Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Robert Altman and the GOP Majority: Rest in Piece

I’m surprised that no one has commented on Robert Altman’s death. Maybe it hasn’t resonated yet. Maybe a lot of you thought he’d already died just after “Gosford Park”. I always had a fascination with Altman, but never really especially enjoyed his movies. I don’t particularly like any of his films, though I do respect them. I think he revolutionized dramatic presentation and know he was an actor’s director. He just wasn’t much of an audience’s director. I do think that American filmmaking will suffer from his loss. Like him or hate him, there was no one else like him.

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I've been meaning to mention the best thing about the last elections: all the voters were so adamant about sending the Republican incumbents a message that they had forgotten to get hysterical about the Democrats sneaking into their houses in the middle of the night and revoking the Second Amendment as they slept, taking their guns away. When Kerry was running, that’s all I heard from the galloping galoots in my little rural paradise. “If the Democrats gain power, they’ll take all your guns away. You won’t be allowed to hunt no more! Or protect your family!” Protect them from whom, I’m not really sure. If a rampaging maniac wants to trek the three miles into the country to reach my house and kill me, he’s earned the right to try.

But this time around, most people were more concerned with getting rid of the current crop of GOP warmongers. But now that the dancing has died down in the streets, the fear is starting to creep in. I saw a little sign—actually a big sign—taped in the back window of a large mom-mobile, lettered in hysteria and blocking the driver’s vision, screaming that PA’s Governor, Ed Rendell, is “going to take your guns away”. And must be stopped. Even though he was just re-elected.

Now I don’t follow politics quite that closely, but I have never heard Rendell make any rumblings about gun control in the slightest. He’s a hunter, for one thing. And he’s also far more concerned with making slot machine gambling legal in the state. And figuring out how to lower property taxes without allowing anyone to really benefit from this lowering. Those are his two main concerns—you might even say, his only concerns.

So to all the hysterical gun-toting, meat-eating folks out there (and I consider myself to be both), *ahem*: No one is going to take your guns! For one thing, most of you own multiple guns. What happens if Ed Rendell, or Al Gore, or whoever, shows up at your door asking for them? You’re going to pull a gun on him. They all know this. Your guns are safe.

So shut the fuck up and go hug your kids.

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Personally, I’m happy that the Democrats took power. I really am. Now I’m only terrified that over the next two years, George Bush will somehow declare himself Caesar and never go away. Rather than my former terror that the U.S. will be simply blotted off the face of the map by our own hands. Or that intellectuals will be rounded up, sodomized and shot (no, wait, that could very well still happen).

Now, while I’m happy that the Republicans got their asses handed to them, I’m not so naïve to think that anything is actually going to change. I understand how the world works. Governments of any nation attract only the corrupt and ineffectual. No one sane or with any integrity would want the job!

However, I do understand psychology. So while I don’t think change will happen, I am convinced that change will actually happen. Or, rather, that people will believe that something has changed. The economy will recover because people will think that, with the regime change, the economy has recovered. Even if gas prices stay where they are, so long as they don’t spike another dollar, people will be content. And they’ll start to relax and begin to deficit spend again. And thus, the economy will recover.

With the Democrats in power, people will think that the war will come to an end, despite all evidence to the contrary. So when Bush does leave office in 2008, the war will inevitably end and the American people will attribute this end to the change in power. Even though nothing really changed.

And I’m desperately hoping for this perception. I need the American people to believe that change is occurring.

Because I have movies to sell. They don’t have stars or big budgets or media tie-ins. And I need people to start risking their money on movies they’ve never heard of, just like they did a decade ago, when I didn’t have movies to sell. So I need movie fans to relax and start spending money they don’t have. I want a little chunk of wonderful Capitalism.

I’m not asking the entire country to sacrifice baby formula or insulin for copies of The Resurrection Game, but if they could go without a pack of cigarettes for a single day… Yes, I realize that doing without insulin might be more realistic…

Anyway, isn’t that the spirit of Capitalism? The American Dream? That if you work your ass off, you can be rich and famous and tax exempt? Puppies and blow jobs for everyone? Isn’t that what it breaks down to in Econ 101?

Or did I make that last part up?

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