The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

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Friday, June 27, 2014

“No, No, Mr. President, You’re Supposed To FIGHT Crime”

Our old friend Andrew Klavan (see here) has emerged from the cineplex with a trembling sense of awe; he has stumbled to his knees, cast his moist, yearning eyes heavenward, and seen a revelation glowing from the underbelly of the sky…
A cry for help goes out from a city beleaguered by violence and fear: A beam of light flashed into the night sky, the dark symbol of a bat projected onto the surface of the racing clouds . . .
Oh, wait a minute. That’s not a bat, actually. In fact, when you trace the outline with your finger, it looks kind of like . . . a “W.”
Yes, Andrew has jumped on the meme-wagon and joined other conservative cineastes in declaring that George W. Bush is Super-President!
There seems to me no question that the Batman film “The Dark Knight,” currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war.
Well, there’s no question as long as the movie remains popular.  If it had debuted to the kind of notices and box office that, say, Batman and Robin did, I doubt the Conservateriate would be hugging it to their bodies and screaming, “Mine!  Mine!  Mine!” like Daffy Duck hoarding a mound of jewels in Ali Baba Bunny.
Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.
Of course, if you can make an emergency last long enough (did that Terrorist Color Swatch Chart ever drop below fuchsia?) then blown boundaries become the norm and you don’t have to restore squat.  And unlike W, at least The Batman lost a little sleep over using the Constitution as a mud-butler.
And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society — in which people sometimes make the wrong choices — and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.
Or you can split the difference and drop the “free” part, then everybody can knock off early and meet for Long Island Iced Teas and Double-Stuffed Potato Skins at Bennigan’s.  We can just Fed-Ex the rest of your civil rights to Hell in the morning…I’ll leave a note on Jerri’s desk.
“The Dark Knight,” then, is a conservative movie about the war on terror.  And like another such film, last year’s “300,” “The Dark Knight” is making a fortune depicting the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to articulate for beans.
Maybe they should fire Dana Perino and hire Frank Miller.  Forget press conferences, and just issue all Presidential statements in comic book form.  I mean, they’re already halfway there; just install a fireman’s pole, a super-computer, and a giant penny in Cheney’s Secure Undisclosed Location, and you’ve got instant Bat Cave.  Get someone from DC or Marvel to design uniforms — we already know Bush enjoys dressing up in costumes — and get David Frum working on a catchphrase.  Not only would this finally restore a bit of honor and dignity to the White House, it would be revenue-neutral, since all costs could be defrayed by merchandising deals and cross-promotional tie-ins with Burger King.
Conversely, time after time, left-wing films about the war on terror — films like “In The Valley of Elah,” “Rendition” and “Redacted” — which preach moral equivalence and advocate surrender, that disrespect the military and their mission, that seem unable to distinguish the difference between America and Islamo-fascism, have bombed more spectacularly than Operation Shock and Awe.
Why is it then that left-wingers feel free to make their films direct and realistic, whereas Hollywood conservatives have to put on a mask in order to speak what they know to be the truth? Why is it, indeed, that the conservative values that power our defense — values like morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right — only appear in fantasy or comic-inspired films like “300,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Narnia,” “Spiderman 3″ and now “The Dark Knight”?
Wow.  This takes the art of the rhetorical question to a whole new level, doesn’t it?
When heroes arise who take those difficult duties on themselves, it is tempting for the rest of us to turn our backs on them, to vilify them in order to protect our own appearance of righteousness. We prosecute and execrate the violent soldier or the cruel interrogator in order to parade ourselves as paragons of the peaceful values they preserve.
Well, we railroad obscure, powerless underlings while insulating management from accountability, but sure, I get your point.
As Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon says of the hated and hunted Batman, “He has to run away — because we have to chase him.”
That’s real moral complexity.
And real fruit flavor!
And when our artistic community is ready to show that sometimes men must kill in order to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate their values in order to maintain those values; and that while movie stars may strut in the bright light of our adulation for pretending to be heroes, true heroes often must slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised — then and only then will we be able to pay President Bush his due and make good and true films about the war on terror.
Perhaps that’s when Hollywood conservatives will be able to take off their masks and speak plainly in the light of day.
Hell, I’d be satisfied if they’d just start by taking off the two wetsuits and pulling the dildoes out of their ass.  At least during business hours.
So I guess the lesson is, conservatives aren’t biologically capable of producing good, popular movies, but they’re certainly eager to adopt them as their own.  Which I guess makes them the moral equivalent of a married gay couple with a nesting instinct.
President Bush in the upcoming summer blockbuster, Super President vs. The G-8!
Posted by scott on Friday, July 25th, 2008 at 10:36 am

