Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Time for a NEW REPLACEMENT Party?

[This blog entry has been edited

and supplemented -- mainly

at the bottom -- since initial posting.]

Caught Jon Stewart on Larry King last night and he expressed the same frustration with the current political parties and how they simply engender a deep feeling of disgust. (okay the repugnacons are far more disgusting but the dems are a close second). Jack Cafferty on the also-ubiquitous Wolfie's Situation Room saw Jon, too and is asking today whether people are sick of the current state of political parties and whether we need something else. I've been mulling this very question for at least the past zillion years -- probably more if I'm honest.

After seeing Robert Altman's brilliant Nashville again just the other day -- how prescient it was about so many things -- especially impressive now is how the film's ever-present, always in the background, finger-wagging "Replacement Party" foreshadowed Ross Perot. Perot spent much of his time warning us of some critical truths that have certainly come to fruition -- the loud sucking sounds of jobs leaving this country -- and he was awfully similar to another crazy film character Howard "I'm as Mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it Anymore!" Beale -- the wacky truth-telling newsman from another genius work of art from the mid-seventies, the film Network).

So anyway, after I saw it again -- click! Maybe it's time for "The NEW Replacement Party" -- yes?

I know I'm sure sick to death of the two parties that have held (misused and abused) power for far too long. We can dream can't we? Actually, we can do more -- and we must. At the very least, refuse to keep sending the incumbents back during the next go-round.

And if you haven't seen Nashville or Network in a while, time to take another look.

Footnote: Peter Baker at WaPo puts the kibosh on any third party possibilities. What do you think?

And just one little doggone minute! While we're on the subject of cinematic genius Robert Altman, another all-time favorite film ever ever ever (which could only have been made by Altman) is the high desert identity-shifter, dreamstate stream of consciousness, (rarely seen) transformational mindbender -- 3 Women. I truly love Nashville, but this film is in a universe all its own.

Shelley Duvall
is .... there are no words for her brilliance, innocence, naiveté and initial hilarity in this film -- a deeper, broader, more complex expansion of the barely-glimpsed minor character in Nashville.

One scene that stands out for me is of Shelley's character driving away in her Ford PINTO -- that is hysterical, recognizable (to some of us anyway), disturbing and so touching all at once -- one teeny little simple but voluminous scene that tells us so much about this character and her level of self-awareness and world-awareness -- that as I said, some of us will identify with in such a way that it can actually bring sharp pangs and tears of bewildering pain immediately following hysterical laughter.

Sissy Spacek
and Janice Rule can likewise be described in this character exploration triptych, together with Shelley, as sweet perfection. Sissy and Shelley have never been more peerless than in this film.

Post Script 3/6/06: Nice to see Altman finally recognized even by the Hollywood-narciss-o-rama-self-congratu-fest known as the Oscars.


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