American Psycho and Real Life - Bateman much Lately?

Ebolamonkey's picture
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Most of the older crowd grew up watching the original Wall Street, generation later was American Psycho, followed by Wall Street 2, which some, not I, claim to be better than the first but I digress, and finally Margin Call/Wolf of Wall Street/The Big Short.

While this isn't a thread about movies, it is about how they've deeply warped and twisted our realities; the world will never be the same after such a rude awakening.

The movie above, while all are great, Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho's Patrick Bateman, played by Christian Bale, had a huge impact on how I viewed the world and carried myself afterwards. With great confidence, I believe there is a bit of Bateman that exists within all of us.

The business card scene is one of the most iconic scenes from the movie. Such subtlety of watermarks and the tasteful thickness of the card played so much into the psychological dominance between powerful people. Regrettably, I had watched this movie too late and was already a man during my first viewing.

Two Questions:
1) Who of you are still comparing business cards in this fashion?

2) Does that watermark still piss you off when it isn't on your business card or that subtle and slick QR code in the left hand corner?

Comments (20)

Mar 11, 2017

I thought I was the only one who tried to be more confident after watching American Psycho. I think in high finance everyone has that competitive aspect of Patrick, if we weren't we wouldn't have a job and would most likely be in Education

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Mar 11, 2017

Everything can be used as an edge to psychological dominate someone.

Here's a lesson I learned from one of my mentors who's a MD at a Commercial Bank. He is Chinese, got his PhD in Statistics and a prior Powerlifting Champion.

He told me that you can always take the edge by exploiting other people's weakness and said something along the lines of this:

"When someone in the Math department would talk up a big game and I know they are smarter than me, I would tell them about my latest PR in the weight room and ask them when's the last time they've worked out. When someone hits a new PR above mine in the weight room, I would tell them interesting ideas in Mathematics and Statistics that would blow their mind."

Point is, you use their weaknesses against them and bring them down so that their extrinsic value is lowered and now you are on the same level of you are now slightly ahead of them. Good shit!

Mar 15, 2017

Why did you capitalize powerlifting champion? That's not a title.
Also, dude, your posts... holy shit the insecurity. What's with your obsession with dominating everything? You posted a gay picture of your socks? Come on son


Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Aug 20, 2017

Good looks > confidence, because ugly people can't people good looking people down.

Mar 15, 2017

I don't think Bateman was that "competitive" or "confident" at all, he was striving desperately to "fit in" and the movie does a good job exposing his constant insecurity about how he appeared to others. Valentine Couture suits, expensive business cards, reservations at Dorsia...he really didn't give two fucks about those things, he just wanted to "appear" successful. He even says it in the cab ride with his girlfriend.

The only reason he had a corner office and fancy title at 27 years old is because his dad owned the company.

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Mar 11, 2017

Your business card is CRAP

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Mar 11, 2017

Great video and share, thanks!

What do you think about metallic business cards that are stainless steel, aluminum, silver or gold plated?

Excessive or a necessary tool to conduct business?

What about electronic business cards? So much of business is email and txt these days that physical meetings are less and less of an occurrence. Mentioning the QR code before, perhaps that's how we are going to business card in the 21st century?

Mar 11, 2017

One of my favorite movies. When I'm out with buddies at the bar and getting unwanted female attention I work as many Bateman quotes into conversation as I can until they walk away.

Mar 11, 2017

I like to dissect girls. Did you know I am utterly crazy?

Do you know what Ted Bundy said about women?


Mar 11, 2017

Ha! Safe to say I don't have that problem

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Mar 12, 2017

I believe in taking care of myself and a balanced diet and rigorous exercise routine. In the morning if my face is a little puffy I'll put on an ice pack while doing stomach crunches. I can do 1000 now.

Mar 13, 2017

This might all be a joke, but if not, you shouldn't base your life on a book meant to exhibit the superficiality inherent in capitalism. It's a great movie but you don't want to be the guy that takes it too seriously.

The MDs I work for are big swinging dicks that pull in millions while face-timing their kids and talking about little Johnny's little league games. They don't give a shit about what their business card looks like. In my three years, the only people who have ever talked about the cosmetics of their business cards are new analysts excited to have one and other analysts referencing American Psycho.

I'm not saying this to keep you humble and grounded; I'm saying this prevent you looking like a tool.

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Mar 14, 2017

The book is more deeply about maintaining a sense of balance by having a satirical response to the yuppie era. You take what you can use and politely ignore the rest of the presentation. Psychological warfare takes time to master and yields great dividends.

Mar 15, 2017

*According to literary critic Jeffrey W. Hunter, American Psycho is largely a critique of the "shallow and vicious aspects of capitalism." The characters are predominantly concerned with material gain and superficial appearances, traits indicative of a postmodern world in which the 'surface' reigns supreme. This leads Patrick Bateman to act as if "everything is a commodity, including people," an attitude that is further evident in the rampant objectification of women that occurs in the novel. This distancing allows Bateman to rationalize his actions, in one anthropophagic scene, Bateman remarks "though it does sporadically penetrate how unacceptable some of what I'm doing actually is, I just remind myself that this thing, this girl, this meat, is nothing..."

Patrick Bateman's consumption of what he views as nothing more than a piece of meat is an almost parodically literal interpretation of a monster created by consumer culture. This, combined with sex, violence, drugs, and other desires of the id, is how Bateman realizes his base urges in a superficial world.*

According to:
If you view this book/film not as entertainment but as a sort of guide to confidence and success in business then I can give you the number to a great therapist that can (hopefully) help you.

Aug 20, 2017

Most of the frat boy investbank banking prospects are the exact tools you refer to lmfao. A personality and attitude like theirs won't get you very far in actual reality. I think you guys need to realize it's a movie that glamorizes certain things, even murder, and there's a lot of gullible tools that like to pull off copycat moves and ruin themselves in the process. I just sit back and watch them fall while I eat my popcorn.

Best Response
Mar 16, 2017

It's ironic. Oliver Stone made Wall Street as a criticism of the Wall Street / High-Finance culture, and Bret Easton Ellis wrote American Psycho as a criticism of the extreme materialism. They've both acknowledged since that it all backfired. Kinda like how Wolf of Wall Street inspired thousands of Business / Econ / Finance college kids to follow that path.

All we need now is a really good mainstream blockbuster about Bernie Madoff, so that these kids can get inspired to start their own ponzi schemes. Or maybe something about MLM.

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Aug 20, 2017

I think people need to realize 5% of the wall street population vs 95% of the wallstreet population. Heck, from an article I read, it was only 5% of CEOs, not the general pop, that are psychos like bateman. I suggest interns not try any copycat moves because it won't end well in actual reality. I presume ivy leaguers aren't stupid to pull stuff like that off anyways, and probably haven't even seen the movie since they were a small child. With that said, anyone not an ivy leaguer can kindly piss off from wall street.

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Aug 20, 2017

I don't think CEOs fantasize about chopping someone's head off because they had a nicer business card or gets paid more.

Aug 21, 2017

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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