We’ll Always Have Argo

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Originally Published 2013

I have not written lately on this blog because—too overworked, not inspired enough. And yet, there are plenty of things to be inspired by, right? Did somebody work out the “Illuminati” symbolism at the Oscars yet? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

I don’t know about all that stuff, but it seems weird to me that the wife of the President would appear at the Academy Awards to announce that a movie about America’s past troubles in Iran has won Best Picture. I mean, what sort of weird confluence of politics and entertainment is that? Was that necessary at all?

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I was just discussing with a friend the U.S.’s present and continuing economic crisis, and I told him I thought the only way possible to get out of it —or, at least provide the illusion that we were getting out of it—was to have another war, preferably with an opponent we can “properly demonize.” And it really seems that with Iraq out of the way, the next stop on our Grand Tour is Iran.

I mean, all the signs are there. Certainly, we can go the North Korea route, but I think we’re too in bed with the entire Eastern region to start a mess there. We seem to be on a Middle Eastern Grand Tour, and next stop: Iran.

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So when I see the FLOTUS announce an award for Argo—wow, what a coincidence, huh? Argo was all about using a fake entertainment vehicle to literally “get into Iran.” The titular “movie” at the heart of the “real” movie wasn’t real. It was a tool. Is Argo a tool as well?

The late 1970s and the Iranian hostage crisis laid the groundwork for the rah-rah patriotic 1980s and America’s military excursions to follow. It provided a “properly demonized,” clear-cut villain that we could all get around to hate. It galvanized us in some bizarre way, brought us out of the doldrums of the recession of the Seventies.

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If I had to guess, this is where we are headed again. No, the U.S. will not take the offense —they’ll wait until “something terrible” happens and “our hand is forced.” If constructed correctly—if the Hollywood writers and directors and best-selling novelists that the government hires to run through scenarios really come up with something grand (and that is not a conspiracy theory —I actually know a couple of them!)—this all could conceivably bring back that rah-rah patriotism Eighties and maybe goose up the economy.

The key would be to have an event so striking that if the Republicans didn’t come on-board to support War they would look like world-class Assholes. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Certainly, it wouldn’t have to be war with Iran, or whatnot—the whole asteroid/meteor card has been played to great effect to scare the populace world-wide. Or that old chestnut of “alien invasion” could be played, I guess.

Really, how hard would it be to create a plausible scenario that the Earth was being “watched” by mysterious beings far up in the sky in amazing ships? How hard is it to pull off a grand-scale “Argo” on the residents of planet Earth?

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Anyway, it seems like the U.S.—and a portion of the rest of the world—has hit the wall in terms of economics. We’ve hit the wall on the environment (400 “cancer villages” apparently in China) too. Overpopulation is also a problem, but a lot of that has to do with a vastly disproportionate distribution of wealth and food worldwide.

Finally—people like me, and like a lot of American citizens, live in a fake, highly-constructed lifestyle built on the backs of tremendous misery in third-world countries. I am typing this on a Mac computer, knowing full well that the suicide rates among Apple workers overseas are so high because they are completely overworked and miserable. By instinct, I go to “name” stores to buy my clothes, clothes that have a good chance of being put together by child labor.

The answer is: there are no “easy outs.” The answer is: this Golden Age we look to, whether in be in the 1940s or 50s or 80s or 90s or whenever—never really existed. These were all Legends, carefully constructed to live on in our memories through Hollywood and textbooks and in our wishful thinking.

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With all this going on in the world, it is no mystery to me why people flock to Entertainment. It is no mystery why Politics and Government weave themselves so tightly through Entertainment (that has been going on forever). It is no wonder why we, the collective We, fairly demand an “Argo” to save us. We don’t care if it isn’t really a movie. We want a place on that ship. We want to believe in the Golden Fleece. We want liberation from our hostage situation.