We have a ritual around here… every night when we eat dinner, we watch TV. We don’t have cable, but we will watch something on Netflix or something that Sheryl has downloaded. Right now we are hooked on The Big Bang Theory. Tonight we were having pizza. Sheryl was putting the finishing touches on the pie, and I was surfing around on Apple TV. I found some movie trailers, and wanted to see what was new. We are going to see The Watch next week, and have tickets to see The Campaign next week, as well. We are actually seeing The Watch at Studio Movie Grill here in Scottsdale. Sheryl grabbed a Groupon and they are about to expire. Anyway, I found a trailer that grabbed my interest. The movie was called Craigslist Joe.
The movie is presented by Zach Galifianakis and features a guy, Joe, trying to live for for 31 days with no money, no contacts, and… well, Craigslist. The idea is pretty smart, actually. Joe talks about how the idea of community no longer exists and tools like Facebook and Twitter are destroying the idea of a close knit community. I remember, growing up, that if you wanted to know what was going on you waited until the news came on that evening. Now, Twitter tells you before the news tells you. The 2012 London Olympics are proof of that. I get push notifications of who wins before it even shows up on the TV. Anyway, Joe wants to build this community online and is willing to go 31 days living off Craigslist.
The preview looked pretty good. It is an independent film, but still… if Zach Galifianakis is behind it, I am sure it is good. I couldn’t do it… go 31 days without money or without contacts in my phone. Heck, I can barely go on vacation without checking my email and without wondering what is going on back home. The movie comes out next week, and I am curious to see his journey. In the preview they show him on both coasts, taking pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and snapping shots in Times Square. So he is able to travel along the way. I am just curious how he does it without money.
About Craigslist Joe
In a time when America’s economy and sense of community were crumbling, one guy left everything behind – to see if he could survive solely on the support of the 21st century’s new town square: Craigslist.
As of recent, the United States found itself in one of the most precarious financial meltdowns in modern history. News programs spoke of the worst economy since the great depression and demise of the American Dream. Unemployment was soaring and millions were losing their homes. Rather than banding together and helping one another, people started pointing fingers and casting blame. Many feared the sense of community that had once carried us through tough times had dissolved into an attitude of ‘every person for himself.’ Many were skeptical that today’s self-involved society would be able to weather the storm without its traditional social supports.
It was in this climate that 29-year-old Joseph Garner cut himself off from everyone he knew and everything he owned, to embark on a bold adventure. Armed with only a laptop, cell phone, toothbrush, and the clothes on his back – alongside the hope that community was not gone but just had shifted – Joe lived for a month looking for alms in America’s new town square: Craigslist. For 31 December days and nights, everything in his life would come from the Craigslist website. From transportation to food, from shelter to companionship, Joe would depend on the generosity of people who had never seen him and whose sole connection to him was a giant virtual swap meet.
Would America help Joe? Could he survive with nothing, apart from the goodwill of others?
Through his explorations, Joe gained insights into our collective psyche, and took the pulse of an anxious nation teetering on a knife’s edge of hope and uncertainty. Joe encountered a diversity of unique stories that reveal the layered mosaic of our national identity. He observes some of the most challenging issues facing our country today – from new economic realities to the continued reconstruction of New Orleans to the effect of America’s presence in Iraq. His experiences raise profound questions about who we are as a society and where we are headed, leaving you to draw your own conclusions.