You turn on your TV, and you hear the familiar voice of Leonardo DiCaprio say, “Sell me this pen.” This scene grabs your attention, and you keep watching till the end of the movie. Congratulations, you have just watched “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
You’re now probably thinking about getting into the stock market and trading penny stocks with 50% commissions. But before you decide anything, let me bring some realism into the situation, and after that, you can determine if you still want to be like Jordan Belfort.
Let’s start from the beginning. This Jordan guy, a married man with money thirst, goes on Wall Street and submerges himself into the daily routine of a stockbroker. At first, he is hesitant. You could say he has some common sense. He starts off completely sober and completely normal, just like any other guy staring off in the stock market. Initially, he is not an impressive multimillionaire. His personality is not too outstanding, and he is not that noticeable.
And then the market crashes. Jordan is unemployed and gets off Wall Street. He takes a job at a boiler room brokerage firm on Long Island that specializes in penny stocks. There because of his aggressive approach and high commission rates, he is highly successful.
Not long after that, he befriends a neighbor, Donnie Azoff, and they start their own company together. Jordan teaches some of his first employees the art of selling, hence the famous line “Sell me this pen.” Of course, the launch is a success. These pseudo stockbrokers falsely inflate the price of a stock and essentially lie to people. However, the business grows, and suddenly Jordan is back on Wall Street.
It is interesting to note that the once newbie with a working moral compass turns exactly into the person who introduced him to this life – Mark Hanna. Belfort indulges in drugs, he rolls in money and female breasts, and he loves it. He doesn’t respect women; he doesn’t respect boundaries. However, Jordan loves and respects himself. From his attitude, we can see a significant superiority complex created from the feeling that he owns the world. He snorts coke more often than he sees his wife. Morality at this point doesn’t exist in his dictionary.
There are three life values for Jordan in those moments when Stratton Oakmont is thriving – sex, drugs, and money. He is a sexist, a drug addict, and a liar.
Later in the movie, Jordan divorces his first wife after she sees him in a car snorting coke from his side piece’s chest. And even later, he marries the side piece, aka Naomi Lapaglia.
In the first moments of his new marriage, life is excellent for Jordan. He is making an unbelievable amount of money; he is high all the time, has a beautiful wife, and soon enough, even children. Of course, the kids and the drugs don’t mix well, but the wolf of WallStreet seemingly doesn’t find anything wrong with his behavior Why Do We Love the “Wolf of Wallstreet.
As the plot progresses, we see our beloved stockbroker suffer some of the consequences of his actions. The FBI starts investigating him, his illegal activities are threatening to affect him directly, and on top of all that, Naomi wants to get a divorce. His life falls apart.
In the end, he goes to prison. When Jordan comes out of confinement in real life, he becomes a motivational speaker, and people literally pay to hear what he has to say Why Do We Love the “Wolf of Wallstreet.
But the question is, why?
Why would you listen to someone who broke his own family twice? Why would you listen to a liar, to someone with a nasty and repulsive attitude towards others? It’s not once that we see Jordan Belfort mentally or physically abuse women. He can’t go for 3 hours without taking a hit. Why are we so fascinated with this wreck of a person?
The phenomenon we see with the mass adoration for the wolf of Wall Street is not that illogical if you think about it. Despite the repulsive lifestyle of Jordan, he is living his best life. He is rich, he is happy, he has fun all the time. We all want this, and by watching someone having all those things, we find ourselves living vicariously through them. We fall in love with the life of excessiveness and suddenly forget that Jordan is actually a terrible person.
Money, sex, they are very alluring. And Jordan Belfort exudes both money and sex. Why wouldn’t you love that? Wouldn’t you pay to hear a living legend, a successful man, give you life advice? In your mind, he is not terrible; he is just rich Why Do We Love the “Wolf of Wallstreet.
It’s the same with many celebrities. We focus on the good they portray and completely disregard all other aspects of that person.
That’s why we love Jordan Belfort. He is disgusting, he is cruel, and his soul is ugly. But he has what we dream of. And that is enough for us to adore him.