May 20, 2005

By the way. . .

If you're trying to pin some sort of political angle to the new Star Wars movie. If you're honestly considering the possibility that Anakin/Vader = Bush. If you think Yoda is somehow John Kerry. If you think Mace Windu may be a Jedi incarnation of Martin Luther King Jr. If you think Palpatine is a tongue-in-cheek slam on Wal-Mart. If you think Obi-Wan Kenobi has ideologies similar to President Bartlett on the West Wing. If you think the Jedi council is secretly an appreciative nod to the legalization of marijuana. If you think of the new Star Wars movie as anything other than a, well, MOVIE.

Man, you're probably not all that fun to be around in real life.

Posted by Ryan at May 20, 2005 11:01 AM

This post bugs me. I'm not completely sure why but I think it has something to do with a) the suggestion that someone who thinks art has societal meaning/consequences is just a wet blanket and shouldn't be taken seriously, and b) the need to express this opinion when the blockbuster movie of the century is clearly condemning a political agenda you've supported.

Because the fact is that art does have an impact on politics and society. The narratives of religious volumes are basically literature; David and Goliath, Noah and the flood, Jesus on the cross— all these stories inform people's actions and their attitudes towards adversity and human society. Gangsta rap informs the attitudes and actions of inner city youth. Sideways created a new fad in wine consumption. Michael Jackson's Thriller changed the way people dressed. War movies justified our policies in WWI and WWII. Propaganda and art are often interchangeable.

And the Star Wars series obviously attacks U.S. policies of foreign intervention in general and our tendency of handing war powers over to the executive specifically. There's no ambiguity about it: Lucas has said as much on dozens if not hundreds of occasions. The moral framework of the movie attacks the policies of the Bush White House as surely as it attacks the polices of the Johnson White House. If you don't agree with that moral framework, fine. But suggesting that it's somehow a mark of low character to talk about the critique strikes me as a sign of moral insecurity.

Posted by: Joshua at May 20, 2005 01:59 PM

Look, Joshua. It's Star Wars. I guess my point is, if you can't just suck in the movie for what it is, a science fiction orgy of CGI, without going "AHA!" when Anakin says "If you're not with me, you're my enemy," well, I just think you may be watching the movie for all the wrong reasons.

Posted by: Ryan at May 20, 2005 03:02 PM

Ryan, after five years of watching President Dickboy and his administration of oil executives do everything short of fiddling with their handlebar moustaches and going "Mwa-hahahahaha!" during press conferences while the national news media practically lines up to toss the presidential salad, it's a huge relief for people who have opposed Bush's policies to see someone mainstream just balls-out call the fucker EVIL, even if it's done in allegory.

I mean, all bullshit aside, the reason a lot of people compare Bush to Hitler isn't just for shock value; the Bush Administration has vastly increased the power of the Executive on an agenda of militant nationalism and is in the process of edging us toward totalitarianism; for most intents and purposes the Federal government is a one-party entity right now, and the ethics easements that left DeLay in office and the filibuster fight are eliminating what precious little power any opposition party can bring to bear against the majority.

And the swing voters who helped get Bush a second term— people like you and Michele —are now "trying to stay away from political discussion," and talking shit about people who cheer for the political critique in Star Wars.

So yeah, when Obiwan tells Anikan that only a Sith would say something like, "If you're not with me, you're my enemy," I'm probably going to go, "AHA!" That's not why I'm going to see the movie, but I'll still enjoy hearing it.

Posted by: Joshua at May 20, 2005 04:35 PM

I'm stepping away from political discussion, not because I want to, but because my job right now is requiring me to devote most of my precious little brain sparks to a lot more responsibilities. Sorry if that bothers you.

It wasn't all that long ago, if I recall, that it was the Democrats who were speaking out against filibusters. Everybody's favorite Dem, Barbara Boxer, during the Clinton administration, said: It is not the role of the Senate to obstruct the process and prevent numbers of highly qualified nominees from even being given the opportunity for a vote on the Senate floor.

While Edward Kennedy said We owe it to Americans across the country to give these nominees a vote. If our Republican colleagues don't like them, vote against them.

I'm not saying I support the abolition of the filibuster, but I think it's largely being hyped by the Democrats to portray the Republicans as fiddling with government power. That, and they're pissed and scared that they're in the minority.

But, DeLay should have gotten the boot. That was fucking unforgivable.

Posted by: Ryan at May 20, 2005 05:52 PM

It wasn't all that long ago, if I recall, that it was the Democrats who were speaking out against filibusters.

Yeah, they were wrong. Of course their president was also being chased around by a special prosecutor whose job was to investigate alleged misconduct that took place before he was in office and who ended up impeaching Clinton for lying about a blowjob. So it's pretty hard to argue that the Democrats were engaging in some kind of massive power grab when they argued against the filibuster.

Compare that to the non-reaction to the Downing Street memo and the lack of any kind of special prosecutor going after Bush for anything having to do with national security (or Enron) and the Republican attack on the filibuster starts to seem like it might be part of an agenda more ominous than Democratic congressional petulance over having their nominees blocked in committee.

Personally, I've never been much of a fan of the filibuster-- but jesus fuck. The trajectory of this administration is getting pretty scary.

Posted by: Joshua at May 20, 2005 06:23 PM

I enjoyed the post. I thought it was funny and I think I'm too young to be able to appreciate Star Wars. Either that or I'm the wrong sex. But despite that, it was still funny.

Posted by: Desult at May 21, 2005 04:14 PM

fiddling with their handlebar moustaches and going "Mwa-hahahahaha!"

Jesus fuck dog you just made me spit hot coffee all over my damn self.

Posted by: David Grenier at May 22, 2005 02:23 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!