One of the most thought-provoking movies I saw in 2009 (okay, I didn't see it until 2010) was Up in the Air. Even months later, I'm still not sure whether I actually liked it or if it's the kind of movie that's even meant to be liked. I do credit it with rekindling my love for the word meta and spurring me to pronounce things to be zeitgeisty at the drop of a hat.
I was reminded of Up in the Air the other day when I was pondering the relationship people have to their work, a subject that has come up in conversation (both online and off) a heckuva lot in recent weeks. In the movie, George Clooney's character fires people for a living and, naturally, most of these people don't take the terminations well. In many cases, their reactions betray an anguish and anger that goes beyond a loss of guaranteed income and benefits. Their jobs represented their identity, their self worth, the means by which they defined themselves in the world. Take away the title and what's left?