September 28, 2005
Commandress in Chief
Geena Davis plays the Independent Vice-President Mackenzie Allen who assumes the job of a Republican President on his death. In the tradition of television's propaganda shows (but – someone might ask – is there any other kind?), the most critical problems faced by the US Government are things like rescuing a woman held for adultery in Nigeria. TV Governments never find themselves face to face with catastrophes such as, for instance, having destroyed a whole country.
Anyway, President Allen’s first act as President is to bestow American benevolence on the said Nigerian woman. The woman has been sentenced to death, and is to be executed in some crude fashion, which, needless to say, offends American sensibilities. Any kind of violence, don’t you know, offends American sensibilities. The Nigerian ambassador is duly summoned to the White House to hear about plans for a massive rescue operation in case the woman is not released into US custody. Nigeria duly complies.
There have in reality been several such verdicts in Nigeria in recent years, and the US Government (the real US Government, that is) has done nothing whatsoever in any of those cases, other than registering strong condemnations. Those verdicts were eventually overturned through diplomatic intervention by other African states and worldwide protests, which is an example of the multilateralism that solves the world's problems instead of creating new ones.
This is, of course, quite normal. No US government has ever intervened militarily to save the life of a foreign national, unless that foreign national happened to be of some use to the US government. Examples are German scientists who were removed from Germany after WWII, given new employment in weaponry and rocket development, and spared from facing the Nuremberg trials.
In the TV world, though, every undertaking of the US government is for the purpose of furthering truth and justice. Even when it does something that smells of villainy, it is for a good end, such as the assassination of an Arab leader on West Wing. After all, he was suspected of supporting terrorism …
As I have said a number of times in this blog, even American leftists are unable to perceive the real nature of their government. So, for instance, Martin Sheen, who has spent much of his life protesting against US policies, was happy to act in a TV show (West Wing) that only served the usual propaganda line. Even American leftists, in other words, see the evil that their government commits as an aberration. They are blind to the real nature of the entire American political project since its inception, which began with the Founding Fathers’ promulgation of racism and expansionism.
When a Democratic TV President played by a known professional protester failed to portray the reality of US power, what can we hope for from an Independent one?
• My other posts on related topics:
Opportunism, thy name is Dubya!
I would guess that Martin Sheen, a life-long actor from a family of life-long actors, has become so influenced by the endless stream of propagandist garbage coming from his collegues that he fails to see the issues that he protests as symptoms of larger systemic issues. He is very likely a registered, partisan Democrat, and so his protests do not serve the causes of justice and compassion, but rather the cause of getting his friends elected by making the other guys look bad.
As to Martin Sheen, my guess is that there are various aspects to his problematic. Although, like you, I would assume that he is a registered Democrat, I am not sure whether I would call him a partisan Democrat. He has, as far as I know, protested against policies of US presidents of both political stripes. Also, I think he protests against these policies from a religio-ethical standpoint, which puts him beyond opportunism. His social position as a famous actor in a family of famous actors may, however, have forced him to be content with a compromised standpoint that is less than radical.
It's interesting to see that despite our detachment from the U.S., we're still drawn into the messy world of America.
I've come to realize that there are many who live in the United States of Canada who have a similar perspective to our own.
I'd like to recommend Daliwood and The Unapologetic Atheist as examples.
Americans and perhaps people all over the world are brainwashed by Hollywood and the American news media to believe that America could be something different; and we keep hoping that might be true. When we see the fictional presidents on the TV screen who do the right thing, it gives us a good feeling. That perhaps Dubya and his gang of criminals are not what America is all about. That perhaps if the "right" administration takes over, then we might have a different world. Then we switch the channel to CNN or whatever and we see Dubya explaining all his blunders and all the havoc that he's created in the world. Goodbye the TV president(s) and hello the "real" president.
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