London Has Fallen

I watched London Has Fallen on Netflicks when an impulsive moment seduced me to watch a movie with dinner last night, since I was “Home Alone”.

Images can have a dizzying impact, tipping our equilibrium. It is amazing how some images unleash connecting thoughts in a frenzied rush, or eruption. (I almost said ejaculation, but decided it was one connection too far…!)

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Follow spot of headlights

SURREAL LIGHTING

5:30 in the morning is dark these days, and my headlights are like a follow spot on a darkened stage: focusing my attention precisely. The reality is I’m looking for deer; we’re approaching the season of running. I’m on the way to the fitness center for my morning spin-class, when the traffic light changes. A vehicle turns left crossing through the beam from my headlights.

It’s a tractor trailer of caged chickens unwittingly going to slaughter. Passing through my headlights, the image is surreal, awash in bright white light, and suddenly my brain is awash, too, in connecting thoughts around these unsuspecting chickens going to a slaughter that most likely is not humane – if current reports surrounding the industry are accurate.

Concern for the feelings of our food is, I’ll admit, a rather recent development, in as much as we’ve slaughtered impulsively for centuries. This too feeds the rush of thoughts triggered by this garish parade of fowl in garish white light.

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London before it fell!

London Has Fallen adds to the thoughts on slaughter, war, violence, duplicity, ego, hatred, revenge, religious fervor, and other blind emotions, and juxtaposed with Obama and his long-view of the world, they collided in my mind during a murderous spin class! My muscles screamed as loudly as my brain. The muscles won, for the short-term.

IMAGES RETURN

I am once again home alone contemplating those still surreal images from the morning darkness.

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Another glimpse of London before the fall.

London Has Fallen pits The Shining Light on the Hill against the darker forces of terrorism, hatred, and religious fervor. It’s about as jingoistic as it can be, and would no doubt raise the blood pressure of anyone haling from the Mediterranean part of the world, as well as those of a certain religious persuasion living in this country now. There are classic confrontations where each side explains itself, sort of… The terrorist is avenging murder of woman and children, and attempting to change the world order. Our fearless Secret Service Agent, protecting the President from a nefarious plot to murder the world’s leaders and publicly execute our President via the internet, exudes patriotism, duty, and courage to defend our way of life. In fact, in a somewhat cheesy moment at the end the agent is drafting a letter of resignation while the Vice-President, Morgan Freeman, addresses the country to remind us of our need to be vigilant if our way of life is to survive. The Agent hits the delete button!

OH, PUH-LEASE!

The film is full of those obligatory scenes where the secret service are in hand to hand combat with the terrorists and scream “Fuck you!” before finishing them off. In one spectacular chase, a terrorist on a motorcycle is trying to climb into the presidential vehicle and fights with the Secret Service hero. The terrorist hollers “Fuck you!” – not your terroristy kind of language, you understand. The driver steers the car close to the tunnel wall and says “No, Fuck you!” The body of the terrorist is separated from his body. The secret service dude looks at the helmeted head and throws it out the passenger window!

Somewhere in a ubiquitous desert terrain, the master mind of the plot is called by Morgan Freeman. The master-mind tells Freeman that he may have won this battle, but it is just the beginning of a war they will carry to the USA, and the world will change. Morgan tells the Arab to look out his window – he does and sees a blinding light, just before a smart-bomb destroys his compound and much of the surrounding buildings and people. Roll credits.

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The Thames River in London

I must admit the film was suspenseful and I was inclined to look away because I didn’t want to see some of the violence. Lots of CGI as most of the land marks of London are destroyed.

One of my favorite descriptions of good conflict is right vs. right. Each side is fighting and hating because of a regrettable loss of life – women and children: innocents. Our Secret Service agent has a pregnant wife giving birth to a child he may never see because of this event.

Chickens being driven to slaughter. White light splashes against the unsuspecting caged fowl…

Enter Barack Obama and a long view of history and his presidency. Indulge me, here: Allow breaking news flashes of FBI reopening an investigation because they’ve recently discovered something – don’t know if it’s relevant; but, they will nevertheless reopen the investigation ten days before the election. Read as: Edgar Hoover lives! Now splash a breaking news banner of the Bundy’s acquittal of taking over a Government building and threatening violence. The reason presumably because the government couldn’t prove intent, despite the hours of footage where they claimed a willingness to sacrifice their lives! They were armed. This was not a sit in at a lunch counter, folks! Along the bottom of your mind’s vision put a small ribbon of text running across the screen describing Native American’s protesting a pipeline that could pollute their homes and violate sacred burial grounds. Post on FaceBook alternate team names as racist as the Cleveland Indians big-toothed logo – like: New York Jews, The Philadelphia Blacks, The California Chinks.

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White light!

Chickens being driven to slaughter. White light splashes against the unsuspecting caged fowl…

To be called a shining light on a hill, our history is checkered where human rights are concerned. There’s no denying the continued existence of The Ugly American. The Declaration of Independence and Statue of Liberty, reinforced by a constitution describe a nation quite different from reality.

I try to understand our conservative breathern. I try to understand our Libertarians. I try to understand the religious right. I try to understand business. I try to understand needs that are broad based and applicable to all involved. I try to understand leadership and vision. I just don’t understand now. The sandbox we play in is too crowded and nobody understands freedom. Freedom is not doing what you want to do when you want to do it. It’s the negotiation between peoples to live in respect of others. The freedom to piss on somebody’s grave is not freedom – it’s simply disrespect.

We say one thing and do another.

Obama (and I shall miss him in the Oval Office) put this all in perspective and pursued a long view policy which was immediately criticized unfairly for being an “apology tour.” There was no apology tour! There is only the ignorant voices that fail to appreciate reality. The Arab or Muslim world did not just rise up and start killing infidels for the heck of it! We stole their land, their oil, their countries and put in puppet leaders who further corrupted the situation. We are reaping what we have sewn.

THE LONG VIEW IS NOT A WEAKNESS

The long view is not weakness; it’s a strength born of recognizing reality and the overwhelming need to deal with that reality. This long view is the essence of why a democratic republic is desirable – if, as Franklin is supposed to have said, “you can keep it.” An intelligent, informed electorate that aspires to a virtuous governing.

Obama has been virtuous and graceful, remarkably unflappable. You mention Cicero. The President and Cicero would have much in common. Politics and philosophy. I think Cicero put politics above philosophy; and, Obama is perhaps the opposite: philosophy over politics. He has no use for the smoozing style of politics. We’re hear to do a job for the good of all. Just get on with it. He doesn’t need six months of dithering over coffee and donuts, or beer and pretzels.

How many times do we hear from athletes that one must man-up to their mistakes. I’ve heard people proclaim the litany of “manning-up” all my life. We do it when it’s convenient; reality is not always convenient. The history of the USA, relative to what we say about it, has not always been conveniently explained.

th-11Chickens being driven to slaughter. White light splashes against the unsuspecting caged fowl…

The last image is a ribbon running at the bottom of my mind: J. Edgar Lives. Regrettably.

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