Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

by G.Russell Giradin & William J. Helmer

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:49 pm

Johnny Depp Talks About 'Public Enemies'
By Rebecca Murray, About.com

How do you think this story will resonate now with our current economic situation and his ability to work the media and all?


Johnny Depp: "People are different, unfortunately. People are different than they were back then. Back in 1933, there was some degree of innocence left. Today on some level, we've really hit the digital wall and a wall where almost everything is available, if you can make your way to it, so I think people are radically different. I don't know if you could have a similar kind of folk hero, a similar kind of hero as today. Maybe, what, Subcomandante Marcos down in Chiapas, who's trying to protect the Indians in Mexico, he might be the closest sort of thing that we can have, in terms of innocence and purity. Because at that time, 1933, the banks were clearly the enemy. They foreclosed and they were taking people's lives away from them. Not that it's all that different now. Here we are teetering on this similar kind of recession/depression and... God, the banks are still the enemy, aren't they? Right? I don't know. If somebody starts robbing banks, you know... As long as nobody gets hurt."

Would people feel the same way about Dillinger today? Could another Dillinger exist today?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

User avatar
fansmom
Posts: 2059
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:50 pm
Location: Olney, Maryland

Status: Offline

Re: Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby fansmom » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:03 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:God, the banks are still the enemy, aren't they? Right? I don't know. If somebody starts robbing banks, you know... As long as nobody gets hurt."
Would people feel the same way about Dillinger today? Could another Dillinger exist today?[/b]
I hate to say this, but I think Johnny's wrong. I hope people realize that when a bank fails--for whatever reason--the FDIC (an an independent agency of the Federal government) steps in. Whenever the FDIC covers deposits in a failed bank, they do so with our money, because our tax money directly funds the FDIC.

User avatar
trygirl
Posts: 1048
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:48 am
Location: in the shade

Status: Offline

Re: Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby trygirl » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:44 pm

No, I suppose there are more financial options now than in the 1930's. But the mythic quality of Dillinger alone couldn't survive today. Johnny's right in that respect, because once Dillinger's life became the subject of TMZ, the country's Robin Hood would turn into just another guy "robbing the neighborhood." In Dillinger's era, the public benefited from very few mediums but in 2009, his family would end up on some talk show discussing his life being a child and then a reality show would soon follow. Although, some David and Goliath stories can still inspire but these are the people changing the country for the better, not running around it with stolen money in the car. Dillinger's magic worked better in his day.
Last edited by trygirl on Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
I'm not a brand, I'm more of a variety. - Johnny Depp

User avatar
shadowydog
Posts: 89520
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 11:47 pm

Status: Offline

Re: Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby shadowydog » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:49 pm

fansmom wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:God, the banks are still the enemy, aren't they? Right? I don't know. If somebody starts robbing banks, you know... As long as nobody gets hurt."
Would people feel the same way about Dillinger today? Could another Dillinger exist today?[/b]
I hate to say this, but I think Johnny's wrong. I hope people realize that when a bank fails--for whatever reason--the FDIC (an an independent agency of the Federal government) steps in. Whenever the FDIC covers deposits in a failed bank, they do so with our money, because our tax money directly funds the FDIC.


Not true.... :blush: FDIC is funded by an insurance fund payed for by the banks....not the taxpayers.
I have nothing to do and all day to do it in.

User avatar
fansmom
Posts: 2059
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:50 pm
Location: Olney, Maryland

Status: Offline

Re: Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby fansmom » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:39 am

shadowydog wrote:Not true.... :blush: FDIC is funded by an insurance fund payed for by the banks....not the taxpayers.
The insurance fund became underfunded with so many recent bank failures.

User avatar
Betty Sue
Posts: 1428
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 7:37 pm

Status: Offline

Re: Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby Betty Sue » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:56 am

Really can't see an armed robber making it as an idolized folk hero today....unless maybe in a movie starring Johnny Depp! :grin:
"I never wanted to be remembered for being a star."

User avatar
nebraska
Posts: 25063
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: near Omaha

Status: Offline

Re: Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:34 am

We live in an age of information overload. We know too much about too many things, it makes life more complicated than it needs to be and it doesn't leave much mystery about anything -- the romance is gone. Look at the scrutiny anyone in politics must endure. Look at the paparazzi chasing people like Johnny around while they try to live their daily lives.

Ask someone whose home has been foreclosed because the greedy mortgage company/bank loaned them money on a house they couldn't afford, and they might have a different view of whether banks are the enemy. And then there are the folks who ruined thousands (millions?) of lives by causing retirement funds to evaporate, and all because of personal greed. We have plenty of institutional villains but I can't imagine a Dillinger-type hero that would be able to put a dent in this mess, even on a surface level.

In this era children who do something that was considered a prank back in my day now go to court and do community service, while laws seem to protect the truly evil criminals. We need a Robin Hood! But I agree with Johnny that it is unlikely for us to find one. We may have become too sophisticated to accept one even if he appeared.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12927
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Re: Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby Liz » Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:07 pm

Great answers today!

Finances are not my forte, so I don’t feel competent enough to comment on that end. But I do think that banks are still the villains. I heard today on news radio during my drive home from camping (that’s where I’ve been the last 2 days), that there is a new worry for home buyers—meth lab houses. Apparently many of them have been foreclosures; and the banks are not required to disclose that they were meth labs. The problem with meth lab houses is that they can cause a whole slue of ailments from pancreatic cancer to infertility.

