History

This great Alec Baldwin speech from the film *Glengarry Glen Ross*, delivered to a team of salespersons at a real estate company unable to sell enough property, has divided people time and again, on whether it portrays a harsh reality of life and work or represents how such an attitude can drive you — and your business .

New York Times Bestselling author and screenwriter David Wong (AKA Jason Pargin) included this scene as part of his 6 harsh truths that will make you a better person piece on Cracked.com — which became one of the most popular online articles in Internet history — while tech writer and blogger Alex challenged Pargin’s argument by saying that Pargin hadn’t understood what Glengarry Glen Ross was all about.

“It’s brutal, rude, and borderline sociopathic, and also it is an honest and accurate expression of what the world is going to expect from you. The difference is that, in the real world, people consider it so wrong to talk to you that way that they’ve decided it’s better to simply let you keep failing.”

– Jason Pargin, in his six harsh truths piece

“Pargin is misunderstanding Glengarry Glen Ross. The Baldwin character was inserted into the film version of David Mamet’s play as a parody of the overzealous, bullshitting alpha types that take hold of organizations and run them into the ground. Neither the play nor the film exactly ends happily; the result of all these guys “closing” is the ruination of lives and the collapse of business. That sounds a lot like what happened to “the world” after 2007.”

– Alex, in his rebuttal

The movie’s point of view is clear, and aligns with what Alex is saying. We’ve all seen the “overzealous, bulshitting alpha types” influencing businesses negatively. But, the thought lingers. Could businesses achieve lasting success through this approach?

Plenty of comments on the Reddit thread here: http://www.reddit.com/r/TrueReddit/comments/14zuj5/6_harsh_truths_that_will_make_you_a_better_person/

For an elaborate examination of the scene, read Jeremy Fuster’s piece, Remember the Scene: ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’

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