With the recession having gobbled up a chunk of our retirement nest egg, it looks like I’ll have to start making some money. I’m not inclined to start teaching again, but I think Hollywood might be a good alternative. There’s a lot of cash to be had if you can write a blockbuster movie script. I never wrote a movie before, but I’ve gone to hundreds, so I have some ideas of how to approach it.
I’ve decided my best option is a fantasy horror movie -- something that will tap into the deepest fears of the American public. I have in mind an epic about the total collapse of American society, kind of like 2012 or Independence Day. Since the movie will be like a science fiction fantasy, I’ll start it off with a completely far-fetched event, i.e., the inauguration of America’s first black president. I’ll give the guy some goofy name – I’m thinking “Borax Obamarama”. I have in mind a character like Sidney Poitier in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner -- young, articulate, with a beautiful wife and a good basketball jump shot. Denzel Washington would be a good choice for the role. In this imaginary election Obamarama has eked out a narrow victory over Republican septagenarian, John McAged and his running mate, Sally Palebrain, ex-small town mayor and moose-hunter.
Obamarama’s election is lauded throughout the world and hailed by many as evidence of the end of racism in America. Quite to the contrary, however, Obamarama’s victory generates the most intense polarization in America since the reconstruction era and brings previously dormant, ugly attitudes to the fore.
After portraying the rock-and-roll style inauguration I’ll introduce the villains of the movie. I have in mind a “Gang of Three”. These have no resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead. The leader is John Bonehead, a congressman who persuades the Republican party to rename itself “The Party of No”, symbolizing its opposition to every policy initiative of the Obamarama administration. Bonehead’s gang uses filibusters to block all administration efforts to improve the disastrous economy, believing that with total financial collapse the frustrated voters will turn to the crackpot Republicans for relief. As a funny in-joke, I’ll have Bonehead come from a suburb of Cincinnati. After her and McAged’s election loss, Sally Palebrain quits her current job as governor of a wilderness state to make millions on the political lecture circuit. Though she can’t remember any newspapers she reads and has no credible ideas, the public loves her because she is like a wacky character on a sitcom. Aiding and abetting Bonehead and Palebrain, drug addict and right-wing media giant Rash Limberger convinces his audience of angry white males that Obamarama is really a Muslim who was born in Kenya, supports terrorist causes, and is turning America into a socialist state.
The noisy Gang of Three, with the backing of Faux News, is successful in whipping the electorate into such frenzy that reason and civility totally vanish from American politics. Reminiscent of fascist Germany, a southwestern state legislature decrees that all persons with brown skin and/or Mexican accents must carry identity papers or face imprisonment and exportation. Congress is paralyzed by the Republicans, and many ordinary white middle class people are swept up in a new social movement labeled the Teabag Party. Teabaggers want to “take our country back”, supposedly from the black terrorist Muslims who have stolen it from them. They hold meetings in Starbuck coffee shops, armed with AK-47’s, and their members spit on black congressmen and hurl epithets at gay politicians. One Teabagger proclaims she is no longer a witch; another makes anti-masturbation the centerpiece of her political platform.
In the midst of this political uproar, Obamarama struggles with massive problems stemming from the prior George W. Butthead administration, namely, a devastating recession and futile engagement in two unwinnable wars in the Middle East. Though he initially enjoys high popular support, that enthusiasm rapidly deteriorates as Obamarama fails to turn the economy around in his initial weeks in office. Here I think I’ll inject a comic element in the movie with a succession of aspiring goofy terrorists. One guy in an airplane tries to blow up his shoe; another sets off a bomb in his underpants. A third fill his car with fertilizer, and tries to ignite it with sparklers in Times Square. Despite the displays of ineptitude, mass anxiety reaches an all-time high, and randomly selected foreign men with dark skin are given life sentences in prison for daydreaming about terrorist activity.
The midterm election occurs, and unqualified crazy people across the nation are elected to office by the hordes. One Teabag spokesperson is quoted as being thrilled because the Republican dominance of Congress means total gridlock for the next two years. Sarah Palebrain teams up with extremist right-winger Jim DeMented of SC to begin a presidential campaign for 2012. Rash Limberger’s associate Grinn Breck proclaims that he is the direct emissary of God and the Teabaggers are God’s agents on earth. This chain of events, of course, just keeps getting worse and worse and builds to a climax where America’s very survival is on the brink. I’m just sort of stuck at this point about the movie’s ending. Nuclear holocaust is one possibility. Or a civil war. Or perhaps Obamarama does wind up producing miracles (though that seems like a pretty lame Hollywood ending). My biggest worry right now is that the script will be unmarketable. The whole plot line is so wildly bizarre that no reviewer will give it any credibility. Palebrain? Limberger? You can’t make a good horror movie if there’s no connection to reality whatsoever.
-Kiera O (11-19): Dear Vicki and Dave, Vicki sent me some treasures from "letters to George" which I have just feasted upon. The critter spotlights, charming narrative, & photos of River house transported me for delightful and out-of time moments. As to the screenplay--BRILLIANT!--if you need someone to work on the theme music, let me know. love, Kiera
-Phyllis SS (10-11): Dave, I'll buy a ticket to see it - and the photo should start the movie. pss