I also want to add that I don’t think a Dillinger type would work in this day and age for all the reasons mentioned. I don’t know what the answer is for our economy.
:-/
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
ladylinn
Posts: 754
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:09 pm
Location: Kentucky

Status: Offline

Re: Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby ladylinn » Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:51 pm

I believe in the 1930s there was a lot more innocence in the world compared to today. The banks were blamed for a lot of problems to common people as they are today. John Dillinger was thought of as a folk hero because he targeted the banks and people liked the banks being robbed as they thought they were. I also think the newspapers and movie newsreels promoted Dillinger as an exciting item. Bad news or adventerous people have always made news. In our information age I don't think someone who robs others would be considered a hero. Guess I can say - we have lost our innocence.

User avatar
gemini
Posts: 3907
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Status: Offline

Re: Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby gemini » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:55 pm

Actually I do agree with Johnny.
Here is an interesting article on what if the FDIC fails. It's all tied to the value of the dollar which is falling fast.

I don't think we have enough generations coming up with jobs to pay off the national debt now so if the FDIC fails how are the tax payers going to take that on . Johnny makes a lot of sense to me about the banks. I do think Dillinger would not be a hero today though. Even though the banks are still the enemy we don't want to loose any more of our money.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

User avatar
deppaura
Posts: 548
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Kensington, CA

Status: Offline

Re: Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby deppaura » Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:58 pm

I agree that heroes, leaders, visionaries seem scarce today. But, I think those individuals still exist as long as there is the human spirit. People need and do respond to inspiring mentors. Sometimes it is negative, i.e., Hitler, sometimes positive, i.e., Roosevelt. We have justifiably become skeptical and jaded. Hardened by recent conditions. But, I think deep within us we crave confirmation of positive values, hopes and beliefs. It is a struggle. For some strange reason it has been a
circumstance of basic existence, I guess forever! Herd mentality?? I like to hope it is more than that. We humans, what a challenge!! But, I wouldn't be surprised to see a bright shiny hero on the horizon!! It gets harder to imagine, but...

RamblinRebel
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: Chicago or thereabouts

Status: Offline

Re: Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:23 am

Great question and great comments! Hmmm.... I do think the banks are still the enemy when they practice predatory lending, encouraging people to get in way over their heads. But are they any worse than a manufacturing company that pollutes a water supply? Or a software company that overstates earnings and then collapses, taking jobs and retirement plans with it? It seems to me that for someone to reach the folk-hero status of a Dillinger, they would have to be able to take on these misbehaving corporate giants in some way other than a lawsuit. There's just no glory in the court-room. Robbing a bank would be one way, I suppose.

There are still plenty of bank robberies and the robbers still get catchy nick-names (at least around here). I can think of the Cubs Fan Badit, the Groucho Bandit, now we have the Button Bandit. But they usually don't make the news until they’re caught, probably because they usually don't get away with much money. According to this article it's generally only a few thousand bucks. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/15/AR2007011501141_pf.html

Far less than the Dillinger gang walked away with, especially when you consider inflation. Consider that the $76k haul the gang took at Greencastle, IN would be worth about $1.2 million today. Now, would that robbery make national headlines today? No doubt! And if they same gang repeatedly got away with large sums, and did so with guts and style, yeah, I can see America raising them to a sort of folk-hero type status. Especially if they managed to tie the mortgage underwriter to a tree or something. :lol: After all, what's a million or two to a crafty, well-deserving gangster when corrupt executives make tens of millions in salaries, and every day brings talk of a new failure or bailout costing billions and billions? ;-) Answer to first question IMO is yes, with the proper spin people would feel the same way about Dillinger today.

So why do today’s robbers walk away with what Dillinger would consider chump change? Probably because there isn't much cash lying around in the bank. All the money is really just on computer files somewhere, which brings me to my next point: the really successful robbers are the ones hiding behind the anonymity of a computer screen, hacking into the banks’ (or other companies’) systems. (As a software developer I spend a fair amount of my life trying to keep these guys out of said systems). And there is nothing glorious about that. No swagger. No vaulting over counters. No one-liners. Usually not even a name. Just a keyboard, mouse and screen. Not exactly film-worthy stuff.

But say for the sake of argument that Dillinger were alive today, robbed a bank with a tommy gun and somehow walked away with 1.2M. :tommygun: Think what it would take to not be found in today’s world. He couldn’t use a cell phone or a credit card because they’d instantly give away a location. He couldn’t even drive the tollways using a toll transponder. He’d have to stop at every toll booth and pay cash. Because he couldn’t have any accounts in his name he'd need to pay cash for everything, and turning over $30G for a fine new V8 would raise a few eyebrows. :eyebrow: My point is that he really couldn’t be “John Dillinger”. Even if no one reported him and the paparazzi didn't find him, he’d still have a hard time surviving unless he did what today’s criminals do, and that is live off of one stolen identity after another. But once he does that he’s hurting the little guy and the hero status is ruined. So, answer to second question, IMO, is no, he couldn’t exist today. :-/

Shew! I think I thought about today's question way too much!! :hypnotic: :headache: :lol:

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12927
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Re: Dillinger Question #9 ~ Dillinger Today?

Unread postby Liz » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:11 am

RamblinRebel wrote:Shew! I think I thought about today's question way too much!! :hypnotic: :headache: :lol:

Now I don't have to. Thanks, RR. :lol: Good arguments, BTW.

Deppaura, I like your positive thinking. Can you pass some along my way?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


Return to “Dillinger: The Untold Story”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest