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Deana Walters

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Welcome To Follywood
By Deana Walters   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2008

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Commentary on the current political campaign

Welcome To Follywood
Marsha Dean Walker

I love movies, even bad movies. I like those memorable lines that most of us can relate to; the lines that live with us and haunt us and become almost a reflecting pool of people and events in our lives. The current political scene reminds me of a few of those movies and can be succinctly summarized by the lines from three of them.
For the past year or so we have been inundated by the endless speechifying of presidential wannabes. To date none of them embrace the passion of the speech delivered by Joe Pesci in defense of Brendan Fraser in the movie With Honors or the deliberately angry diatribe of a blind Al Pacino in defense of Chris O’Donnell as he addressed the school administrators in Scent of a Woman. None of the current political speeches are as motivational and stirring as Bill Pullman’s very presidential address to the troops in Independence Day. Bill wasn’t the president; he just did a great job of portraying him in the movie. Unlike the noise emanating from the throats of the presidential candidates these speeches made us applaud and cheer because they were relevant and sincere and they made the scripts believable. We could all appreciate the connection to the overall theme of the movie. The message was clear and required no further explanation or clarification.
The presidential campaign of 2008 can be summed up in three lines from three great movies. The first is Howard Beale portrayed by Peter Finch in Network shouting at the top of his lungs “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Next there is Stother Martin’s role as Captain in Cool Hand Luke informing Luke that “what we have here is a failure to communicate.” The last one of course is that unforgettable outburst by Jack Nicholson’s character Colonel Nathan Jessep in a Few Good Men where he told a very gutsy LTJG Daniel Kaffee, “You can’t handle the truth…”
The American public is truly mad as hell and they don’t want to have to take another four years of crazy presidential flexing. None of us wants to be held hostage to someone sitting in an expensive chair in an even more expensive room that we pay to maintain who simply doesn’t give a damn and who loves playing fast and loose with war initiatives and the economy.
As a nation we know firsthand of the failure to communicate. We have watched our less than esteemed leader tell us over and over that things are not as bad as we think they are and that recently Wall Street “tied one on” and then suffered through “the hangover.” This type of grandiloquent language is an affront to our intelligence. Things are every bit as bad and worse for some. The fact that some Americans truly believe the candidates when they declare their intentions to end the war in Iraq and make that chicken affordable so there can once again be one in every pot is a clear and shining example of that failure to communicate. It is exactly the sort of thing that sustains Follywood.
On January 21, 2009 and for several days, weeks, and months to come things will still be bad, the war was still be in progress and who knows, that chicken may still be rising in price. These men are running for President of the United States while making promises that would be tough for even Merlin to pull off.
Sometimes the plain old unadulterated truth is the most bitter and toughest pill to swallow. It is human nature to want to believe that things will change and they do, not necessarily for the better. The current administration has been out of touch with the voting public for so long that regardless of who replaces the president, their first task will be to somehow regain the public trust and the truth of the matter is whether younger and inexperienced or older and wizened the Follywood theatrics of the campaign will remain in the minds of the voters long after the election is held. I’m Marsha Dean Walker and I approve this commentary.

©Marsha Dean Walker
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