A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Monday, January 5, 2009

Vive la Californie!

Phil Trounstine, once a deliciously cantankerous political writer for the Mercury News and now a political "consultant" (whatever the hell that is), was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle today on the subject of Bush's attitude toward California: "He regarded California sort of like France -- as a foreign entity for which he had nothing but scorn. Except for this: He did more damage to California than he ever did to France."

Nicely put, and it reminded me of one of the defining moments (there were so many of them) of the Bush presidency, when he mocked a reporter traveling with him for speaking French -- to a Frenchman. In Bushworld, the only foreign languages allowed were apparently a few phrases of schoolbook Spanish that he came out with for stump speeches in Miami and the Southwest.

Bush rarely visited California, the article notes, and never San Francisco. To do so might have signaled some kind of endorsement of "San Francisco values," the right's anathema. To my mind, San Francisco values include fair-mindedness, diversity, and a concern for the rights of minorities and the welfare of the less fortunate. So I guess I can see why the Republican Party might reject them.

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