How about that Republican National Convention?
That sure was something wasn’t it?
Who would have guessed Obama could control hurricanes? I mean I knew he had a mean hook shot, but hurricanes? He must have used his Magic Negro Ray, or maybe it was HAARP.
I particularly enjoyed the part where Anne Romney explained how Mitt is just a regular guy and how they lived on Top Ramen and rotten cabbages that they scavenged from dumpsters behind the IGA.
I enjoyed Paul Ryan story time. Seriously, who doesn’t like a tall tale or two? Or six? I admit I was a wee bit disappointed he didn’t make a pit bull and lipstick joke though.
I thought it was darned nice of the Republican National Committee to be so honest and upfront about how the rest of us will be treated once Republicans retake the reins of power – i.e. the part where they changed the rules to declare the Ron Paul delegates null and void. Nothing tells you more about how your dissenting views will be regarded under a Romney Administration than that little maneuver. That’s the GOP version of democracy folks, if we don’t like how you vote, you just don’t get a vote. Now, sit down and shut up or we’ll have your ass waterboarded.
We finally got a look at the new Republican Party platform, 1) Hate Gays. 2) Hate Abortion. 3) Hate Gays. 5) Subjugate Women 5) Hate Gays. 6) Love Jesus. 7) Hate Gays. 8) Guns! 9) Also, Hate Us Some Gays.
And the best part? Clint Eastwood.
Just … wow.
I don’t think I’ve seen anything that cringe inducing since the San Diego Padres invited Rosanne Barr to caterwaul her way through the Star Spangled Banner back in 1990.
Surprise guest - that’s what Clint was billed as, the Republican National Convention surprise guest.
He sure was that, all right.
The sea of fixed smiles and frozen surprise as the camera panned over the audience said it all.
Now look, let’s not get off on the wrong foot here, Clint Eastwood is an American Icon. There’s no doubt about that.
Clint Eastwood is a lousy singer, a decent musician, a fine actor, a better writer, and a fantastic director. The guy has made terrific movies for fifty years on both sides of the camera. All those spaghetti westerns, The Outlaw Jose Wales, Kelly’s Heroes, Unforgiven. Grand Torino. Even the ones with the orangutan, those were pretty funny. And sure, he’s made some real stinkers, there was Space Cowboys, and that one about the the Russian super fighter plane that could read minds or some such nonsense, and City Heat. And there was the whole
Yoko Ono Sondra Locke period starting with that astounding piece of shit, The Gauntlet (Seriously, that pasty wan walleyed woman must be really, really good in the sack. I’m just saying).
Still, I love the man’s work, I do.
Yeah. Not so much.
At least that’s what I thought at first.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Eastwood, everybody from Rachel Maddow to every media outlet, pundit and talking head, to Barak Obama himself is shaking their collectives heads in puzzlement.
Even Eastwood’s friend, broadcaster Tom Brokaw, wondered what the hell was going on as Clint wandered off script. Brokaw quipped that Eastwood had made a career out of being a man of few words, but in his introduction of Mitt Romney, Brokaw tweeted that "As a surprise guest on the Tampa stage he [Eastwood] had too many words (I say as a friend)."
Even Fox News questioned Eastwood’s sanity and the sanity of the people who put him up to it (at least at first, until Fox found themselves on the same side of the fence with rest of the mainstream “liberal” media, and which point they reversed gears and proclaimed Eastwood’s act the single most hilarious bit of impromptu comedy ever performed, but I digress).
Could be they’re all wrong.
The more I look at it, the more Eastwood’s bizarre rambling interview with an empty chair appears to one of his best performances ever.
Could be Clint Eastwood was having one over on the GOP.
No really, think about it.
On the surface it appears to be a sad and poignant example of the disintegration of a once great institution.
But as a parody of the Republican Party itself, of the disintegration of a once great institution, Eastwood’s act was just plain brilliant – even if that’s not what he intended.
Crazy rambling old Blue Hair chasing phantoms only he can see? Good gravy! It’s John McCain!
Hell, Eastwood could have been a stand-in for Mitt Romney. Remember the “Half Time in America?” commercial? Clint Eastwood did a commercial during the Super Bowl last year where he talked about how Detroit, and the auto industry it’s famous for, is making a come back. Eastwood didn’t exactly say so, but the implication was that Bush and Obama sponsored industry bailouts were responsible.
Predictably, conservatives went apeshit – declaring Clint Eastwood a big government shill.
And today? Today he’s back in the fold, the GOP’s golden boy.
Just like Mitt. Flip flop, flip flog.
What Eastwood intended with his act is pretty obvious – Ha ha, Obama is an empty suit, an empty chair, ha ha, get it? Isn’t that funny? Obama’s not real, he’s not an American, ha ha, see? Let’s dress him up and put some words in his mouth and make him caper around around like one of them old timey minstrel shows where the white guy is painted up in blackface and singing in a funny version of Southern Negro. And then we’ll attack that. Ha ha, clever, right?
