t be summed up in a few one-liners. Despite all that, I still did my one person cheer at the end, beer in hand, and went to bed.

I have to agree with Templeton this movie was good, but it lacked realism. I found that the movie didn't really represent the full and dynamic features of the people I hang out with. What is so irratating about this is that the movie has characters in it that have the same jobs as some people I hang out with but the people I hang out with are fuller and have complicated emotions, like real people. I felt this was the main drawback to this film, its lack of cold hard reality and people that are like me. They took stock insight and refurbished it in an amusing way to create communal laughs, for computer persons or not, which has its place, but not in an amusing way that reflected the personalities of people I know who code and thus it didn't really reflect the way they would have acted in those situations. I mean putting fish entrails on the TPS reports, please, by the time I got to work I would probably realize this would ruin any reference I could get and that would hurt the resume I have tried so hard to build. Also if I'm listening to comtemporary urban music and it has this raw testosterone mother fucker saying nigger over and over again and I see a black person I revel in it, give them a knowing smile, like, look at me, I'm not embarassed, this music means the same to me as to you. Finally when Columbine occured I too was happy but after sitting down and having a good think, I realized that was not the right thing to do, killing those kids.

Office Space is a based on an animated short created by Mike Judge. The short has nothing to do with most of the main characters, and is instead a condensed version of the subplot between Milton and Lumberg about the stapler, Milton's office, and Milton's funniest lines in the movie that I won't spoil for you, but anyone who has seen the movie knows how it goes. I saw it when it was shown on Comedy Central, and unfortunately, it has only been shown once to my knowledge, and it was a couple years ago.

I would like to take issue with some of the points presented in Templeton's review of Office Space. I understand why you are unhappy with the clear shallowness of the characters depicted in the film. However, I feel that a Mike Judge film is one of the last places a person should look for serious character analysis. In a satirical comedy like Office Space creating really accurate characters would be counterproductive. It would diminish the potency of the jabs at our white collar society, which I feel are the main points Mike Judge was trying to emphasize.

Each of the characters created did a very good job of conveying the extremes that people see in the "cubicle society." It is very important that these characters do emulate the extreme stereotypes, because otherwise the movie just wouldn't be that funny. For example, Michael Bolton rapping about a hardcore life that he could never know anything about is funny because it seems we all know at least one person like that. You know, someone who picked up rap because it sounded cool and other people were listening to it. Lumberg is dead on for the stereotypical office bureaucrat. Those generalizations are where the movie gains its strengths. Once again, I'm sure the actual bosses encountered in the workplace are great family man with more responsibilities than TPS Report coversheets, but in the scope of comedy, who cares. If you start making the characters realisitic in a movie such as this, you lose the comedy.

I don't disagree with the statements that Office Space is not representative of the actual white collar society, However, I believe that is a strength of the movie rather than a weakness. I guess what I'm trying to say is that critically analyzing the characters of the movie is like trying to discuss the merits of Skittles as fine dining.

Finally, I don't understand how an issue as serious as Colombine is ever referred to in a writeup about a comedic and unrealistic movie. I don't think for an instant that parents being forced to bury their children is amusing. I don't know, that could just be my opinion of when and where a strong dose of reality is necessary.

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