Sunday, June 06, 2004

We're All Frozen Smiles!

Went to see "The Day After Tomorrow," mainly because we'd been promised that the Dick-Cheney-look-alike fictional vice president in the film gets flash frozen. Not true. It's the clueless President of the United States who gets flash frozen, only the sequence got cut out of the final print. Durn it!

The VP character in the film, aside from looking remarkably like Dick Cheney, also acts remarkably like Dick Cheney, brusquely refusing to listen to anything that doesn't reinforce his world view. Which makes the ending a colossal out-of-character groaner. In the final moments of the movie, the Vice President apologizes for being so stubbornly short-sighted about the fragility of the environment. While everything else in "The Day After Tomorrow" is so totally, completely, abjectly believeable (including a 50-foot ocean swell that swamps Manhattan but leaves the Statue of Liberty standing), that apology is just too out there!

Back in what passes for everyday reality, Cheney has been seemingly unleashed this year from his semi-permanent protective custody to make a series of up-is-down speeches which David Sirota recently discussed in the pages of In These Times: "His judgment is so severely impaired that he relies on Fox for facts, Wal-Mart for economics, Halliburton for ethics and Don Rumsfeld for security. Cheney's psychological profile has become suspiciously similar to your 'crazy Uncle Ned' -- a man you don't want anywhere near your family. And yet, just one heartbeat separates Uncle Ned from all of our families."

(Cheney last month told thousands of Republican Party loyalists that he "ends up spending a lot of time watching Fox News, because they're more accurate." And if you've finished doubling up over that one, try his extended take on the beauty that is Wal-Mart (via Sirota): Cheney "cited the corporation as 'one of our nation's best companies,' ignoring its poverty-level wages, mistreatment of workers and repeated violations of environmental law. He claimed the company 'exemplifies some of the very best qualities in our country -- hard work, the spirit of enterprise, fair dealing and integrity.' He failed to mention the 60 federal complaints against the company for workplace violations, Wal-Mart's decisions to lock workers into stores and charges that it doctored hourly employees' time records in order to skimp on wages. Instead, he parroted the Wal-Mart executives, the same ones who are bankrolling the Bush-Cheney campaign, and called for 'litigation reform,' saying the problem afflicting America is pesky workers who have the nerve to challenge corporate malfeasance in court.")

Where is flash-freezing when you really need it?

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