25 Responses to ““No, No, Mr. President, You’re Supposed To FIGHT Crime””

Andrew Klavan’s name reminded me of a classmate, so I looked him up in the alumni database and then checked out his sad biography. Whew. Although we have enough to apologize for.
When you have to see your hero in the guise of a big screen character, and try majestically to re-brand his incompetence and malevolence as the public’s inability to acknowledge his actual goodness…
well, son, you’re fucked, so shut up and sit down.
Mock Lavan, Slywy?
(you have to understand Yiddish to get that joke…)
Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.
Like W, Batman was a drunk debauching bachelor who may or may not have been Robin’s father but certainly has had his share of homoerotic encounters with him.
Gee….why does this post sound familiar, even to World-O-Crappers?
Oh, right. We had a preview of it…
I already commented on this nonsense in the last thread, but I’d like to mention one other thing:
“Why is it, indeed, that the conservative values that power our defense — values like morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right — only appear in fantasy or comic-inspired films like “300,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Narnia,” “Spiderman 3″ and now “The Dark Knight”?”
Was this guy watching the same movie as me? Morality and faith in BATMAN? Dude needs to pick up some graphic novels. The whole post-Miller franchise has been depicted in shades of gray. In fact, the main complaint I’ve heard from the handful of people who didn’t like it is that it’s TOO dark, TOO morally ambiguous. Guess it just goes to show: conservatives hate moral equivocation, except for the times they don’t.
slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised
Although I kind of hate to admit it, that’s a nice little phrase; but, doesn’t it describe the Joker better than Batman?
D Johnston,
You have to remember, these are the same cretins who defended Mark Foley and Larry Craig and David Vitter, all without any hint of irony, all while espousing moral certitude.
There’s a fine line near madness, unfortunately, they’ve blurred it.
. . . which reminds me -when are you going to finish “The Batman” series? I’m going crazy after the last, uh, cliffhanger?
Surely those films, done during WWII, must be more symbolic of our current WOT than “Dark Knight”.
I was just thinking, with all the Dark Knightery going on that I really ought to finish The Batman serial. Look for a new episode on Monday.
Maybe you communist LIE-brals don’t remember but Mr. President George Willard Bush defeated the aliens, whose gigantic flying saucers darkened the skys over every city in the world? Slipped you mind, did it? If you think Eric Osama and Hitlery can beat a jet-pilot hero who killed ET, you DEMON-crats need to go back to Russia!
Look for a new episode on Monday.
Same Bat time, same Bat channel!
Shorter Andrew Klavin:
Imagining W in a skin-tight Bat-suit is almost as hot as imagining him as a oiled-up, half-naked Spartan hoplite!
Seriously, I thought this kind of knob-slobbering over Bush went out of fashion a year ago. I don’t think even Hindraker is writing this kind of stuff anymore.
Is he Kliff Klavan’s idiot brother?
I’m well aware that “consistency” and “intellectual honesty” are dirty words to the pundits covered on sites like this. This time, however, the conservative culture critics are trying to claim a movie I like from a superhero franchise I like. Futile or not, I can’t stand by while they smear their ideological feces over something that makes me happy.
So let me get this logic straight, Klavan style: in order to fight fascism, one must become a fascist. Got it.
Gosh, I sure do wonder why liberal movies depict reality and conservative movies depict fantasy. That’s a really good question!!
And I would give a lot of money to see, even once, George W. Bush slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised.
And I would give a lot of money to see, even once, George W. Bush slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised.
That will NEVER happen, because President George Willard Bush is a War President, with war on his mind, and its a hard job. As a member of the GOP Party, he is not required to ever slink in the shadows (that’s one of the perks, LIE-bral suckers!) and will always be thought of as a G*dly man by those of us in The Heartland of this USA of America and as such, whatever tiny human flaws he may have had (I deny they exist) will be overlooked so that he may take his rightful place on MT. Rushmore.
Mark S.: Seriously, I thought this kind of knob-slobbering over Bush went out of fashion a year ago.
It did. That op-ed is from the Wall Street Journal.
If it’s in the WSJ, it’s out of fashion.
