Sunday, September 03, 2006

In the Land of Make Believe

Someone made a fictional "what if?" movie about the assassination of President Bush?

My distaste for this exists on many levels. Not the least of which is that, if something like that actually happened, there'd be mobs lining Southern liberals like me up against the wall within 24 hours.

Maybe I just have on some rose colored lenses when it comes to past political discourse, but I'm pretty sure I remember a time when there wasn't a lot of assassination fiction regarding sitting political figures.

These days, members of Congress have spoken of violence against the Judicial Branch as political expression; well read pundits advocate sending people like me to Guantanamo, assassinating people who disagree with them, and 'religious leaders' like Pat Robertson advocate the assassination of other world leaders; I even remember the famous quote back in the day that President Clinton ought not come to North Carolina.

I mean, is it just me, or does the discourse more easily move towards talk of political assassination and violence these days than it once did? I just can't remember it happening back in the day. I can't say I like this kind of talk one little bit.


petallic said...

I take issue with two parts of that article:

#1. “It’s an extraordinarily gripping and powerful piece of work"

The English have never created a gripping, powerful piece of work for television. English dramatic television is CRAP. Bollocking buggering crap. See Coronation Street for Exhibit A. Comedy they can do; see The Office for an example. But drama? Forgetaboutit.

#2. "'Death of a President' is directed by Gabriel Range, whose 2003 TV movie 'The Day Britain Stopped' showed what might happen if the country’s transportation network ground to a halt." (emphasis mine)

The National Rail system grinds to a halt about once a week, and nothing major happens. Their train system is fabulous, but it's also largely responsible for the literate nature of the English. You won't catch a Brit without something to read 'cause they know their commute could hit a 2-hour snag at any moment. It also explains why they are such polite travelers, and we're not.

I don't like the idea of this film, but only because I think it's in poor taste to base a film on the death of a living person. If one of my students wrote a fictional piece called, "Death of an English Teacher," I would not be pleased, to say the least.

Dante said...

Somebody has obviously never seen "Buddha of Suburbia." English dramatic television can be very good. Keep in mind that Coronation Street is a soap opera. Soap operas are generally terrible. Saying, "English dramatic television is CRAP. Bollocking buggering crap. See Coronation Street for Exhibit A." is the equivalent of saying "American dramatic television is CRAP. Like, a lot crap and stuff. See All My Children for Exhibit A."

"Bleak House" is an example of a good current British drama series. "Green Wing" is an example of a terrible current British comedy series. Remember that what we see on TV on this side of the pond is the very best television BBC America and PBS are willing to pay for. That usually means low rent shows like comedies and soap operas.

petallic said...

Dante, I'm not speaking of BBC America or PBS. I lived there, I have seen every show you mentioned, and I stand by my statement.

And while Coronation Street may be a soap opera, it's a PRIME TIME soap opera.

Dante said...

"And while Coronation Street may be a soap opera, it's a PRIME TIME soap opera."

So was Dynasty.

Have you really been watching "Bleak House?" The new one? It is most excellent.

petallic said...

Yes, Dynasty was prime time, and it too was crap.

Wouldn't you give the credit for Bleak House more to Dickens than to fine English broadcasting? Yeah, I suppose it's good for a period piece. And yes, I'm an English teacher saying that.