Welcome to my asylum for ideas and thoughts on movies, politics, culture, and all things Bruce Springsteen.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Happy Birthday to "Stupid Is as Stupid Does"

One of my all-time favorite films, Forrest Gump, was released July 6, 1994, ten years ago today. Naysayers have at it, as I know that it's full of sentimental fluff. However, I love this film for many reasons. The post-WWII historical events and issues; the performances of Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, and Gary Sinese; and the tale of one man's life changing with the country he lived in all resonate deeply. While I've always wondered how the movie would have turned out had Howard Zinn written the screenplay, for movie's sake, I'll stick with Bob Zemeckis' version and be thankful for the great quotes, a killer soundtrack, Tom Hanks' unforgettable performance, spectacular visual effects, and a heartfelt story that taught me to contextualize the events and issues of my own life with those that the nation has faced over the last twenty five years. Raise your glasses and toast a great film.

Since I'm discussing the impact of a simpleton on American history, I find it no coincidence that 58 years ago, George Walker Bush was born. I'm not going to identify the parallels in the lives of Forrest Gump and George Bush, I'll let you do that. I will mention the interesting article in the latest Atlantic Monthly that compares the W. of the 1994 governor's race to the current president. The author (whose name eludes me, unfortunately) shows the candidate (released ten years ago just like Forrest) as one who appeared well-versed on major issues, a populist that grasped the needs of the people, and a speaker who demonstrated mastery of the English language, three things the man has totally failed at since being selected president. I'd love to hear other's connections between these two characters, please. However, if I were to equate ol' Georgie Boy with a movie character, I think I'd see him as Dark Helmet in Mel Brooks' Space Balls. Here's an absolute troll with the intelligence of the Scarecrow(if he only had a ...) who tries ruling the universe like a supreme thug like Darth Vader (sorry, Darth). Maybe director Tim Burton's trying to make a real-life version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, starring Bushie Boy and Dick Cheney as Jabba the Hutt. I'd go see that! Now, speaking of Dick "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" Cheney, isn't he a piece of work? We'll contemplate Halliburton, the Secretary of Defense, and other stuff later, but right now isn't he a bit behind the times? Just a couple of weeks ago, Pottie Mouth told New York Senator Patrick Leahy to "go f#*k yourself" on the floor of the Senate. C'mon, now, Dick, we live in the post-American Pie era (P.A.P.!). You're just now promoting what Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders was telling kids to do more than ten years ago! No wonder why he's got such a contorted look on his face. Mr. Cheney, if you would just practice what you preached, you'd look a lot happier and would't be so tense. Plus, remember, "self-dating" as described by that American philosopher Woody Allen was as "sex with someone I love." Ten years ago, Republicans called for Elders' head on a platter; now, they probably would get mad at Cheney because his comment didn't fall under the "abstinence-only" policy of the current administration. To each his own, Vice President Hutt, but like George Costanza, a Glamour magazine and five minutes alone would solve a ton of problems, and maybe even distract you from trying to bury your energy meeting files somewhere in the bowels of the Vice President's mansion...