II. G -SPOT
As a lover of all things Godzilla -- except, of course, the awful
1998 American remake -- Wit Memo
relished the recent theatrical release of the restored, uncut, undubbed,
original, pre-camp Japanese version, lately lauded as a more explicit metaphor
for Japan's unique nuclear experience than the edited, stateside version
seen forever on TV. And while it was huge fun to finally see the big guy
on the big screen, at Silver Spring's universally-adored AFI Silver
it's still a Godzilla movie, and Godzilla is still a galoot in a
big rubber suit.
But to all those "cineastes" suggesting that the flick's alleged ascent
to High Art might be due in any way to the excision of veteran actor
RAYMOND BURR, who, in footage filmed just for the US release, contributed
narration, gravitas, and a familiar star presence as American reporter
Steve Martin, Wit Memo says,
excuuuse me?!? Raymond Burr didn't make Godzilla campy, and
didn't detract from Godzilla one iota. Raymond Burr was a welcome presence
in every production he ever appeared in, whether as Perry Mason, Ironsides, or the murderer in
Raymond Burr was truly a "Godzilla" . . . of the thespian world.
And the AFI Silver? Gorgeous, with comfy seats and cupholders where
you can park the draft beer for sale at the refreshment stand.
It's true: a movie theater that sells beer! Beer that you can take
into the movie! What could be more civilized? What are all the
other movie theaters waiting for?
But, ultimately, we don't feel comfortable at the AFI Silver. The problem?
Too many film buffs. Too many movie nerds. During soundtrack lulls you
hear their urgent whispers: now this is the scene where Hitchcock blah
blah blah ... for this shot, Truffaut blah blah blah. Even the staff
are film nerds. They're all young and fresh and eager and seem to truly
enjoy working there, instead of behaving like normal people of that age,
who should be trying to do as little work as possible while stealing everything
they can from their employer.
III. THE GREATEST
Now that Memorial Day is finally past, and the 60th
anniversary of D-Day soon to follow, can we PLEASE nix
the blather about "the greatest generation?" It's been like visiting
a nursing home and counting the seconds until you can leave. Make no bones
about it: our parent's generation won that moniker only through an accident
of timing. Never mind that the concept of "generations" is a fallacy, a
bogus attempt to force a linear continuum into abitrary compartments. If
any generation should be called the greatest, it is certainly we,
THE WIT MEMO GENERATION. We baby boomers invented civil rights,
ended the war in Vietnam, created rock, discovered the environment, and
weathered a storm of drugs that's knocked the younger set right on its
tattooed, overly pierced ear. And if we've dislocated our shoulders patting
ourselves on the back, it's only 'cause we tired of waiting for someone
else to say, "Thanks!"
IV. IRAQ PRISON TORTURE:
Oh my goodness gracious, is DONALD RUMSFELD ever in hot water
again. The stone-cold killer with the Ned Flanders vocabulary took
it on the chin after the press published those awful prison photos. He's
heard calls for his resignation, and even had to endure the snide interrogations
of grandstanding congressmen. (SHOULD he resign? No! He should hang
in there and take some more hits!)
Last year, Wit Memo pulled
Rumsfeld's chestnuts out of the fire after his "old Europe" remark,
and we're here to help pry his foot from his mouth once again. If he listens
to Wit Memo , he can turn this whole
torture argy-bargy into a public relations bonanza for the United States
that will foment a flowering of democracy throughout the Arab world . .
. which was, after all, the reason we went to war in the first place.
The recipe for getting out of this jam was first hinted at by Donnie
himself - we stopped calling him "Rummy" because we weren't sure how the
real rummies felt about it - when he argued that the pictured
beatings, dog attacks and sexual humiliations weren't really "torture,"
but merely abuse . . . presumably, because in no picture could one see
any of the medieval implements on display at Amsterdam's
Torture Museum. Take a coupla of tablespoons of that bracing attitude,
stir in a quarter cup of Senator JAMES INHOFE's outrage
at those who professed to be outraged, whisk in a dash of RUSH LIMBAUGH's
evocation of fraternity hazings, baste liberally with news reports of plans
to release Saddam-era torture videos to make ours seem trivial by comparison,
cover tightly and simmer in a tightly-controlled environment, and voila!
The whole schmear was carefully calculated to teach those nasty Arab dictatorships
a lesson in the beauty of democracy:
Come, come and see the CIVILIZED way a FREE
society mistreats its enemies. And when your poor, enslaved subjects
see what passes for "torture" in a REAL democracy, they'll no longer
abide the oppression by which you've maintained power, and your days will
be numbered, as an unslakable thirst for democracy shakes your despotic
regimes to their very foundations.
And the perfect classroom for this lesson in the stark contrast between
tyranny and freedom? Why, SADDAM HUSSEIN's own notorious Abu
Graib prison! What a stroke of genius! And to think that some people
actually wanted to tear the place down! What were they thinking?
"I've never seen this country more polarized"
-- Senator John McCain, on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart."
There you have it: The country's cleaved and you're either conservative
or liberal, no exceptions. Could anyone be more unhappy over this nation
divided than Wit Memo, everybody's
apolitical friend, who wants only to be loved by all, blue and red?
But now, finally, a whiff of hope, the first crack in the icebound political
harbor. Wit Memo is delighted to report
that, at long last, our conservative pals are abandoning the politics
of divisiveness, and behaving like reasonable human beings. When will our
liberal chums follow suit?
You're skeptical? Up the receptacle? Then see how conservatives have
-They now accept that the President of the United States is the President
of ALL Americans.
One of the most novel conservative ideas over the last decade was that
BILL CLINTON had a less-than-legitimate claim to the presidency
because he didn't receive a majority of the votes. A minority President,
he had no mandate to govern. Thus did former Sen Majority leader DICK
ARMEY deride him in remarks to Senate Dems as "your President."
But now, we've got a President who not only didn't get a majority of
the votes, but who got fewer votes than the other guy And the conservatives
who peddled that minority-president hokum? They've kept mum. They've seen
the error of their ways, and are determined not to repeat them, even at
the risk of appearing inconsistent. If that's not a mark of blossoming
maturity, we don't know what is.
-They've gotten over their childish obsession with lies.
Everybody lies. As they should. When Wit Memo
asks a casual acquaintance "how ya doin?" we don't want to hear about his
ulcerative colitis, or the perceived injustice of his divorce proceedings.
We expect him to lie. Courtesy demands it. And any parents
who teach their kids that all lies are equally bad are, well, lying.
But barely five years ago, conservatives acted like they thought lying
was a terrible sin, and no one who told a lie should ever be forgiven .
. . not even a President of the United States. They impeached the President
for lying, about inconsequential crap like whether he felt up a zaftig
young gal, and who-gave-who some crummy gifts. Their fetish for rigid truthfulness
achieved apogee during the Senate trial, when House
Judiciary Chairman HENRY HYDE read
a letter from a third-grader suggesting that POTUS be forced
to write a 100-word essay on "why it's wrong to lie," an essay that the
youngster was made to write after his Dad caught him in a lie and
he'd pleaded "but the President lies!" How, the angry Dad demanded, are
we supposed to tell our children not to lie if the President gets away
with lying? (That incompetent Dad wasn't even trying. You need a
license to drive, but not to have kids!)