The State of the President

George W. Bush is a person.  Some people think that he is evil or stupid.  A dwindling number of people think that he is the Man with the Master Plan.  But what if he’s just some dude…

1… who knew what to say at the right time to get himself to the top (Rove helped)

2… whose greatest fault might be that he’s so damn sure of himself (used to be endearing)

3… who never learned to admit a mistake (WMD)

4… and who, at the end of the day, may find himself very, very alone?  (Even Rove has resigned now)

The hopes and dreams of the right-wing Christian conspiracy were vested in him.  What do we have to show for it?

Bush is not a man to hate, much less a man to envy.  But a man to pity and to pray for, to be sure.  God have mercy on the man (or woman) who inherits those shoes.  God have mercy on us all.

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What’s Wrong with “Bobby”?

Writer/director Emilio Estevez has done his best work yet in Bobby (2006).  The film isn’t as much about Robert F. Kennedy, or even RFK’s assassination, as much as it is about the hopes and dreams of a dozen people as the relate to RFK. 

The cast features a mind-boggling array of heavy-hitters (Hopkins, Fishburne, Sheen), has-beens (Moore, Hunt, Stone), mid-career (Wood, Macy, Graham) and up-and-coming stars (Lohan, Cannon, LaBoeuf, Rodriguez).  I would be amiss to overlook Ashton Kutscher’s convincing cameo as a tripped-out hippy, which provides some of the film’s best comic relief. 

The music, the clothes, the racial tensions, and anti-war sentiments in the film are all very right and very 1968.

As a period piece and series of character portraits, the film works well.  It’s even an okay anti-war piece.  But as a story?  Not so much.  Estevez shows us before with no after.  The film ends two minutes after the assassination.  Plus, other than the assassination, the plot has little discernible direction.

But that’s okay.  If this film does nothing other than serve as a reminder of what might have been, it is a welcome one.  Estevez gives us a portrait of RFK, patched together from various speeches and indirectly via his characters.  Maybe this is a hopelessly idealistic portrait of a hopelessly idealistic presidential hopeful, but some of us could use a little more of that these days.  When was the last time we had an idealist in the Oval Office?

Published in: on August 14, 2007 at 11:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Speaking of Conspiracies….

 Chris Paine has given us one more reason why open-minded Republican-sympathizers (they exist!) should be careful what they watch.

His 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? only mounts a secondary attack against right-wing politicians.  Big business and big oil are center-stage.  They seem to have screwed over the little guy, yet again.

I feel angry and sad, but mostly angry.  I tried to think of other historical incidents when the very technology we had longed for was within our grasp – we already had it! – and we let it slip away.  I tried, but I couldn’t find anything else this collosally depressing.

We have lost great technologies before, only to later regain them.  But have we ever lost them on purpose?

Kind of reminds me of what Dark Helmet once said: “So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.”

Evil can be pretty dumb, too.  If we were not dependent on foreign oil….

Tirade Against Christian Bumper-Stickers

The Ends vs. the Means

Why do so many of us feel compelled to put religious bumper stickers on our cars?  Is our motivation to bring people closer to God?  Or is it to make them angry?  I wonder, because if bringing people closer to God is the goal, these stick-on slogans may be having the opposite effect.

I don’t know of any numbers.  I haven’t conducted any sociological surveys.  But every time I see “Got Jesus?  It’s hell without him,” or “Have you read my #1 best seller? There’ll be a test.  — God ,” I think: Would Christians say these things to someone’s face?  I hope not.  So why do they slap these messages on their cars, where they can invade other drivers’ lives?  Is that really “speaking the truth in love”?

Even though “His pain, our gain” is less offensive, it is so cheesy that the cheese may impair whatever epiphany it was supposed to bring.

And have you thought about how your driving might not be consistent with the Christ-like demeanor your bumper-stickers imply that you have?  I cuss and pray to God every time a mini-van with a Jesus-fish cuts me off.

Bumper-stickers in religion are like bumper-stickers in politics.  For the most part, they are not messages of love, but are propaganda.  They get people fired-up who already agree with you, but they put up a barrier between you and the people you think you are reaching.  They’re not a bad idea in theory, but they end up being a bad idea in practice.

Check out some other awesomely bad examples.

I praise God that He is bigger, more powerful, and more loving than us, even in our feeble attempts at serving Him.