Not making a difference since 2006. Blog motto: Always be sincere whether you mean it or not.

Friday, December 08, 2006

V is for Vacuous

Call me cheap, but I rarely get to see movies in theaters. Here in the Peoples' Republic, we have an institution known as Inter Library Loan whereby you can get any book that is held in a Massachusetts library anywhere in the state delivered to your hometown library. This also applies to DVDs. We wait for them to come to the library system. So if I am to comment about movies, it will never be early. Anyway, what little I have to say will not deteriorate horribly over time, Conversely, it will not gain much either.

There are a number of bloggers who write about their fanship of comic books, graphic novels, etc. It must be me, but I don't get it. It is probably old age as I think Spiderman was just gaining popularity when my reading of the genre ended. I had occasionally bought or borrowed comics in grade school and then in the Summer between seventh and eighth grade, a friends mother gave me his DC collection (maybe fifty comic books) consisting mostly of Superman. I read them all and then tossed them never to have the desire again. I read a Mr. Natural owned by a drug addled college classmate and once sufficed. I hope I have not missed some great cultural development.

So along comes V for Vendetta and the movie of it was treated with all the seriousness of a work on the level of that serious scientist, Al Gore. I have heard that the comic series was somewhat inspired by hate for the lioness, Margaret Thatcher, whose effect in the end was little more than a meow. Oh, well.

The movie was a waste of time. Its plot can be summed up easily. It's always the Reichstag Fire. In this case a virus that allows John Hurt to become an English Fuhrer. Then one brave freedom fighter saves the day. And what a freedom fighter he is, taking on battalions of cops. All these movies remind me of a cartoon I saw in Playboy while in college. It is a movie set with the action in the Middle Ages. A field of knights are about to charge a lantern jawed hero armed with sword and buckler, but no armor. His retinue is three poorly equipped derelicts. The director gives him the scene, "Okay, Rex, Take it from, "Follow me, they can never stop men who want to be free.""

Of course, what really made it a waste of time is that the Wachowski brothers are completely tone deaf about the TV age. The left loves to fantasize about the imminent rise of the next Hitler. Well, in our times, that is not about to happen. This does not mean we don't have some disgusting politicians who manage to attain office. It certainly does not mean that I would know if totalitarian dictatorship is or is not possible. What can be said with some confidence is that it is probably not possible to build a hard guy cult of personality with TV. John Hurt's personality is all wrong for a television supremo. Why do you think Oprah destroyed Phil Donahue. Which one would you rather listen to for an extended period of time assuming suicide was not an option? Well, you would probably choose Oprah. Not because you cared about what she had to say, but just for the soothing tone of voice as opposed to the hectoring of Phil Donahue. It goes to why Ronald Reagan did so well though I can't remember a word he said. He had the tone of voice of everyone's loving father.

I remember seeing Bill Clinton win the election against Bush the father. It was in the debate where I think they were all on stools and they stood up to answer questions. Bill would get up and act as if it was the Bill Clinton show. George was hapless and Perot would lecture. Even I liked Bill. It wasn't the only reason, but soon after that, we got rid of TV. People would have turned their backs on a regime with John Hurt and Roger Allam's characters. In fact, if the Republicans perceive Hillary as a mortal threat, they would be well advised to buy her half hour prime time slots with the proviso that she have no guests.

No, Il Duce is not coming. No one is going to be yelling Heil W or Heil Chaney soon. Our fascist future may have The Two Minute Love,* but we shall never have the Two Minute Hate. But if you like movies with a lot of action and no dearth of PC cliches, this is for you.

*From The Joy of Curmudgeonry

Fewtril #4

Many a man is so impressed with the idea that the next despots will be wearing jackboots, that he will fail to hear the gentle flap of sandals.

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