Isn’t that exactly what the GOP has been doing for last four years?
Isn’t that exactly what Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachman and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin and the Birthers and the Truthers and the conspiracy theorists and the Evangelicals and Fox News and all the regular old bigots on the street have been doing for the last four years? Well, isn’t it?
Conservatives haven’t been attacking Barack Obama for the last four years, they’ve been screaming at a fantasy, a strawman of their own creation.
Conservatives haven’t been attacking the actual president, instead they’ve been losing their minds over a supposed Muslim Communist Nazi Socialist Kenyan who wants to give everybody “free” healthcare by destroying capitalism through death panels convened by the New World Order of leftist radicals secretly controlled by Bill Ayers and the Black Panthers through the Federal Reserve and a program of forced vaccinations which causes young girls to become whores and which in turn forces young men to become crazed mass killers which is, of course, a false flag operation by the Obama Administration to usher in the United Nations who will confiscate our guns and herd us all into FEMA Death Camps of Death where everybody will be forced into an unending string of gay marriages and drone launched abortions in order to destroy the free market, give everybody free birth control, and bring about the End Times. Also, Nazis.
Clint Eastwood’s act at the RNC was a brilliant analogy for the republican party itself.
Folks, nothing, and I mean nothing, sums up the current state of the once great party of Lincoln like a raving old white guy yelling at an empty chair while everybody in the audience uncomfortably tries to pretend like nothing’s wrong.
If he could have worked in an orangutan, it would have been perfect.
Ya think Clint has been watching that old Jimmy Stewart movie "Harvey" ??ReplyDelete
I just couldn't watch it. I have been a fan since Rawhide. But as a friend of mine explained to me when I called her up in awe and apprehension that he would be the surprise guest, "He's an actor . . just an actor." Oh gawd why didn't he script himself. But, as you say, it put a pretty good picture up as to what the RNC is about.ReplyDelete
You did miss one plank in the platform. Subjugate women. Can't hate them because they are good for "one" thing but beyond that they should, as me mom use to tell me frequently, "sit down and shut up!"ReplyDelete
Noted. I fixed it.Delete
You are not the only with that theory.ReplyDelete
Wow. This creates a mind-boggling vista. Clint as parodist?ReplyDelete
Still...as you noted, he's a "better writer and a fantastic director."
Maybe he didn't wander off script. His own, anyway.
I've read speculation that Clint was taking the RNC money and running away with it but I've never seen it put so well. Thank Dog you're here Jim because with Joe Bageant dead the U.S. needs an honest voice to get them thinking. Take care of your health; please.ReplyDelete
Joe Bageant is dead? The world is a sadder place without him.Delete
"...pained up in blackface"?ReplyDelete
Did you mean "painted up", or am I just failing to keep up with the double-switchback punstry?
Oh it's definitely you.Delete
" . . the Magic Negro Ray . ." scary powerful weapon, that.ReplyDelete
Yep - I think you're onto something, Jim. I'll bet Those People use their Magic Negro Ray all the time to control the weather and white people, and probably tides, and earthquakes and volcanos too, if we had any.
But isn't the entire rationale for subjugating them that they are inferior to whites?Delete
During the slavery days, it was illegal in slave-holding states to teach blacks to read. Because, of course, they were livestock.Delete
Interestingly, there was never any prohibition against teaching cattle and pigs to read. Funny, that.
The amazing thing was how the following day, the Breitbrats started clutching their pearls at the reaction to Clint. Apparently, it's terribly offensive for people to ridicule an American icon. Especially while he's ridiculing the President of the United States.ReplyDelete
These people project more than a multi-plex.
I hear that Clint is taking his show on the road. It's going to be called "The Recliner Monologues."ReplyDelete
On the Daily Show last night, John Stewart posed the hypothesis that Republicans are seeing a different President Obama. One that the rest of us can't see. I think he's right.ReplyDelete
Okay, I'm at Geek North (Worldcon in Chicago) and missed the speech. Do you mean Clint literally yelled at an empty chair?ReplyDelete
You got the better show by going to WorldCon. Wish I was there. A whole bunch of my friends are. You come across any UCFers, buy them a beer for me.Delete
And yes, that's exactly what I mean. Clint Eastwood did a rambling off the cuff improv routine where he talked to an empty chair and pretended it was Barack Obama. It was sad and weird and sad and strange and mostly sad.
