129: “I Guess I’m A Pretty Sick Guy” – American Psycho

New Year, new you? Who better to turn to for inspiration than a good-looking, well-educated, wealthy New York City investment banker with a razor sharp wit and killer taste in music? 

Patrick Bateman has a flawless skin care routine, does one thousand crunches per day, stays up to date on the latest in fashion and food, can share insightful music criticism at the drop of a hat, and always returns his videotapes on time. Aside from his need to engage in homicidal bloodlust on a massive scale, he’s practically perfect!

At least, that’s what too many viewers of 2000’s AMERICAN PSYCHO seem to think, based on the way Christian Bale’s suave psychopath has been memed and emulated across the internet. Fresh off our last episode, which examined the problematic worship of Scarface’s Tony Montana, we’re scrutinizing an even more deranged cinematic role model. Patrick Bateman first stirred up controversy in the publishing world as the narrator of Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel, then caused an uproar all over again in Mary Harron’s satirical film adaptation, even as it proved Bale had the chops to be a leading man.

Does American Psycho really glorify violence and celebrate misogyny, racism, and homophobia the same way the Bateman character does? Or has this subversive send-up of 1980s materialism just been misunderstood by certain audiences (like, say, TikTok influencers)? This podcast makes for ideal listening during intricate skin care routines, insane workouts, and even while waiting for a table at the hottest restaurant in town! (For audio accompaniment to murders and executions, we recommend Huey Lewis and the News.)

Follow When We Were Young on Twitter and Instagram at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at Facebook.com/WWWYShow and email episode suggestions to wwwyshow@gmail.com. Don’t forget to subscribe and review us on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts (or wherever you get your podcasts) so more folks check out the show!

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