Social media. Men. Hollywood. World leaders. Ivy League frats. Tech and financial worlds. Assholes aplenty. They seem to be everywhere today. John Walker brings it to us on the big screen. The inspiration for him to make this film was reading the book Aaron James’ book of the same name. It caused him to want to explore why. Why that type of person seems to be everywhere you turn today?
What pops out immediately is that this is largely a male thing. There are female assholes, but they are in the vast minority. What is it about the male psyche which draws them towards this type of behaviour? Men believe that assholes get the money and women, so why would they stop? Part of the problem here is there has been no attempt to really stop it. Anyone who argues that we should be kinder is mocked for their suggestion.
Interviews with actor John Cleese, author Aaron James, former RCMP officer Sherry Lee Benson-Podolchuk and Italian LGBTQ+ activist/politician Vladimir Luxuria form the backbone of the story. Around these interviews Walker weaves clips from the news, etc.
In the end we see that there really are no answers to be found here. A lot of the assholes are successful people, so there are no deterrents set up to stop asshole behaviour. Adversely, it is rewarded. No solution is come up with on how to stop this behaviour. Rather it is a philosophical exercise. A rather playful one rather than completely academic investigation.