Saturday, September 01, 2012

Eastwood and Invoking the Isms

I was that kid in the front row chomping down on popcorn during the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. There he was, Clint Eastwood,  10 feet tall blasting the hell out of somebody so some poor folks could stop cowering in fear about the weekly desperado coming to loot up the joint.

My desperados were closer to home. It helped to know some body was doing something about it even if it was in Italy.

Clint Eastwood has made really great movies. It is not like I did not know he was a conservative. But it seemed like this was a guy you could disagree with and walk away with an honest discussion for a memory.

I don't know what to think now. When I see the photo of Clint Eastwood talking down to a chair there is  a twinge in my heart. I know what the chair represents. If you ever sat in a similar chair as a kid, you know that feeling.

Who Did He Think He Was Talking To?

My adult pain is tied up in a political campaign that has sought to alienate a good portion of those of us that are not male, European American or wealthy. We have been told we really don't know or have been correctly educated to understand what this country stands for; and only those that have the privileged of a monetary perspective can truly understand how America should be run.

The current campaign has told me as much through media and coded speeches to the fearful and the opportunistic.

I can get angry because it is the usual suspects. I can ignore them because I want to focus on positive action. I even cut back on blogging my agitation on BlogHer and other places because I don’t want to stir up a heated useless fuss.

I want to share paths to solutions. I can’t do that when I am so very angry. I’ve slipped up a few time but I don’t want to add to the noise. I really don’t.

There is a part of me that flashes back to that kid in the front row chomping down on popcorn during the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. That guy was invoked at the convention. Somebody else showed up.

I am not stupid. I expect political hyperbole in an election year. I expect that racism will be used as a method to get out the vote. And yes, facts will be an impediment to an successful campaign so ditch them.

I just didn’t expect this mess to come out of this man’s mouth.

It is not the first time somebody has used the invisible chair routine. The Smithsonian blog has a good write up about how the political chair has been used over the years.

The Grid Doesn’t Lie 

You have this film icon of imaginary gunfights and wars talking down to a chair. In that small chair is supposed to be the President of the United States of America. Reducing the image down to its core element you see:

Who is in power and who is the supplicant? Because when an 82 year old white man who has made his living off creating illusions of being the man that rights wrongs tries to chastise and speak for a sitting African American president using what he thinks is the vernacular:
I have to tell you it stinks. It is a familiar stench. I never thought that I’d see Clint do the “Old Massa” role.

The Rights of Free Speech

Yes, each citizen has the right to criticize and hold Obama accountable for what was promised and what was delivered. We don’t even have to be nice about it.

And dang skippy if some of y’all have been especially vocal in you disapproval.

There is just one fact that cannot be ignored. Obama is the President of the United States. Not your house boy.

And the icon used in that “performance” perhaps unintentionally, is a reminder of who intends to be in charge and how the old order will be restored.

A small message to those who fund and support the re-establishment of the old world order.

This is our place. Our country as well as yours. It is an inconvenient truth. For those of us that are not white, Christian or abstinent, we’d thought you had understood we live here too.

You might chose to be color blind or diversity hostile but this is where we shall continue to live, grow and prosper. Deal with it.

Mr. Eastwood, maybe you just got carried away in the moment. Maybe you truly feels the country should be rolled back to 1961. I don't know.

We Won’t Go Back.

There is this ember in me that wants to assert it is possible to find solutions that include grass roots networking and corporate relationships. It is possible to generate meaningful employment without giving multi-billionaires and corporations tax breaks or forcing people to work for impoverish wages.

I'm putting that ember in a safe place. America is not ready. Not today.

I’ll be better in a few days because good people will remind me that none of the work of a democracy is easy. This is a long distance run.

I just think we should not wait for something severe to happen that force people out of selfish, myopic visions.

Sadly, I know my history.

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