The Christmas Shoes: The Fever Dream of Capitalism | Big Joel


Big Joel

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Title : The Christmas Shoes: The Fever Dream of Capitalism | Big Joel

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Description The Christmas Shoes: The Fever Dream of Capitalism | Big Joel

The Christmas Shoes: The Fever Dream of Capitalism | Big Joel

The Christmas Shoes: The Fever Dream of Capitalism | Big Joel

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Big Joel
Big Joel 2 months ago

Hey hope you liked the video, it was a super fun one to make! What is your favorite christmas shoe? Also, here's the link to my Patreon, if you're interested lol

Jared Neal
Jared Neal 2 months ago

The way they aged Rob Lowe for the scene that takes place years later was spot on with reality

w lammy
w lammy 2 months ago

These shoes are so ugly tho

Nova The Dancing Song

you can stand in a doorway and be inside the room and out of the room

drysoup 2 months ago

when you come home late cause you had all that coleslaw to look at. we've all been there

Lola Arcana
Lola Arcana 2 months ago

Surely seeing someone exactly like you but realizing why this sucks, allows us to learn from those the same as us.
Also, you could say that the kid has a very explicit time limit to be with his mother, where in Rob Lowe's case the time limit is not explicit.
As an adult we should see the consequences of our actions, a child cannot. So Rob's character sees the obvious consequence for the kid coming up and realizes that he has not been seeing it in his own life because he was to involved.

Graveheartart -Anna
Graveheartart -Anna 2 months ago

The kid is just an example of how much you can lose? Like have you never seen someone just like you that highlights just how much of a mistake you’re making? I could totally see that applying here

supaloops 2 months ago

Plus, the only families worth engaging with capitalism are white!

M. G.
M. G. 2 months ago

omg just give the child the money

Joe Yacketori
Joe Yacketori 2 months ago

Joel, what is the music piece that starts around 5:40? I'd guess it's Bach since you play him a whole lot in your videos and it sounds like him, but I'm not sure. Thanks!

BeansBoy69 2 months ago

Is that LITERALLY Chris Traeger?

egg 2 months ago

The Christmas Shoes has created the Schrodinger’s Cat of thematic arcs


His father clearly didn't care, if he did he would've just given him the money, at least some of it

Garth Vader
Garth Vader 2 months ago

8:54 "...and if I get a whole lot more, that's even more money."


Garth Vader
Garth Vader 2 months ago

"People buy lots of stuff."



Sophie 2 months ago

I think this movie and a lot of hallmark movies have trouble making someone out to be the bad guy, especially if they represent capitalism or consumerism

Stephen Deroski
Stephen Deroski 2 months ago

Humans are walking, talking contradictions, all the time. The ones who are the most convinced they stand for something are the biggest contradictions of all. For example, the pro-lifer/pro-guns crowd. And equally, the "I'm green because I drive a Tesla" folks. Look at ads from fossil fuel companies that are about "a cleaner world..."

Astralika Castle
Astralika Castle 2 months ago

"And she dies a few minutes after saying this" had me laughing up a storm for reasons I cannot comprehend

YourPalRicky 2 months ago

5:34 spotted an old pizza place I used to go to then realized this movie was shot in the city I used to live in. Crazy

Rockstar Raccoon
Rockstar Raccoon 2 months ago

"What does this say? Well it says a few things."
I feel like, if there was a Big Joel drinking game, this would be the phrase were you drinking entire shot, because he says it at least once per video. :V

Liam Paiva Acosta
Liam Paiva Acosta 2 months ago

Clearly this movie is a reaction to anti-consumerist narratives. That's why it starts out trying to make you believe that that's what the story is going to be about before doing a 180. After all, the songs it's based on is no less consumerist. It's an entire song about making a purchase. The purpose of this movie is to marry capitalism and Christianity. To say, don't worry about making it through the eye of the needle. You can be a Christian and materialistic.

