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

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Guns of August

Frank Rich's Sunday column, The Guns of August, deals with the violent talk and action on the right, an elaboration on what he said on Rachel Maddow's show, i.e.: "The simmering undertone of violence in our politics seems to be getting darker."

The prevailing fear of the government that Rich touches on in this column is disturbing. During conservative regimes -- Reagan, the Bushes -- liberals seem to be able to handle their lack of power better than conservatives do when the Democrats (not to call them liberals) are in charge. I recently saw this at work when an old high school friend, with whom I had got in touch in connection with my class's reunion last year, commented on one of my Facebook posts that she was appalled at the liberalism in the link (to a Daily Kos item, I think) it contained. I responded that I appreciated her point of view, but that I naturally disagreed with hers.

It turned out that she had been participating in tea party and town hall protests, and she seemed to be terrified that the White House would find out and somehow punish her for it. (Evidently, she and her husband had once been audited by the IRS.) She wrote that she was discontinuing our Facebook connection -- "defriending" me -- and that she would prefer that I not contact her again.

I'm certain that she would never do anything violent, but it's clear that the merchants of fear had found in her a ready customer. I only wonder what other customers they have sold their brands to.

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