The River

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The horror

What an unsettling few hours in front of the TV last night. What a horror show.

It was, of course, the Republican National Convention.

It was so disconcerting that when this cold as ice technocrat/killer, known to most as Vice President Dick Cheney, was addressing the nation, my wife had to remove herself from the room because she was becoming physically ill.

She had managed to concentrate on her book during Zell Miller’s speech, even though I kept saying “oh my god, look at him.”

If ever a man’s countenance was rigid with hate, it was Miller’s last night. His whole body was rigid. The object of his hate? John Kerry and the Democratic Party. Apparently, Kerry and his traitorous followers are causing Zell to feel as if terrorists are about to eat his family. In fact, he seems to think they want to help the terrorists to do so.

This, it seems, is the strange zombie world of Zell Miller.

If I were a Hollywood producer, I’d be looking for a script about an evil demagogue with the ability to shoot lasers out of his eyes. I’d cast Zell Miller and I wouldn’t even need special effects. You want Friday night frights? Put that man up on the big screen, staring into the camera. The audience will feel those lasers and be chilled to the bone.

These same laser-shooting eyes would also have the power to divine which are the good, god-fearing people and which are the evil terrorists – within the narrow confines of a totalitarian worldview. If I were a Hollywood producer, that’s the kind of script I’d commission. As you might guess, it’d be apocalyptic in tone.

As the plot progresses, the tight-lipped, mass-murdering vice president and his media representative (the president), whose smirking obliviousness and casual fascism resonates with the technology-dominated society at large, give Miller more and more power. They are awed by his megalomaniacal conviction and find it quite useful.

Until….(this is the third reel, menace and dread have been building) one night at their secluded and lavishly appointed secret compound, Miller, seated with a leg casually crossed over one knee, looks over at the VP. Miller’s countenance grows dark (darker than usual, as when he is addressing the faithful during rallies), and lasers shoot out of his eyes, incinerating the VP, causing his cocktail to fall to the ground in slow motion.

Miller smiles for the first time in the entire movie. It is, without a doubt, a Boris Karloff type moment for the ages. My director may or may not decide to switch suddenly to black and white, show flashes of lightning and have thunder roll out over the soundtrack. He may even superimpose Frankenstein on Miller’s face for a moment. Perhaps Dr. Frankenstein instead. Perhaps both. His call.

At any rate, at this point, the President looks over and says, “whoa, cool. Can you teach me to do that?” He sounds exactly like Keanu Reeves. It’s the only comic relief in the movie. It’s also the last thing he ever says.

It’s all downhill from there. A cover story is disseminated through the media. Miller becomes the next presidential candidate. Fear of his laser-shooting eyes keeps all subordinates in government and media in line, and he “wins” the presidency through mass market manipulation, fear mongering of unprecedented levels, and the hypnotic quality of his hate.

Most of the rest of the world is repulsed, but any expression of same is explained in the Miller-cowed media as anti-American hatred and terrorist/evil sympathy.

In the final shocking revelation, it is learned that Miller has been secretly building an army of men with the hatred necessary for laser-shooting eyes. The final image is of this army marching in a denuded, alien landscape, firing their lasers at anything that moves.

Eh, what am I sayin? These Republicans and their convention should be putting the horror movie out of business. It comes over the airwaves now, unbidden and seemingly inescapable.

Tune in for the revolting conclusion tonight.

The truly scary part? It's not "only a movie."

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