Troy Walker The Progressive Precarian

hallmark is evil

Mark Sheeres
Mark Sheeres 2 months ago

Reading the lyrics to that song, is my new diet plan.

ZephyrFluous 2 months ago

This is a great take, but I kept waiting for you to return to the religious side of it. See I was still a Christian when I first saw this movie, rather than the neopagan satanist furry degenerate I am today, and I took this movie a lot more symbolically, rather than the kind of smorgasbord of potential lessons in this video.

To me, this movie was a stand in for having faith. Faith being the shoes themselves, or at least the pursuit of attaining them. The boy represents someone innocent and on the verge of embracing faith, or a newcomer to faith that has yet to be distracted away from it, he spends the film concentrated solely (phrasing) on buying the shoes, his intentions solidly focused on his mother's afterlife and improving it as much as he can, and he works hard to do it, by righteously cleaning up the transgressions of other people, represented by the cans not even tosses into the trash but tossed on the road itself. The teacher you named Noodle represents just that, a teacher or more appropriately, a preacher or pastoral figure. He gives the kid advice and, as you pointed out he doesn't directly buy the shoes himself, but he assists the boy with more cans, he directed the kid to an intended target of people's transgressions for him to clean it up and make a big stride toward the shoes, but not instantly enough to obtain them. This is the struggle that Christians feel going into the world and taking it on as a challenge to make the world a better place by cleansing it of perceived transgressions. The father, Rob, he represents the athiest, he is constantly concerned with the real world, here and now, he wants to help people with their currant lives as well as guard his own real life as well as his family's wellbeing from possibly being taken away like his father's was. He is grounded in making his earthly life the beat that he can because he knows it exists now, and dosent bother with Nathan's obsession with the afterlife. Honestly, for a Christian movie, it's a surprisingly forgiving representation of athieats, with at least a hint of nuance, even if he's still a dick at times. The mother herself is Nathan's soul, for which he strives to attain his idea of faith, the shoes, before its too late. It's a double edged representation because while it stands in for the kid's idea of entering the afterlife, it also serves as a depressing realization that rather than the kid caring about the time he has left with his mother, he instead spends the final days of his mother's life out working to clean up the streets of cansgreassions. While the father, in that ominous warning, conveys that point.

Finally the graveyard scene, I saw as heaven or or least the gates to it,, they look down at their mothers together to symbolize judging how they lived their lives. Nathan has his hat still, showing that he hasn't strayed from his mindset since, meanwhile the father still clings to the real life, bringing up schooling.

I may sound crazy, I mean I was like ten when I saw this movie and still afraid of airplanes, and I'm certainly no essayist, if that's a word, but I wanted to share what I thought of this weird and to me, propagandistic movie.

sab 2 months ago

Sometimes I watch ur videos and hear Chopin in the background then I just end up listening to Chopin for the rest of the damn day

Mick Scott
Mick Scott 2 months ago

No Captions :(

Liv Taraxacum
Liv Taraxacum 2 months ago

lol Halmark is wild!

Bliss Opulence
Bliss Opulence 2 months ago

Love you Big Joel,

Alejandro Montes
Alejandro Montes 2 months ago

The movie came through work today so I am rewatching this video

mmm _mmm
mmm _mmm 2 months ago

Ok but

The people in the movie aren't even poor?
They have a house and dinner every night.
They have jobs.
The kid goes to school I presume(Christians hate uneducated people after all)

Doesn't seem poor to me.
Is this what Christians think poor is?
Maybe "poor" in america is just different....

Teja Johnson
Teja Johnson 2 months ago

This video is so gratifying. The moment i heard this song i was appalled (and i work retail so i hear it... EVERY YEAR). I instantly was like, "WHY IS HE OUT SHOPPING FOR FUCKING SHOES, HIS MOTHER IS DYING", and i'm a huge baby so just the unfairness of that makes me cry just thinking about it. I cry listening to this song for the wrong reasons. Anyway having anybody go "hey have you ever noticed this song is about buying an object for your dying mom instead of being by her bedside for her last moments" is so meaningful to me i am crying even as i type lmao

Dan Sheffield
Dan Sheffield 2 months ago

I'm sorry I had a bunch of case law to look at :(

Harrison Fackrell
Harrison Fackrell 2 months ago

Part two: SHOOOOS

Logan Labbe
Logan Labbe 2 months ago

Anybody here actually seen this movie?

