Monday, September 1, 2008

Angry About Politics 2008

Watched Southland Tales last night. That project really should've been a Showtime mini-series instead of trying to cram an epic multi-planed yarn roughly bigger than a Presidential Campaign week into a single film ala Short Cuts, which also should have been a series had Altman the balls. Sure, the comic book addendums help, so do the web support elements, though overall those do more to support my hypothesis of a great social commentary being better served up cold, clear, and across several episodes rather than a solitary shark trailing pilot fish of other mediums and formats. Any rate, check it out sometime, it's surreal a bit like Brazil, but that abstraction really sucks out the venom the way Picasso might extract a particular shade of blue to give the viewer the truest form of expression of an emotional or psychological hue.

Word of warning, the film does over use high school English class a bit, perhaps what equates to the highest of literary tradition in the states these days. Robert Frost wrote other poems, but Road Less Travelled seems to be the one everyone recalls from back in class.

And speaking of quote-sampling clich├ęs, someone should announce a time-out on use of Revelations from the Bible, and a moratorium full stop on quoting Johnny Cash’s “The Man Came Around” particularly the lyrics, “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.”

Sure, that’s one hell of a sweet bit of Biblically referential verse, pardon the pun, however after four or five films have used it, starts to lose it’s pungency, sort of like the way “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” has gone from cute to glib to ironic yet still keeps popping up on film scores like an angry blister of deep hurting sting after getting all hurried and forgetting lube.

Speaking of overused filmic shorthand, recently rediscovered Credence Clearwater Revival. Wonder if the churn of contemporary political events or the hurricane hitting the Gulf are related to that?

Not that Canada's politics are much better, three - four viable parties instead of two, but been following the campaigns with some high up eyebrows and a lot of "Mercy, mercy me" uttering.

Out of a nation of scholars and businessmen, the best candidates anyone could find are these cats? For sure, Obama and Biden seem less threatening than McCain and his zany gun toting cougar hockey mom sidekick, but none of them seem particularly effective or balls out bold enough to actually empower any much needed sweeping changes to the political or fiscal landscape currently collectively emulating a water ballet about drowning. Are they going to ravage the realtor legality landscape to root out the many far reaching culprits and hold them squirming up under the hot sun for judgment over the housing crash? Probably not. Will any of them loudly call for actual withdrawal from lose-lose wartime fronts or so-called policing actions? Probably not. Will any of them really use their 1/3rd governmental control to own up to global warming and enact worthwhile unflinching and uncompromising measures to change things in the short term rather than setting vague dates and goals that fall well outside the 4 year terms they'll win a couple huge states to get into office with. Will any of them separate church and state? Maybe Obama, since he couldn't even stand behind his own preacher as a human entitled to an opinion and that had been supposedly a family friend, although maybe not with a coffee-fearing VP.

Of course I hope for the best, whoever ends up in office, be they Mormon, woman, former prisoner of war, or non-white AKA “ethnically enabled” (who coined that expression, ugh), hopefully no one gets shot. Just wish any of them felt more like they were qualified and less like someone with a gimmick trying to emote all the nostalgic glory of Kennedy while sidestepping where his version of radical change got him. There's a bit from Bill Hicks about how upon being elected, on the first day of work, a new president is brought into a small room, a projection screen lowers from the ceiling, and a film of the Kennedy assassination plays out, expect this one is from an angle that the public has never seen and clearly shoes the shooter on the grassy knoll. The film finishes, screen sucks back up into the ceiling, and the head of staff for the Whitehouse asks, "Any questions?"

Not to sound completely disenfranchised, not completely, just damn close to almost completely. Electoral College should've been abolished after the Florida vote scandal. Paper ballets too, frankly. If Visa can sort out a fairly competent global accountancy, I'm sure have license cast vote track nationally system could be sorted pretty quickly if it served anyone's interests other than the common people.

Seriously, I do hope for the best regardless of who wins the upcoming elections. The institutions charged with providing leadership for our immense nation have been slacking, at best asleep at the wheel, at worst deliberately aiming their Thelma & Louise chariot at the nearest cliff they can find.

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