Tuesday, January 20, 2009

If it was a Movie, it would be too contrived to be believeable

Even Stanley Kubrick could not have scripted a better end to the Bush Administration than the image of a hunched over Dick Cheney being tipped from wheelchair to limousine in the final moments of his political career this afternoon. It was the most perfect moment of today's inauguration.  It's the fitting end to his despotic acts, the violence and bloodshed that have been endured as the result of his ... to quote Mr B Obama ... mixing up of safety and ideals. Crippled by his own malice, Cheney is too perfect for a Hollywood villain. 

How fascinating that George H W Bush could hardly walk, and yet Jimmy Carter who has continued his humanitarian projects and human rights advocacy, literally skipped out onto the stage. Surely the moral of the fairy tale down on Capitol Hill this afternoon has to be that evil comes back to erode the bodies of those who indulge. And if compassion, service to fellow humans and humility is our code, we will be blessed with perfect health!

And then there was Ted Kennedy's collapse at the dinner table. Again, it's the kind of event that would seem overwrought if it was in a film by someone like Douglas Sirk if he were still around, or Luchino Visconti if he were American! The 60s patriarch collapses at the moment his generation must make way for the new ideals, the new beliefs, the new world. The place and philosophy of the Democratic Party has been and will continue to be redefined for a generation in which the Kennedy way of doing politics is no longer on the cutting edge, no longer speaking to the youth of America. 

Today's is a world which stops to look at and listen to a black man. 

Can the black family walk down Pennsylvania Av. to 1600, and enter through the front door to take up residence? I don't think so. No Hollywood movie could make that a credible ending and still sell tickets. Luckily, the movies and real life have little to do with each other. It's an exciting time for America, an exciting time for the world. Obama is humble and brilliant, and with the Bush Administration gone, out, finished, over, hobbling their way off this screen, America and Americans can again assume the self-respect to stand up, speak, and have their voices heard. 

1 comment:

James said...

I love this reading of the events. I am also curious about how the theatrics of the inauguration feel much more theatrical than usual. It is, indeed, a time of symbols and metaphors, after so many years of lies and deceptions. A period when we may recover some notion of imagination and truth.