“Gentlemen of the court, there are times when I’m ashamed to be a member of the human race and this is one such occasion.” — Kirk Douglas‘s Colonel Dax character in Stanley Kubrick‘s Paths of Glory.
Yesterday older, mostly white middle-class voters, understandably enraged about the generally healthy economy, the lowest unemployment rate in many years, a successful implementation of Obamacare, no terrorist attacks over the last six years and the fact that two people with the Ebola virus flew into this country and infected three health-care workers, installed a Republican majority in the Senate and a big Republican majority in the House. And today a major, must-see Chris Nolan film about the ruination and abandonment of our planet is opening nationwide. It seems to me that there’s a certain ironic linkage in that, and most likely a general disconnect among the natives.
Tens of thousands of Americans will be seeing Interstellar today and over the next five days and beyond, including those who voted for all of those highly principled Republicans who’ll be sworn in next January. The rural, mostly-white yokels who voted against President Barack Obama‘s Stalinist health-care system, his African heritage and his utter failure to stop the scourge of Ebola may be touched by Nolan’s film, and they may nod in recognition as they consider a possible future in which earth has become all but uninhabitable. But it’s probably a safe bet that very few of them will say as they walk out of the theatre in Bumblefuck, Kansas or wherever the fuck they live, “Yeah, the earth is partly destroyed now and our grandchildren and great-grandchilden will be really screwed if we don’t do something…hey, who did we just vote for?”
Is there anyone who thinks the new Republican legislative leadership is going to do anything but stall or roll back or ignore any bills or initiatives to try and curtail environmental degradation and ruin? I’m not saying that Democrats are bold and enlightened when it comes to backing earth-friendly initiatives, but we all know that Republicans have earned a full-boat reputation as irresponsible caretakers and, especially among Tea Party types, climate-change deniers. Most of what will happen over the next two years and three months will be the usual governmental gridlock. I get that. But we can probably count on the fact that however fucked the earth might be now, the right is going to do what it can to make it a bit worse over the next 27 months. And you voted for that, America. Happy?
“I don’t want to know about people who live and work in…shitkicker backroad regions. Please. I like Paris and Tuscany and the desert and Blurays and beautiful women. I don’t want or need this grime in my life.” — from my 11.10.13 review of Out Of The Furnace.