Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Sean Penn States the Obvious in Toronto
Toronto--Monday, some wise-ass journalist asked Sean Penn a stupid question: "Is Bush a good politician?" In-between dousing photographers with his own urine from a squirt-gun, Penn answered that "One could make the argument that George Bush is a good politician...[but] I think the issue is how you define politician. Once upon a time, politics was the organization of things to benefit the people [I'm not-so-sure about that one]...so that's the level of politician I think he's good at. Out of context, he's Beelzebub -- and a dumb one."
But if you look at the scope of human-history, there is a general agreement on what makes a 'bad-king' or leader. Connected to this is the fact that leaders really do serve the whims of the people, even under a monarchy. They tolerate a leader insofar as they provide a minimum-of-stability and prosperity, as well as security. Even the Romans knew when an emperor was bad, like Caligula or Nero.
Usually, Senators or the Praetorian guard murdered them. During the Middle Ages, you had peasant-revolts, and kings were toppled. You can argue that hierarchy is inevitable, but so is the push against-it and its abuses. It appears there are stirrings of people pushing-back, but I'm not putting much stock in it.
Americans will cop-out if you throw money and comfort at them, but it appears there are no plans of that. All three-branches of government think that if they keep-passing more legislation that restricts our rights, that they'll ensure control of the present monied-establishment. But, the world economic-picture for American corporations isn't exactly pretty, and has certainly been compromised by Bush foreign-policy. Traditional allies have been alienated, and normal-routes of diplomacy have been severely-damaged. As America declines as a global power, you will see more Police State policies being advocated, which is what happens when it dawns on elites that the game is ending.
Of course, many of them thought they could trust Bush, and many of them have profited from his agenda. But then there are the Enrons and Abramoff, and it appears not everybody got to feed at the public-trough. Worse, the Bush administration just isn't good at hiding their corruption. Their only hope has been collusion with the GOP-majority in Congress, who have shielded-them from prosecution. As I write this, the GOP-Congress is still protecting the President from prosecution, and have made it clear they will never-do-so while they are in-office. As a leader, George W. Bush has failed on all-fronts, but as a politician, he's miraculously survived all of this. But has it really been miraculous?
When you show ruthlessness and a willingness to break-the-law constantly, and when nobody shows a viable-opposition to you, where is the luck in that? Beelzebub is right, and a dumb one at-that, considering how lowly the Bush administration's aims have been: to subvert American security and prosperity in-the-service of the Petroleum & defense-contracting industries. He wasn't alone, as nearly all the Democrats who voted for the war shared the same aims of expanding American-influence into Central Asia as a general-goal. But Bush has proven incompetent, and with narrower-aims. They were duped all right, just not the way they say they were. So, outside of all these factors, Sean Penn is a really talented actor, no-doubt, but aren't we all putting a little too-much faith in the comments of celebrities? He's right about politicians in-that they don't serve the general population, but when have politicians ever done what was right without being pushed into-it? That is what has changed, Mr. Penn, so why not suggest people start pushing-back? Because you're less-eloquent than I am, which isn't saying-much.
If he affects someone to go and register-to-vote, help people in New Orleans, protest the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, work at a homeless shelter--that's a great outcome. But he's as helpless as we are, and responsibility for this mess begins with ourselves. Fast Times at Ridgemont High, indeed. He's still a better-man than I, he at least felt he had to go down to the big NO and help. Next-time, he needs to buy a better boat, and not from some Cajun-swindler. What a stupid fucking question, this all makes my head hurt. Why not ask about the weather? Man, are we in-trouble as a nation.
PS 09-14-2006: The moron smoked at the Toronto film festival press-conference, and now their Health Minister is considering charges against Penn. It has become against-the-law to smoke in-public in Canada this-year. Surely someone told him...