Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Bourne Idiocy, Part Deux

In As You Like It, Shakespeare famously wrote: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players [who] have their exits and their entrances."

However, many Hollywood stars think they're more than just "players" (and lotsa luck dragging them off stage). Some evidently believe stardom confers Cicero-like wisdom. Take Matt Damon. Doing his best Marcus Aurelius imitation (i.e., Jason Bourne in a toga), he recently told Elle magazine that he is disappointed with President Obama. "You know, a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done would have been, in the long run of the country, much better,” he said. This, mind you, is coming from a college drop-out (Damon) with the gall to critique the guy who earned two university degrees, edited the Harvard Law Review and became leader of the free world while being black. But I guess starring as "Bill the Krill" in Happy Feet 2 has given Damon special insight into judging presidential leadership.

Even Elle noted Damon's "now-familiar tone of wounded idealism." Evidently, Damon & Friends thought they had elected the Messiah to the White House. With Resurrection 2.0 nowhere in sight, they're crestfallen. What they got instead was the most productive president in half a century and who operates with the brains, efficiency and, yes, ruthlessness of Michael Corleone. Just ask Obama's opponents in The Five Families worldwide. Yes, Obama had to compromise at times -- you know, like those dithering Founding Fathers -- and he hasn't gotten everything he wants. But Bach's Präludium D Major is still playing in the background. (Think The Godfather, the Baptism sequence.) And yet Damon is convinced that Obama lacks cojones and has little to show since inauguration. Why do the Wizard of Oz lyrics to "If I Only Had A Brain" suddenly leap to mind?
With the thoughts you'd be thinkin'
You could be another Lincoln
If you only had a brain ...
Damon's observation is meaningless, of course. Were he a starring member of a theatre troupe in 180 AD and he made similar remarks about Emperor Aurelius, Damon's head would quickly find itself mounted on a Roman pike. Gaius Barackus Obama is more forgiving. But, like the Godfather, he also doesn't miss a thing. The president put the matter into proper perspective when he addressed the White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington: "I've even let down my key core constituency: movie stars. [laughter] Just the other day, Matt Damon -- I love Matt Damon, love the guy -- Matt Damon said he was disappointed in my performance. [dramatic pause] Well, Matt, I just saw The Adjustment Bureau, so ... right back atcha, buddy."

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