Remember, these are the kind of guys who thought Reagan was hip in the eighties: that’s way after “Bedtime For Bonzo”.
Klavan cites “Lord of the Rings” at the end of his column. I posted this one on the Cunning Realist ages ago, but it could stand repeating…
>> It never ceases to amaze me how [neo-]conservatives can praise and take allegorical fiction to their breast, while utterly and completely misinterpreting the fiction’s obvious themes and messages.
Star Trek — multiculturalism makes us stronger — The Prime Directive: advanced civilizations do not interfere with the affairs of lesser cultures even if it means a bit of sacrifice by the advanced culture.
Conservative Star Trek — when the Captain blasts those phasers, throws a few haymaker punches, and then sleeps with the exotic women, everything will work itself out for Truth and Justice.
Battlestar Galactica (v.2005) — If humans(/Americans) were at the disadvantage in a war, we’d resort to terrorism and suicide bombing to stay alive too. People resist their occupiers even when it’s tactically pointless, and the occupied never really give up. Our enemies are complex beings with motivations and unique qualities all their own, interacting with them can sometimes increase our knowledge.
Conservative Battlestar Galactica (v.2005) — Our enemies are inhuman soulless clones which deserve nothing more than extermination by any means we have at hand.
Lord of the Rings — (a small cute furry protagonist sneaks across million-man armies to destroy the most powerful warlord on the planet with scarcely a fight) — direct assault by armies is not what settles great historical confrontations; war is destructive, terrifying and to be avoided; and power corrupts even the best of us towards Evil.
Conservative Lord of the Rings — Evil must be militarily confronted in one grandiose all-out assault no matter how hopeless the odds, because somehow magically the good guys always win military struggles at the last minute.
These people read (or watch) classic works of allegory, then ignore what the author was trying to say and see only what they want to see.
slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised
Isn’t that from “The King and I”?
well if batman is bush fighting terrorists, that would make the joker osama bin laden.
and all the buzz about the movie is how the joker is the most interesting character. in fact there’s talk of handing out a post-humous oscar nod to ledger for his portrayal of osama bin laden.
but more importantly, if bush is batman, does that mean jeff gannon is robin?
Yeah, and Cheney is Alfred.
All I know is, when I bought for my overpriced candy at the concession stand, my first thought was, “For what I paid, I should be eating these raisinettes of Christian Bale’s chest.”
I have NEVER had that thought about GW Bush.
I have NEVER had that thought about GW Bush.
That’s because your a filthy DEMON-crat that probably lives in San Francrisco and nos nothing of the ways of Republican love! Our President-For-Life Mr. Bush is the Leder of the USA of America and thusly, the ruler of the world so you’d better straeghten out and fly right or you’ll be singing in the shower at Gitmo!
“Holy W, Batman! You’re like Bush?”
I read the Wall Street Journal’s piece comparing the trials and tribulations of Batman to those of President Bush. Wow! Was that a bat signal in the sky, or the letter “W?” I found the comparison interesting but have my own opinions about heroes and battles against evil.
On the rope of life, heroes climb above their weakest point, putting themselves at risk for the benefit of others. Love, compassion, duty and honor call them forth and they respond. Still, even heroes on a worthwhile quest against evil must search their own hearts for smoldering embers of hate or vengeance that could influence their actions and bring dishonor and disaster. We are only human. Heroes or not, we often fight our deadliest battles against ourselves and the best way to tame our dark, snarling inner desires is to flood those beasts with light.
We live in the real world, one with presidents and CEO’s but no superheroes of fantasy fame. Public awareness and debate about all sides of political and social issues must comprise the beams of light in our darkened skies. And we should all vote according to the signals in which we believe. That “W” stands for “We, the people,” if we let it.
Laurel Anne Hill
Author of “Heroes Arise,” a parable about the necessity and complexity of breaking the cycle of vengeance. (KOMENAR Publishing, October 2007)
That’s because your a filthy DEMON-crat that probably lives in San Francrisco and nos nothing of the ways of Republican love!
What if this is Larry Craig’s secret identity?

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