Why ‘not’ work for the NSA?

Good Will Hunting is ten years old, but this scene seems as fresh as today’s news:

NSA Guy: The question isn’t… why should you work for the NSA… the question is…why shouldn’t you?

Will Hunting: Why shouldn’t I work for the NSA? That’s a tough one. But I’ll take a shot.

Say I’m working at the NSA and somebody puts a code on my desk. Something no one else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it.

I’m real happy with myself because I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East and once they had that location they bomb the village where the rebels are hiding… fifteen hundred people that I never met, never had no problem with get killed.

Now the politicians are saying, oh, send in the Marines to secure the area ’cause they don’t give a damn…it won’t be their kid over there getting shot, just like it wasn’t them when their number got called cause they were off on a tour in the National Guard.

It’ll be some kid from Southie over there taking shrapnel in the ass who comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from and the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job ’cause they’ll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks.

Meanwhile, he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price and of course the oil companies use a little skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain’t helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon.

They’re taking their sweet time bringing the oil back, of course maybe they even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fucking play slalom with the ice bergs.

It ain’t too long till he hits one…spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic .

So now my buddy’s out of work, he can’t afford to drive, so he’s walking fucking job interviews, which sucks because the shrapnel in his ass is giving him chronic hemorrhoids, and meanwhile he starving ’cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat, the only Blue Plate Special they’re serving is North Atlantic Scrod with Quaker State.

So what did I think?

I’m holding out for something better.

I figure while I’m at it… why not shoot my buddy…take his job…give it to his sworn enemy…hike up gas prices…bomb a village…club a baby seal… hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard. I can be elected president.

What is really amazing to me is that gasoline today –at my local pump– is very close to $2.50/gallon. Nothing close to that when GWH was filmed, let alone written. Interesting, no? If I could ask Matt Damon and Ben Affleck just one question, it would be… tell me how you came to write that scene.

Reminds me of this post from 2004.

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