It’s trivial to say that each day media encroaches more and more into our reality. With the advent of self-driving cars we can sit in the drivers seat and watch N̶e̶t̶f̶l̶i̶x̶ Yuyu on our smartphones. Furthermore, the line between props and the real things are being blurred, just ask the (families of) the staggering numbers of young people who have been shot by the police for holding toy guns (some even in stores that sell said guns). With these examples in mind, it’s not surprise that a Seattle woman recently withdrew a prop $20 bill from an ATM.
The fake was immediately spotted, it was entirely wrinkled, Andrew Jackson’s face was distorted and “The United States of America” was replaced with “For Motion Picture Use Only”.
In an interview after the incident, the woman said “The bank isn’t supposed to miss these things, I just don’t want this to happen to other people. A bank industry is supposed to be trustworthy.” I think this woman’s surprise is an unavoidable byproduct of late capitalism. Someone before her slipped the bank a fake 20 and it went to their account. Now the bank doesn’t want to absorb that loss, so what choice do they have but to get it off their hands through some unsuspecting citizen’s withdrawal. A less observant patron would have simply used the counterfeit as they would have any other 20…the cycle would have been entirely unbroken.
Now, modern American capitalism is all encompassing, it incorporates the banks, the tech (in this case the ATM) and the media (in this case the movies). I suppose this woman’s incredulity comes from her belief that the money she received is worthless. This implies that she does not believe she’s in a movie. I’d venture to say that she’s wrong. The proliferation of technology (particularly tech related to media) blurs the lines between the movies and “reality”. Maybe she should have taken this anomalous withdrawal as a sign that she was in a Truman Show style movie. Maybe she she should have just spent the dollar so as to aid in the proliferation of media in the world. That’s what we do here at Yuyu. We distribute films for all of you to watch, most of them free of charge. Maybe we should start putting movie money out into circulation, with the intent of bridging the gap between the cinema and the quotidian.