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Why do they change the movies when they reissue them for VHS/DVD? I just watched E.T. with my kid – my first viewing in over two decades. Apparently intending to soft-pedal the obscure politics contained in the film, Spielberg, who is endorsing Republican governors in his old age, removed the guns from the government folk trying to track down the alien muppet. And apparently intending to avoid offending anybody in a post-911 political climate, he brushed out the “No Nukes” concert t-shirt that was originally worn by one of the kids in one scene.
He’s certainly not worried about offending progressives, as ET is still drinking Coors in the newer editions. The Coors boycott was still on during the original filming of the movie.
But there’s only so much Spielberg can do to tame his wild radical youth (who knew?). No matter how much he attempts to sterilize even the most banal of 70s hangover productions, there will still be plenty of whining as from this Commentary review.
But while E.T. has proved too sedate to revive, it also turns out to have been prophetic in another way, for it foreshadowed much of the political thinking that now permeates “family-oriented” movies. IÂm not talking about such minor (but telling) details as the fact that one of the major characters wears a “No Nukes” T-shirt. What I have in mind are the reflexive habits of thought underlying a film about a friendly alien who is first threatened by faceless platoons of grown-up ogres driving cars marked “United States Government,” then saved from extermination by a bunch of bicycle-riding teens. Watching E.T. two decades after the fact, one can see in embryonic form the six planted axioms to be found in every American movie intended for consumption by children: (1) Animals are always kinder than humans; (2) Children are always smarter than adults; (3) Members of minorities are always wiser than members of majorities; (4) Diversity is good purely for its own sake, not for any actual, identifiable consequences that flow from its imposition; (5) Authority is wrong at best, evil at worst, be it parental or governmental; and (6) Whatever the question, force is not the answer.
Wow! The only review I remember from the time accused it of being a Christian allegory (ET is abandoned by his friends, dies, is reborn, and ascends to the heavens). Imagine if these younger conservative reviewers ever geta holdd of movies like Missing, Under Fire, Salvador, The China Syndrome, and God forbid, Z.
The shoe just dropped on Mark Foley. And Hastert.
Actual sex has left the realm of speculation. This is good for another week of intense media examination minimum. Would that the intelligence report on Iraq would get as much attention.
Foley: “I always knew you were a player but I don’t fool around with pages...”
Apparently, he most likely didn’t have sex with the pages as minors. This gentleman, if he is telling the truth, was 21 and no longer a congressional page. For Foley, it appears to have been more of a farming process.
The young man said that while serving as a page, he and his fellow pages gossiped frequently about Foley’s overly friendly behavior but did not complain about him to program supervisors or other members of Congress. They nicknamed him “Triple F,” for “Florida Fag Foley.”
Apparently the seduction took place over wine and pizza. Foley was not only a predator, but a cheap one as well.
Meanwhile, anybody interested in a scandal of a bit more proportion, with not even a significant fraction of the media coverage, may find this kossack post more interesting.
Update: Some Republicans are coming up with some great conspiracy theories.
I turned on KHSU at 6:00 tonight hoping to hear the gubernatorial debate, which was probably just as uneventful as the snoozer whipped up by an incumbent who’s in for life, an unimaginative Republican whose campaign belongs in a more rectangular state, and a one-trick-pony perennial candidate aging hippy who will solve every problem from global warming to static cling with marijuana and hemp.
Give Mike Thompson credit for agreeing to a debate. It’s not like he has to do anything but stay out of bed with his pages to get re-elected.
His Republican opponent has nothing to offer an overwhelmingly Democratic district. Frank Riggs won a couple of elections because he could profess social moderation. Riggs was pro-choice. I have no idea what Jones stands for other than the cookie-cutter RNC talking points, which he delivered in spectacularly bland form tonight. About the only cookie he tossed to liberals was an ambiguous statement that the UN is probably a good idea, in principle anyway. When asked about the crucial issue for north coasters and his campaign he responded, “infrastructure.” Yep. That’ll get them into the streets.
Pamela Elizonda wants to legalize hemp and marijuana. She also wants to legalize hemp and marijuana. And did I mention that she wants to legalize hemp and marijuana? She did. About 40 times.
Thompson believes that the number one foreign policy priority is slamming the president. Jones believes the number one foreign policy priority is “standing proud.” Elizonda believes the number one foreign policy priority is convincing foreign leaders to grow hemp and marijuana. Did you also notice that despite the fact that the question specifically excluded Iraq that none of the candidates could resist the temptation to discuss it?
Thompson opposes the US/Mexican border wall because it isn’t long enough anyway. Jones supports it because he’s a retired cop. Elizonda wants to offer illegal immigrants jobs growing hemp and marijuana.
Thompson supports some sort of public funding for candidates to undermine the power of money. Jones opposes it and he’s concerned that the current system has so many restrictions that the special interests aren’t able to get their messages out. Elizonda didn’t address the question, but says she opposes political labels, and by the way we need to legalize hemp and marijuana.
Thompson wants a timeline for Iraq. Jones doesn’t. Elizonda wants the soldiers brought home and offered jobs growing hemp and marijuana.
So where was Tim Stock the Peace and Freedom candidate?
As to the governor race debate, the folk over at Governorphil are cheering their candidate’s performance tonight. Not an unbiased opinion obviously, but even if it’s justified in objective terms it doesn’t matter if nobody saw it.