Despite the rampant excoriations from the Right, Hollywood has made the world richer beyond our wildest dreams, for many of our most vivid dreams and recollected lines were concocted in Hollywood sets. Just a few, to set the point:
Clark Gable’s Rhett Butler to Vivien Leigh’s Scarlett O’Hara: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine to Ingrid Bergman’s Ilsa Lunde: “Here’s looking at you kid.”
Clint Eastwood’s Harry Callahan to the just-downed baddy: “I know what you're thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky?....Well, do ya punk?”
I know what you’re thinking, “Okay, okay, point made already.” But that’s not my point. My point is entirely to Senator Barack Obama and the most of us that compose the American electorate. To introduce my point I’m going to rely on one more Hollywood line.
Marine Col. Nathan Jessep (Jack Nicholson): You want answers?
Navy Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise): I think I'm entitled to them.
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep, from the witness stand, screaming back at Kaffee: You can't handle the truth!
Few know me, and of those who do will say, “Ed Tubbs is an ornery cuss: He’s a challenge who’s always challenging someone; doesn’t take anyone’s pronouncement as factual without either knowing the issuer of those statements is making them from genuine authority, or he demands attribution he can check himself. And he will check. Count on it. Be prepared with sources, or be quiet.”
Ten days or so following high school graduation, I enlisted in the US Army. I was not going to be anyone’s good son; do what you’re told, believe what you’re told, and don’t ask questions. If anyone was going to order me to do something, it would be because I delivered to them that authority, not by any happenstance of birth.
Ya know, New Hampshire’s state motto is “Live free, or die.” Those four simple words sum to me what it is to be an American. It’s patriotism. In 1776 a handful of fools screamed at King George: “F*** Y** A******!”
Senator Obama — along with his wife, Michelle — has recently found himself in some troubled political water because he was foolish enough to be composed of the temerity and the confidence to presume that Americans could handle a dose of truth. He opined that average Americans were bitter because they felt Washington wasn’t listening to them, and thus couldn’t hear them. He suggested they were clinging to their guns and to their religion for some element of assurance during these times of cynicism that draws its potency from rabid uncertainty.
In 1964, while stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, against the army’s recommendation that Yankees, which, as a product of the Detroit suburbs, I most assuredly was one, I crossed the Chattahoochee River into Phoenix City, Alabama. I’d never seen public drinking fountains and restroom facilities labeled “coloreds only” and “whites only.” And the “coloreds only” didn’t look like anything you’d ask your dog to use.
Burn this G****** place down! shot like hot lightening through my heart and soul. You don’t tell me — or anyone — where I can drink and where I can crap. I drink and I crap where I decide I want to drink and crap. Just who the f*** do you think you are?