Buffy Summers
Buffy Summers 2 months ago

Your cow + Drew Gooden’s hot dog=🐮🥱🌭
(cow eats hot dog)

Brooke T
Brooke T 2 months ago

I have a theory: this movie is made for middle to upper-middle class Christians. They like the idea of family, and they like to think that material things are not what Christmas is truly about. Rob's plot about a hard-working dad taking a break and spending time with his family speaks to them, because perhaps they are in similar family situations and can identify with it.

Then, the kid's plot comes in. The kid is a hard worker. His story makes comfortable, logical sense: hard work=good things (in the form of material objects). The kid justifies the conditions of Rob's family, and by extension the class and conditions of the families who are watching. The kid is rewarded with the shoes because he worked (unnecessarily) hard. Perhaps this is because the universe is logical and balanced. The kid DESERVES the shoes, and his desire for the material shoes is not shallow, but it is deep and meaningful and justified. By extension, people who are well off are well off because life (essentially) is fair and their money is a direct reward of their hard, earnest work. And their desire for material objects is not shallow; instead it is HOLY. Jesus will like the Christmas shoes. They have to do with the mother's getting into heaven. Also, the kid gets into medical school and becomes a doctor. This will probably allow the kid to move up in class and wealth. The kid is already established to be a good person, and I think this could imply that people are middle class because they are good and hard working, and that good, hard-working people are not poor (or do not stay poor for long).

In conclusion this movie is made to make people feel good about themselves. Which everyone already probably knew.

Also there is a lot to be said about the role of the wives in the beginning. For example Rob's family is "bad", and he makes his wife have a career instead of her volunteering at church. And the kid's family is "good"; his mother doesn't work (and they can still afford a house somehow?)

Caleb Riser
Caleb Riser 2 months ago

i played the boy in a christmas shoes musical and i feel very uncomfortable a minute in

pako pepe fdez
pako pepe fdez 2 months ago

Only a kid can believe in capitalism's dream while adults laugh inside when they listen to the dreamer boy.

Lucas Stein
Lucas Stein 2 months ago

Are you sure grandma made a good point? God killed her right away after that.

Shanna Mae
Shanna Mae 2 months ago

That song has always bothered me because like, omg why are you at a store when your mother is dying

Keith Heath
Keith Heath 2 months ago

Song always makes me cry ....

Guy Incognito
Guy Incognito 2 months ago

I just had to sit down at the understanding that Joel loves Hallmark

Nom du Clavier
Nom du Clavier 2 months ago

I get why a person, particularly a child, would choose to focus on something they think they can do rather than the dying family member. What's strange is that no one tells him 'what you can do, what woukd make your mum feel special, is being there with her'. His dad and teacher are right there.

Nom du Clavier
Nom du Clavier 2 months ago

Talk about impossible standards for women 'gotta look good when you're FUCKING DEAD'
Also we gonna talk about how the godly family has a woman who doesn't work and the ungodly wants the wife to work

DRONESAUR 2 months ago

I've got it: Rob and Nathan are the same person, and THAT'S the point.

I commend filmmaker Andy Wolk for this insightful response to Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, in which we see Rob as an Hegelian figure on a desperate quest for self-consciousness, but one who is in possession of foreknowledge of his position; he KNOWS already that he cannot achieve self-consciousness because no one is his equal. Rob, ubermensch that he is, decides that, rather than try to recognize himself as a foreign object in the eyes of another, and thus invite a struggle that will only waste time and resources, Rob PRESUMES his clear superiority, and instead opts to rise ABOVE the dialectic, knowing already that the only way he can achieve recognition in the eyes of another who is not subservient to him is to make one.

