Dans La Rue! C'est Juste Le Dèbut...Le Combat Continue! genre: Nouveau Thoughts & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation
Call me a dreamer. The title of this posting is from the Bertolucci movie...The Dreamers...a film set in Paris during the tumultuous 60's. Bertolucci, a master at exploring every facet of his character's psyches, tackles the lives of three friends seeking meaning in a complex world...a world undergoing rapid changes...a world where some seek refuge in the safety of the past and others are pulled by the promise of a new tomorrow.
Theo and Isabelle, twins who reside in France while living in a make believe world built around lines they've embraced from the countless films they've watched at the cinema, befriend Matthew, an American student. As the lives of the three become increasingly intertwined, Matthew comes to realize that his friends, inviting as they are, remain enmeshed in an unbreakable bond that shields them from the world they so deftly discuss...a world they find too frightening to face.
So by now, you must be saying to yourself, what on earth does this have to do with the world in which we live. Well, it's the vehicle by which one can understand the gravity of the brouhaha over the utterance of "lipstick on a pig" by Barack Obama. I'll attempt an explanation.
In each of our lives, the trajectory of the society in which we reside influences the identities we adopt as individuals and shapes the standing we hold in the larger world. America has long been a bastion of reason amidst the brazen blustering of banal bullies intent upon exporting their ideologies...without consideration of the carnage that will be left in the wake of their wanton ways.
Unfortunately, the desire to lead America (an oxymoron of sorts)...now little more than the act of amassing power for profit...has deteriorated into deliberate attempts to distract voters. Like Theo and Isabelle, the average voter, traumatized by the inconsistency of daily lives that teeter between acts of terror and episodes of temerity, is increasingly drawn in by the lines uttered by actors propped up in front of us. While the strings that manipulate these partisan puppets are often in full view, the ability to discern fact from fiction becomes an abstraction on the order of kabuki theater.
Just as The Manchurian Candidate was remade to reflect the conflicts of a modern world, so too has Sarah Palin been recast as the protagonist in a plot designed to jumble the images we see when we look in the mirror...earnestly seeking to understand the essence of our nation's collective identity. This production, while a palpable parsing of words and an attempt to depict Palin as the pilloried govern-ess, is ultimately as unpalatable as the hemlock poured into the cup of the classic character, Romeo, who, like the voting public, was the victim of misdirection and misinformation.
Sarah Palin is an individual possessed of the same traits that make us all human...a mix of good and bad...but nonetheless fully human. Unfortunately, she has been tactically transformed into something else...ground zero for an ideological illusion designed to obfuscate...in order to divide and pull victory from the jaws of defeat.
Sarah Palin is adept at repeating her lines. She recites the divisive rhetoric, of those who chose her to transpose the trajectory of a nation desperately in search of a reasoned dialogue, with great ease. Her reference to lipstick, translated in literary terms, is apt to be the foreshadowing of a foreboding finale.
While this luminous lubricant has allowed her handlers to highlight her as something delicate and different...and someone to be protected from examination...their actions to cast her as victim serve to open wounds that have festered for years under the salve of a seemingly superficial commitment to civility.
As with all dreams, there is the possibility that this election will send us tumbling into the darkness we've come to know through nightmares. November will undoubtedly bring this election of esoteric interest to its inevitable end...but it may also ignite the same awakening that led Theo and Isabelle to cast aside their convoluted caricatures and enter the world they flirted with from afar.
When "the street came flying into the room", they recognized that their oasis of denial could no longer isolate them from the river of rancor racing through a fractured society. As they join the angry masses on the street, Matthew pleads with his friends to choose a different route. Despite his rational recitations, it is clear that Theo and Isabelle, damaged as they were, could no longer retreat to the confines of complacency. Their lives could no longer be reduced to clever lines cleaved from the cinema.
Life must be about choosing to live...here and now...free from the shackles of subterfuge...unencumbered by the ostentatiousness of gaudy gimmickry and manufactured memes. Come November 5th., America will have chosen its course. I, for one, will either be renewed by the refusal of voters to retreat under the weight of reckless rhetoric, or I will be exiting my cocoon of comfort...shouting..."Dans la rue! Dans la rue! C'est juste le dèbut. Le combat continue!"