Monday, June 28, 2004

Weekend Update

Questions for Ronald P. Reagan: The Son Also Rises

Now that the Reagan nostalgia is done, his son is talking--and it won't make George W. Bush happy. Or Dick Cheney, who the younger Reagan says isn't a "mindful human being." Ouch.


This was quite a weekend. Carissa visited, and we spent Friday treating Chicagoland like some kind of tourist paradise. We went to the Strawberry Festival in Long Grove, where we feasted on confectioner's chocolates, drank strawberry wine, and devoured grilled chicken on a stick that tasted better than any meat I've ever eaten. Then we headed to Oak Park, where we toured the Frank Lloyd Wright house and studio and took a walk past the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway. (I've decided I want to live in beautiful Oak Park. Anyone interested in loaning me a million dollars to make this dream come true can contact me.) From there, we hopped on the Green Line and headed downtown for the Taste of Chicago, where $21 bought us 11 different treats, including some breaded ravioli, pierogies, Italian ice, waffle-cut fries, nachos, a cheeseburger, a hot dog, fried dough, and garlic-cheese bread. On the way home, we completed our tourist trip by stopping at IKEA, quite possibly Schaumburg's top attraction these days.

Saturday we saw Fahrenheit 9/11, a brief review of which I'll provide now because I don't know if I can say anything lengthy about it. I really enjoyed the movie, of course, and it has many moments that are great cinema: Al Gore stopping one representative after another from contesting the election results that would make George W. Bush the president, Bush sitting with a befuddled look on his face for seven minutes after finding out about the World Trade Center, Prince Bandar saying things on TV that directly contradict what he says today about flights out of the country for relatives of Osama bin Laden, and Moore turning the Bush administration's key figures into characters on Bonanza to great comedic effect. But Moore also has a tendency to hit you over the head that can get jarring--and despite this, he fails to hit us over the head with what appears to be the thesis of his film, that Bush and his ilk used 9/11 to consolidate power and money for themselves and their allies while inflicting the damages of that consolidation on an unwitting American public and especially on those who can least afford the damage, the working class folks who make up much of the active military and reserves that has been asked to serve an unjust cause in Iraq. The movie has the goods to make this point, but Moore seems to get distracted from stating the logic behind his point, showing us how he got from A to B to C, by his loathing for Bush and his desire to use all the great footage he has. I understand the logic, but I understood it before I sat down in the theatre. He could have made it more clear for everyone. Then again, considering the likely audience for the film, he probably doesn't need to sell the "Bush is BAD" message. We bought that with the movie ticket.

A question to close this long post: Do you think, if they had known that Bush would be this vulnerable, the Democrats would have run someone else against him? Nothing against John Kerry, but would they have recruited Hillary or someone of her high profile to give Bush a star-powered beating?

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