I amused myself today by imagining the performance of our Congress during the stimulus debate as a stage or film production, each cast member carefully rehearsing their lines and delivering them to the audience to alternating laughs, cheers and tears. But was it a slap-dash, see-how-they-run comedy or a Shakespearean tragedy? I suppose that’s up to the viewer, but I had a laugh imagining it as one of Michael Bay’s special-effects-laden, depth-deprived action/adventure blockbusters, which are typically grotesque amalgamations of both comedy and tragedy (unintentionally, of course). We had an impending disaster (usually a comet, a robot or Nicholas Cage, in this case the economic meltdown) that drove the action, a secret plan by the government to stop it (the stimulus, crafted behind closed doors by Democrats), and an elite strike force (Obama, Pelosi, Reid) intent on putting the plan into action, while of course blowing up lots of buildings, speedboats, helicopters and personal savings accounts. Our villains: the diabolical Wall Street fat cats (perhaps they’re evil, shape-shifting robot aliens?) and their Republican minions out to block the stimulus in order to continue drawing strength by drinking the bountiful tears of the poor and down-trodden. Like all Michael Bay films, however, the clumsy and invariably over-dramatic dialogue on the parts of the protagonists turns the film into farce in the attempt to elicit emotions of fear, suspense and adoration. And like all of his Hollywood blockbusters, it leaves you with a lighter wallet, buyer’s remorse and, when the adrenaline-induced thrills fade away, nothing of value learned.


Chris Berry said...

I can't decide if Nathan Lane or Harvey Fierstein should play Barney Frank.

Ben Wheat said...

Gotta go with Fierstein.