@Anonymous: "The Recliner Monologues". Love it.ReplyDelete
I asked my husband, who is currently deployed, if he had heard about Mr. Eastwood's speech. He said ," You mean the brilliant speech he gave at the Republican Convention?" At which point I remembered that the default channel in the Chief's mess on any USN ship is Fox. He hadn't seen any of it or read anything about it but word around the ship was that it was "brilliant." At this point I was banging my head against my desk and my husband was asking me what the clunking sound he heard over the phone was.ReplyDelete
I understand that FOX has ripped Paul Ryan for the lies in his speech. They must surely see the writing on the wall and already plan on using him as their scapegoat. They should have done that to Palin rather than give her a microphone.Delete
There is good news here for Clint Eastwood--Obamacare covers mental health and dementia.ReplyDelete
I'm supprised no one has mentioned Romney's comments about taking the next steps to stop Iraq from obtaining necular weapons. I don't have his exact wording, but it sure sounded like "send in the troops" to me.ReplyDelete
From there he went into a thinly veiled threat against Russia because he wouldn't take "it" any more. He didn't say what "it" was.
Sounds like we need a bigger army all right!
Somehow I'm wondering if Clint Eastwood did that on purpose to turn the GOP into the laughingstock of America.ReplyDelete
omfg, Jim. I watched it again this evening, my third time, Bobby's second time (also first time to try and sit through Mitt's spiel, ugh) and I shit you not, I started having the very same thoughts. It first started nudging me first time I viewed it when at the end he was trying to be all inclusive, and seemingly very sincere but you know, the audience really wanted no part of that business. Also, I'm betting he knows old Mitt was a law school graduate, right? Haaaahahahahah!ReplyDelete
Jim, I've followed your blog for almost a year now, and I really admire your style, sir- you have that ballsy Navy wit I always enjoyed from every Division Chief I've worked under, and you're not afraid to call bullshit on anyone or thing. I share your posts on the Facebook and hopefully have steered some traffic your way.ReplyDelete
That said, I just wanted to say that your example isn't the first I'd heard that Clint was flying a False Flag op at the RNC. I mean, they went to him, didn't they? After listening to all the hatred that he stirred up over his Chrysler Super Bowl commercial, could you blame the guy for giving the old Mittster a big ol' friendly 'screw you'? I love Clint for all the reasons you gave above, and even tolerated the movies he made with Sondra Locke- If you can't say anything else good about the guy, he was loyal to his loved ones. Unforgiven is one of my favorite movies, and Gran Torino as well, because they're basically stories of old men who had become extinct, as the world changed around them. I think his clever performance art piece in Tampa was more of the same- he portrayed himself as a confused, angry old man, and while that could be the reality, I kinda doubt it. I highly doubt he's senile- I think (hope) he's being shrewd. You said it yourself above- he's old school Republican- the party of ideas; unfortunately, that's not what the GOP is anymore. And since he probably feels he can't openly endorse Obama, he can be Mitt's 'crazy old uncle that you can't take anywhere'.
I prefer to think this was a deliberate sabotage on his part. Sadly though, this speech will be the stuff of legend long after Clint's amazing career is done.
Maybe his RNC speech was the same as reaching into his pocket in Gran Torino?Delete
Maybe I am just imagining this but I saw the skit as an alagory to the way the average American sees their congress critters - an empty chair. Oh they get elected and make pretty speeches, but when it comes time to actually represent the people who elected them, it is an empty seat. I would not be surprised if this stunt backfires seriously on the Republican party. If Clint was doing it on purpose, my hat's off to him.ReplyDelete
Moorcat (Is that a Berber Meercat?) - Our "elected" Congresscritters do indeed exist. They are predominately purchased by the 1% as investment properties. As long as they return a dependable 50 to 300% profit on election contributions they can keep their seats.Delete
As soon as they cannot sustain a profit, get out of their idealogical box, or even find a soul or conscience, they are fired and replace by a more pliable and stupid Tea Party moran who at least can remember to wipe off his chin before facing the cameras. Tommy D
No, it is more in reference to Terry Brooke's Moorcat, a sentiant feline companion to the Druid in the Shannara books.Delete
The question I pose is whether they exist for us - the voters who that representative is suppose to represent.
I think we're in "cognitive dissonance" phase now. This is the same phenomena used when end of the world people find the world doesn't end. It can't be because they're wrong or crazy, it's because it happened some other way regular people can't understand (and why the "rapture" was supposed to happen according to the NT within the lifetimes of the people who wrote it, and why it's still believed it will happen now because we're reading it wrong. Trust me, I have no reading comprehension skills deficit). So now people are saying "he meant to do this" because it's hard to see an icon go off the rails into crazy land as he ages, and since we like what he does, we have to find a reason not to freak out at something like this and condemn the man. But we should.ReplyDelete
I love your explanation, I honestly do! I think it's brilliant. But I don't for a second think it's true. I think as Clint has gotten older he's moved into the same crazy land old white people have seemed to move into with the birther controversy. And maybe it is racist, and maybe Clint is too because the old is passing away and he doesn't like it. That seems to me to be the straightforward interpretation of what happened. Occam's Razor and all ;) And it's sad to tarnish your legacy. But I'll continue to believe he did, and when I see an old movie remember what he used to be, not the crazy guy we saw. It's like when you see your old kind aunt in a nursing home and remember what a wonderful person she was.