Enter: Nathan.

Rob buys the shoes, thus laying the groundwork for Nathan's eventual transformation into Rob as an adult. He's created an equal who can finally provide for him liberation from his endless quest. This, of course, opens the door for the next phase of his plan.

He's seeded the world with his physical progeny, in the form of daughter Lily, and his spiritual progeny, in the form of Nathan. Naturally, Rob's next step will be to forge a bond between them to finally achieve synthesis and accomplish the lofty goal of human instrumentality. Thus, Rob, having liberated himself, extends a divine hand to the lowely mortals among our flock, allowing us the privilege of joining him in godhood and becoming finally of one, ultimate spirit! The film is not only about IS life itself!

I anxiously await these developments in the sequel, which I presume is forthcoming.

Witchy Poo
Witchy Poo 2 months ago

Joel looks like the kinda guy who watches hallmark. When he’s not sitting in front of his fireplace drinking coffee or tea with his wife & dog

emma iliaki
emma iliaki 2 months ago

Consumerism and sentimentalism emershed in a pair of shoes

Yeg0r7 2 months ago

I thought this was an interesting and well-made video but I have to say, I fail to see how this movie is an indictment of capitalism. Short-sighted devotion to anything at the expense of loved ones/family is not unique to capitalism. The fact that the kid is saving up to buy shoes seems pretty arbitrary, as it's not like he has no choice but to collect bottles, he might as well be going around town hugging trees to make Jesus happy. Furthermore, Rob's character is living out his own personal insecurities that happen to take on the form of helping people attain economic stability, but the character could have just as easily been an overworked doctor with an obsession to save every patient because his grandfather died a preventable death or something.

I think the capitalist critique of the film kind of shoehorned and ill-fitting, otherwise great video.

Emmett Battle
Emmett Battle 2 months ago

the movie equivalent of "little boy donates all his allowance to a food bank"...maybe we shouldnt live in a worl where little children feel personally responsible for ending hunger. yes its a good deed done with good intent and it helps a lot of people who need it, but its kind of weird to think of it as an endearing thing.

Suce ma Index
Suce ma Index 2 months ago

Christmas breathes life into capitalism, capitalism breathes life into Christmas.

Dan Richards
Dan Richards 2 months ago

Everyone on YouTube who makes more than 2k/month and also prefers communism should be donating everything over that 2k each month. As a single parent I’ve made it on less at times. If you get the ad revenue and get the sponsors on patreon, and your schtick is communism good capitalism bad, donate or be a blatant, living example as to why communism doesn’t ever work.
Even it’s most ardent supporters can’t bring themselves to live by the “from each according to his means, to each according to his needs”...
Not when there’s a new iPhone coming, and cyberpunk only runs good in high end PCs...

n0etic Fox
n0etic Fox 2 months ago

I love this beacuse it is about my Uncle's least favourite Christmas song and a song each of us absolutely hate, it is a horrible song with a horrible message that spawns a horrible movie with the same message. He is a Baptist preacher and I am rather anti-theist but we can both hate this and hate it for the same reason.

You could make it better but... no it has to be idiotic. Say Noodles suggest that he put up a stand someplace to have people give him cans from right outside his house? He could collect hundreds without and suspension of belief. Have a church throw a Christmas concert give everyone a can of some kind so they can have a drink then give them all to the kid. Have that show 3 times and that could easily be 500 cans and 25$. The shoes are now a a gift from the community, Curch and by implication even God. I will leave you to think about how many problems that fixes.

Alejandro Montes
Alejandro Montes 2 months ago

That ending was so cute god damn it

InkMama Zola
InkMama Zola 2 months ago

They could have easily told a more interesting albeit depressing version of this story where the lesson the child learns is that he spent so much time trying to get these stupid shoes for his mom that he missed out on the last days of her life.

