HOLLYWOOD, CA – With the worldwide success of the movie Slumdog Millionaire, old white people all over America are being reminded how lucky it is that they are white.
The movie, about a poor boy that grew up in the slums of India and becomes a millionaire on the Indian version of the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” has been well received by the movie going public as well as critics.
“Wow, you know, those poor kids, I mean, wow,” said Ester Wilson, 55, of Des Moines. “I thought that I had it rough growing up in the middle of Iowa, but I never had to jump into a river of poop. Wow. I stepped in dog poop once and I almost lost my lunch. That’s just crazy. God I’m glad I don’t live in Mumbai. And that I’m white. And that I’m well-off.”
All over America, white people have been flocking to the film because it shows a slice of what life is like in foreign countries. Dealing with subjects such as poverty, murder, child abuse and love, the movie is a powerful example that not all countries are like the US.
“I went to see the movie because one of the women in my yoga class said it was a great movie and that it really made you think, so I went to see it last night with my son and his wife, who I don’t like but that’s a story for another time,” said Betsy Paulson, 48, Colorado Springs. “I really liked it. It was sad because all those people were so poor but then it was ok because the one boy won all that money. But then it was sad again, because he’s still not white and he has to live in India. It just really makes me thank god that I grew up here in the US and have access to things… like bathrooms and steak.”
Though white people living in America enjoy being reminded of how truly easy they have it, they do feel obligated to remind themselves of the fact on a regular basis. Science calls this phenomenon the Jane Fonda Syndrome.
“This Jane Fonda Syndrome… it’s the reason the Kite Runner was such a popular book and why Darfur is such a dominant topic amongst celebrities,” said Psychologist Wesley Frent. “It’s associated with White Guilt, but not really the same thing. Jane Fonda Syndrome allows white people to feel really, really good about themselves and their lives. But his Jane Fonda Syndrome does have limitations. Those that are afflicted, they won’t actually try to do something about the poor lives of others, they’ll just talk about it as they eat at Applebees.”
While white Americans flock to the movie, Indian Americans are much less receptive.
“Why would I like to go back and visit this place that I no longer want to visit,” said Chandresh Vitrol. “I know how hard life is in India. That’s why I don’t live there. My life is great now that I live in America and have a beautiful home and beautiful family. I just wish those asshole neighbors would shut up their stupid dog at four in the morning. I hate that dog!”