The Ancient Art of Raymonding

Raymond verb:
To completely miss the point in an hilarious or embarrassing way.

Example of Raymonding, during the credits of The Dark Knight : “Why was that movie dedicated to Heath Ledger? … Was he originally going to play Batman or something?
… Heath Ledger played The Joker!?”

My friend Raymond is the world’s chief committer of the act of Raymonding, but I am not above admitting that I have Raymonded a movie or two in my time. My most recent example is The Counterfeiters, which won Best Foreign Movie at the Academy Awards this year.

The Counterfeiters is the story of a group of Jewish prisoners of war in Nazi Germany who are forced to counterfeit various currencies for the war effort. The movie has a master counterfeiter serving as the protagonist, and he has an antagonist in the film in the form of a man who was a vocal protestor in his days on the outside – and who is trying to sabotage the operation from the inside. I found myself thinking during the movie that this guy was just endangering the lives of the other prisoners with his sabotage efforts, and I got very frustrated with him. My explicit thought was “Just counterfeit the damned bills, they’re going to lose anyway.”

You may have noticed the flaws in my argument, these being: the prisoners did not know that Germany was going to lose the war; that, in sabotaging the progress of the counterfeit operation, they actually contributed to the weakening of the Nazi war effort, which may have been part of the difference between victory and defeat.

I did not vocalise these thoughts, so there was no one around to keep me in check. It was not until halfway through the following day that I realised that I was an idiot. At that point, I came to the conclusion that not even I can be protected from Raymonding.

Post-script: I don’t think that I spoiled The Counterfeiters by telling you that Germany suffered defeat in World War II. If you want to correct me, though … I’ll actually be pretty worried, in fact.

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