Donal O'Shea
Donal O'Shea 2 months ago

To you think it's a coincidence that the movie's central thesis is that instead of working hard to buy something of real value i.e. a house, that will benefit you and your family in many ways long into the future, you should instead spend all the money you have (for example by working hard collecting cans) to buy a worthless cutesy token of affection for a loved one. You know like the kinds of things large companies make a lot of money selling. You know like off the top of my head maybe a greeting card company for example. Hallmark maybe

Monique Green
Monique Green 2 months ago

The shoes are also... not very cute. I guess poor people like ugly stuff. THAT’S the real lesson

Monique Green
Monique Green 2 months ago

Lmao- Rob Lowe is in it bc he couldn’t book a job at that time..

Throttle Kitty
Throttle Kitty 2 months ago

Who are these people who find a child laboring to help a dying loved one because the world he live sin values their lives at nothing, a fun and / or heart warming story? It's like watching a movie about an orphan, where at the end they're still just an orphan. Do these people enjoy the idea of children being trapped in a situation where they must toil like adults, painted as if it's "inspiring" ... ? It's depressing. Our society has failed them, it's not inspiring they persevered, it's demoralizing our society is so broken they had too.

Teixeira Da Silva
Teixeira Da Silva 2 months ago

17:05 because we should stop waiting for Rob Lowe to age.

Sandra Beatriz
Sandra Beatriz 2 months ago

My favorite outro. You are, indeed, really cute. I have a tiny t-rex on my desk, I named it after you.

AdamIsTalking 2 months ago

I just learned that this film has 2 sequels and one of them stars Neil Patrick Harris. Not sure what to do with that information.

Banana Boat Charlie
Banana Boat Charlie 2 months ago

I went to a church once that played the music video for the song during it's Christmas Eve service (😬) Almost the entire congregation had a collective near-death experience while trying desperately not to burst out laughing. It's become like a meme within the church as the most capitalistic display of Christianity we've ever seen.

Kyla Mckenna
Kyla Mckenna 2 months ago

I hear ya! I'm listenin'!

Banana Boat Charlie
Banana Boat Charlie 2 months ago

Chris Traeger what are you doing here???

Beanie Guitar Guy
Beanie Guitar Guy 2 months ago

Imagine being able to live with only one person in the household having a job.

C Jersey
C Jersey 2 months ago

While most hallmark movies leave you warm from the cheesiness that one would’ve left me in a rage at it’s blatant propagandist message

Teresa Blue
Teresa Blue 2 months ago

I haven't seen it, but maybe it's saying that Robert has "made it" and by meeting Nathan he realizes he has those important small luxuries and therefore can rest and make memories? Nathan is the figurative representation of his former self, who still needs to labour endlessly, but also the lower income bracket, who, in my understanding of the movie, require occasional charity but not a rewrite of capitalism.
I'm not saying I agree with this message, but do you think it could fit the movie?

Kaamraan Raboobee
Kaamraan Raboobee 2 months ago

Which Chopin is that in the beginning? I recognise it but can't remember

Rowyn Moriarity
Rowyn Moriarity 2 months ago

i unironically love that red sweater

Tariq Sharif
Tariq Sharif 2 months ago

Gosh, how low has the Lowe sunk... remember his cameo in Wayne's World ?

vapid rabbit
vapid rabbit 2 months ago

in our capitaliat over-priced society, money is clearly more important than memories....... unless you want a bunch of bad memories.

Lord Dorogoth
Lord Dorogoth 2 months ago

And what does this has to do with capitalism?

Ellen 2 months ago

I understand that the message is bad. I understand it's not a good movie. I will still cry at the end, though.

He Was Fuzzy Wuzzy
He Was Fuzzy Wuzzy 2 months ago

The desire for a Bigger house = capitalism

The need for Mom's Christmas shoes = capitalism

Capitalism isn't the pursuit of happiness?

Duh... of course it is. Just look at all the cans one could collect in order to buy a bigger house to keep a pair of Christmas shoes in.