I don't know, Clint has been feisty and does not conform to Republican 'values'. He is pro-choice, anti-war, pro gay marriage, and has been said to consider himself a Libertarian. His comment in a GQ interview in late 2009 about gay marriage: “I don’t give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.”Delete
Doesn't really sound like the GOP party line, lol. I guess time will tell whether he did this as a parody. Maybe he just figured if the party likes a man who 'plays a man with guns', he could use that for a little fun. Or maybe he's losing it, as you say.
Thanks Jim - I really have no idea why he was there - wasn't even much of a secret/mystery.ReplyDelete
Mrs Ryan's reaction seems to be that of someone on whom the truth is dawning as the speech continues
9 seconds - joy
6.29 min - discussing
8.56 min - this is awful
9.47 min - thank God it's over - Oh - smile for the camera.
is not on any of the films showing the full speech (seems to be replaced by audience cheers) - the video is from CNN - does that explain the look on Mrs Ryan's face?
I hadn't noticed that gesture either. Sadly I think it kinda proves Clint was in earnest the entire time. Much as I'd like to suppose otherwise. On the other hand Clint will matter less than zero, either way, come November.Delete
I think your correct Jim. Clint Eastwood is laughing his ass off over this thing. Perhaps he tried to insert a sense of "what the fuck?" introspection into the thoughtless acceptance of endless GOP newspeak. I think he mocked the GOP hatred of the Obama that does not exist. Or, he just forgot his Geritol.ReplyDelete
GOPs favorite Eastwood movie scene is from 'Play Misty for Me'. Eastwood punches the crazy obsessed Evelyn through the window and down the cliff. THAT's the way you handle uppity women.
But Repubs don't realize that THEY are collectively the Evelyn character. Cognitively disabled, psychotic (and functionally illiterate), obsessing on relationships, people, history and dangers that don't exist. Yeah, Eastwood knows how to handle crazy people. Act crazier. Tommy D
Either that, or he was channeling Abe "Old Man Yells at Trees" Simpson.Delete
Perhaps Ted Nugent can put the whole thing to music ....... ?ReplyDelete
Bearsense is my new favorite.Delete
And Shatner can put it to poetic tempo.Delete
With trenchant commentary/liner notes by Charlie DanielsDelete
Appreciate it !! Thanks for givin' the old bear a hoot !!!!Delete
Love the writing.
........ any chance of getting added to the blogroll ???? Idlehandsdep.blogspot.com
just askin' (can't hurry, eh??)
You realize the only reason this is even a question is because of his age. If he were 30 years younger, it would not even have been a question. Everyone would have accepted that it was an act put on by an actor. Also, dementia and alzheimers do not cause people to hallucinate and talk to people who aren't there.ReplyDelete
They don't? Damn. There goes the explanation for the rest of the GOP.Delete
I'm really hoping Squint was taking the modern day teabagging GOoPers for a "wild ride" as up until now he seemed like one of the last rational R's left. Just my opinion of course.ReplyDelete
I like Eastwood the actor, and a little of his directorial oeuvre. However, like most actor-turned-director people, I think he's seriously overrated.ReplyDelete
Million Dollar Baby stank. I wish I could scrub it from my memory bank. Even Unforgiven, which was his best, needed editing, particularly the beat-a-dead-horse it's-so-difficult-to-mount-a-horse scenes. The joke got old fast, and he stuck with it. Worst of all for me was the "music" he composed for The Changeling. That film could have, and should have been great, but his "cool jazz" undermined it, dragging me out of the period with every note. Too bad, so sad, that he didn't use period music, which would have grounded the film into reality. Instead, he drowned the film in anachronism.
LA times published an article about it (and I commented there, too):
We were discussing this last night over dinner. The day after the speech, no one was discussing how lackluster Romney's speech was, they were just talking about Eastwood's empty chair routine. Maybe it was intended to deflect attention away from the emptiness of the main act.ReplyDelete
LOL! Jim, you CRACK ME UP! I love your keen observations and clear thinking. Keep up the good work! I am going to share this post with some friends. :-)ReplyDelete
Finally got around to watching Mr. Eastwood's speech. Talk about mediocre, all the actors I've known and come across, always come over better in the movies 'cos someone else writes their lines!ReplyDelete
You should've stuck to the script.
Personally, I like the 'Game of Thrones' 'Eastwooding' meme in this article:ReplyDelete