Sunday, January 04, 2009

You May Have Survived, But It Isn't Over

My column this week discusses, among other things, the similarities between the modern American body politic and survivors of gory '80s slasher films:
. . . Imagine the real-life survivor of an ’80s slasher spree trying to explain this to the police: “I know I’m drenched in blood that isn’t mine, and there’s a lot of fresh corpses in that abandoned summer camp just behind me, but I swear: It was the serial killer you thought you gunned down umpty-squat years ago this very night. Or the evil school janitor who died in a fire and kills kids in their dreams.”

Cops almost never fall for stories like that. So if I were a character in an ’80s horror flick and managed to outlive the psycho killer and make it to the end credits, I’d turn to my surviving friends and say “The Bad Man is gone, but we’re still in a world of hurt.”

Which, coincidentally, is exactly how I feel when contemplating the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

10 Comments:

Blogger Windypundit said...

You know, I had that problem with the ending of Fatal Attraction---also an '80s horror film, I suppose. How are Dan and Beth going to explain to the police about the dead body in their bathtub? The body of a woman who tried to break up their marriage after he had an affair with her? The body that is beaten, strangled, nearly drowned, and ultimately shot-to-death? I've seen lots of episodes of Law and Order, and these things never end well.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Which, coincidentally, is exactly how I feel when contemplating the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

Hold the phone! I thought you were liking the big B.O.?!?

12:28 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I "like" him in the sense that he's not GWB 2.0, and I still think it was very important that the electorate repudiate the Republican Party after all the bullshit it's inflicted on the country for the past eight years. I also think it's pretty cool that in light of our past history we were able to elect a black guy for president, when there are still people alive today who remember when blacks couldn't even legally ride at the front of a bus. But I've never been under the impression that he's some great savior come to solve all out problems. I just think he was better than the alternatives we were offered.

1:47 PM  
Blogger WJW said...

I'm hoping he's significantly better than the alternatives presented in the last election.Perhaps he will have the mental and emotional flexibility to overcome dogmatic answers to our current problems? I'm certainly not onboard with his "stimulus" plan (which is certain to turn the dollar into a joke), but I'm holding out hope that he has the disposition of a man who isn't afraid to change his mind when facts warrant it.

While I expect Washingtonians to continue making awful, irresponsible, and destructive decisions, I actually felt a sense of relief on election night when they called it for Obama... and I didn't expect to feel that way at all.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Eric the .5b said...

"How are Dan and Beth going to explain to the police about the dead body in their bathtub?"

Well, both of them, especially Beth, have defensive wounds.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous A moose said...

I also think it's pretty cool that in light of our past history we were able to elect a black guy for president

But, it has nothing to do with race, I recall. Won't go down that road again.

I personally think it's absolutely hilarious that "Change!" starts with Gov B, shenanigans in MN on behalf of the Sec of State, Richardson running for cover, and now Burris being denied (unlawfully, in my personal opinion) his seat in the Senate. I am personally so glad that this "Change!" is so different, and doesn't involve any wide stances, because that really didn't have anything to do with things like political laws and so it wasn't nearly as entertaining (Moral hypocrisy is kind of expected in politicians. Political hypocrisy is much more entertaining).

We knew the dems were going to win the Congress. The only hope was for gridlock, but people cast that into the void. Remember in the horror films where invariably the group, prior to being individually killed in grotesque ways, did something which the audience, not constrained to a script, would be saying "Noooooo! Don't do that!!! There's a homicidal maniac in the woods, and you're jumping right into it!!!"

We are so there, or were on election night. Now we're kind of like in that 'pause' stage where the slasher starts leaving clues around, or they see a flash here and there and people start realizing "Hmm...something is amiss, did I remember to zip my pants this morning?"

At least it will be a fun ride, though, based on the comedy of the moment.

Oh, and we need to elect Gov B as "Evil Genius of the Decade" for his appointment of Burris. It was great, so well played. Spitzer was so much more honorable, in retrospect, and at least had shame for lying and breaking laws, which is probably an indication of why Chicago politics won out over NY politics in the democrat party race.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

We knew the dems were going to win the Congress. The only hope was for gridlock, but people cast that into the void.

No, the GOP cast that into the void. When a party's foreign policy is "let's start unnecessary wars on bullshit premises and argue that we can legally torture people, kidnap them and hold them incognito, indefinitely and without trial," while their domestic policy boils down to "evolution is a lie and gays are icky," America's going to vomit them up.

I think the Dems will have a lock on power for some time now, and will continue to do so until the GOP either casts off the last eight years, or disintegrates completely and something else takes its place.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

No, the GOP cast that into the void.

Sorry, I was imprecise. The particular void I was speaking of was the term "Change!" which, intentionally, was left ill defined so people could look into the void and see whatever they liked. GOP didn't do that, dems did.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Well, as a possibly unpopular Dem (I certainly was in high school...and college, come to think of it), I AM encouraged by Obama's election -- but not because "we Democrats" suddenly have a lock on power (which I agree was handed over by the GOP): Because I feel like I can say I'm an American again without wincing or adding an asterisk leading to a "but I don't like it" footnote.

Not that we'll have all-good policies or experience Obama as the second coming (if you believe in that sort of thing), but his campaign made me feel like I could make a difference, where GW's, and most GOP campaigns -- which are supposed to be all about what people can do with small government, right? Right? Guys? -- made me feel like hiding in a darkened corner, rocking back and fourth and repeating the next election date like Howard Hughes saying "the way of the future" until they left me alone.

It made me want to leave the country. And whatever Obama's policies, I feel engaged enough in government now to at least have an opinion, and express it. It seems to me that that's a democratic-republic good, not just a Democrat one.

But I did think, reading the column, "serial killers are never really dead..."

I shudder to think about another GW sequel.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hey, Alicia! I've been having problems with my Hotmail address; I see that you sent me an e-mail a couple of days ago, but I cannot access it (long story). If you talk to Marc, ask him for my e-mail address that he's been using to contact me, and then perhaps you can re-send the e-mail you sent me? Or else wait a few days; I'm going to try something to fix my Hotmail, but it has to wait until the weekend (when my boyfriend will have enough time to fix the problem for me, since hellafino what to do).

8:26 AM  

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