Zsabryna Burris
Zsabryna Burris 2 months ago

I know this is like a year old but that ominous line about "hurry back" makes me think of one of the most radicalizing moments of my life. My great aunt was on her death bed and I had to go in for a shift at work. My mom told me she might not be there when I got back. I walked into work and broke down sobbing that I might miss her passing. They let me go home. When I returned to work, they asked how things went and I said that she passed peacefully around midnight that night surrounded by family. And they said "Oh, so you mean you could have stayed for your shift?"

That was one of the most inhuman things I had ever heard.

capefeather 2 months ago

I caught that one potshot at environmentalism you glossed over and remembered how brain-melting it must be to watch these movies multiple times for video material, and yet somehow still enjoy doing it, or something.

Firma Sneirra
Firma Sneirra 2 months ago

Is acting the most abused profession in capitalism?

Bimpy the Wimpy Shrimpy

I gotta say, the thumbnail for this one is a work of art that always makes me smile

Musthegreat 94
Musthegreat 94 2 months ago

I genuinely freaked out when you sounded normal during the sponsor spot

Aodhan Lynch
Aodhan Lynch 2 months ago

back for some cozy joel in jumpers shittin on hallmark

Derek Troxel
Derek Troxel 2 months ago

"It movie was made by Hallmark; MY FAVORITE STUDIO ." - Big Joel
I didn't know a statement could be that cursed.

Droemar 2 months ago

Especially right before the starvation rations of another US stimulus, while 3k people are dying a day, this definitely hits different. It makes my blood boil that the Protestant Work Ethic is a very real narrative: "You can never not make time for work, even when people are dying, and especially not when you're poor. Work is the only virtue."

Kevin Klein
Kevin Klein 2 months ago

Love u joel :)))

Justin Henry
Justin Henry 2 months ago

“We’ll call him noodles because he makes me smile”

Martin Marriott
Martin Marriott 2 months ago

I assume that as the credits roll at the end, we see the dead woman up in the clouds, wearing her red shoes and dancing blissfully and growing younger as she dances, as the soundtrack plays Dylan's blowing in the wind.

Garth Vader
Garth Vader 2 months ago

Also loved how the film systematically approached every possible underlying 'morality' fable and just completely smashes them to smithereens...

Garth Vader
Garth Vader 2 months ago

TMW you realise Nathan's mum could've just got a job (before she got ill obvs) and bought the shoes herself... 😬😬😬

Spazzls 2 months ago

Dude you are an excellent writing teacher, thank you!

Your Mom
Your Mom 2 months ago

It’s not that deep

Troy Reyes
Troy Reyes 2 months ago

I feel like wer missing something: The fact that the kid didnt earn the shoes through labor. He got them because of the kindness of Rob Lowe. With this we can reframe the kids actions through the whole movie as real tragic. That, just like Rob Lowe, he was too focused on making money than making memories and it cost him time with the people that had little time AND didnt even get him what he wanted.

Will Braden
Will Braden 2 months ago

Big Joel.? More like Big Beautiful Brown Eyes


rich people are stinky

Infact19 2 months ago

The Christmas Shoes be like: "Hell yeah Hegelian Dialectics!"

thrashing_mad 2 months ago

In the socialist version, the mother's cancer is detected early because she has universal healthcare, and she gets the shoes to celebrate her beating the disease.

• Vico •
• Vico • 2 months ago

Oh god oh fuck I didn’t know they made a movie about this nightmare of a fucking song oh GOD

void-senpai 2 months ago

i heard that song and, i kid you not, got INSTANT flashbacks of when my Hometown Christian Music Station(tm) would play this song at least four times a day

Ray Last
Ray Last 2 months ago

Joel: Nooo, you can‘t be something and it‘s negation at the same time!
G.W.F. Hegel: Haha, Dialectic goes brrrrrrrrr

Fabiano Soares
Fabiano Soares 2 months ago

You say jutxtaposition so much that I had to look what it means. Thanks!

mar 2 months ago

Youur sweater is so cool

MIMIC txr 2 months ago

This movie is very gross