Friday, August 31, 2012

Eastwood's Gestalt

Despite my avoidance of the Republican National Convention, I found descriptions of Clint Eastwood's extemporaneous address last night too irresistible. I had to watch. And what a good thing I did.

I had no idea what was going to happen. And there Eastwood was, talking to an invisible Obama in a chair. It was like Eastwood giving a demonstration of Gestalt therapy for the masses out there: This is how you deal with your anger at Obama, people. You imagine him there and tell him what you want him to hear. You'll feel better.

The real awkwardness, though, was not the chair-talk. It was Eastwood's mild comments about Democrats:

There are a lot of conservative people, a lot of moderate people, Republicans, Democrats, in Hollywood. It is just that the conservative people by the nature of the word itself play closer to the vest. They do not go around hot dogging it.

And his even milder endorsement of Romney:

[T]his administration hasn’t done enough to cure that [unemployment]. Whatever interest they have is not strong enough, and I think possibly now it may be time for somebody else to come along and solve the problem.

Yes, "possibly." And what to make of his admission that he cried when Obama became president:

I remember three and a half years ago, when Mr. Obama won the election. And though I was not a big supporter, I was watching that night when he was having that thing and they were talking about hope and change and they were talking about, yes we can, and it was dark outdoors, and it was nice, and people were lighting candles. They were saying, I just thought, this was great. Everybody is crying, Oprah was crying...(LAUGHTER)...I was even crying.

Not "a big supporter"? That's not red meat for a rabid Obama-hating crowd! And I was stunned when the floor erupted in applause for Eastwood's rebuke to Imaginary Obama for continuing the doomed war in Afghanistan:

I know you were against the war in Iraq, and that’s okay. But you thought the war in Afghanistan was OK. You know, I mean — you thought that was something worth doing. We didn’t check with the Russians to see how they did it — they did it there for 10 years.

Clint Eastwood is actually sounding like the only sane voice at the convention. But of course, Mitt "Janus" Romney is cravenly disavowing Eastwood's appearance. I always knew Romney was a cold one.

UPDATE 09/01/12: The memers on the Internets and the good people over at Dangerous Minds have it wrong, methinks, to call Eastwood "senile" or suffering from "dementia" for his performance. I watched it and saw an octogenarian man thinking on his feet. Nothing more, but nothing less. Of course a man in his 80s might think more in fits and starts than us younger folk. Have you ever spoken to anyone over 80?

But there was a structure to his ad-libbed performance, and as you can see above, ideas that are decidedly more tempered than the wild Republican mainstream. It was the rest of the falsehood-filled RNC that exhibited dementia, methinks, not Eastwood.

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