by William Skink
Christian Bale plays a compelling Dick Cheney, but will the movie Vice actually do anything to put our current political predicament into context? No, I don’t think it will.
Adam McKay did a great breakdown of the housing crisis in his film The Big Short, and his take on The Big Dick should enrage viewers who either didn’t know or conveniently forgot how Dick Cheney helped kick-off the 21st century with American-led death and destruction, but to what end? Here’s McKay being hopeful in a Rolling Stone piece:
“It’s just horror and absurdity in the Trump era,” McKay notes. “And I just feel like this timeline sort of got swept under the rug. But people need to be reminded that there’s a history, there’s an arc. I don’t know if this movie is going to change anything. But it was definitely cathartic to make it.”
I’m glad McKay got some catharsis by suddenly realizing there’s a historical arc to the arrival of Donald Trump. But I wonder if McKay has any clue as to why “this timeline sort of got swept under the rug”. Maybe after tackling The Big Short and The Big Dick Adam McKay can address The Big Con who ascended to the throne in 2008 just in time to save Wall Street and kill the anti-war movement, and along with that, any hope of holding the war criminals in Bush Junior’s regime accountable.
This movie is perfect for someone like my dad, a former a-political company man for a telecommunications corporation who now looks forward to his two minutes of hate from Rachel Maddow. The movie brought a little levity to soften the boiling anger at the indignity of having to live in a country with someone like Donald Trump as president.
What this movie can’t put into context is how we went from hundreds of thousands of people protesting the lead up to the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq to today, where the outrage over foreign policy is being directed at Trump for his decision to NOT keep US troops in Syria. To truly understand today’s backlash against Trump one must grapple with how Obama provided cover for Bush-era war criminals in order to preserve and expand executive powers for himself.
Do Americans truly want to understand how a permanent war party comprised of Republicans AND Democrats continues spreading death and destruction across at least 7 active war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger? No, I don’t think they do, not if it means abandoning their tribal politics and specially crafted wedge issues their respective parties always promise to address but never actually deliver on.
I guess if you want catharsis and a not-so-subtle reminder of what an effective psychopath-bureaucrat can accomplish yanking the strings of a dumb puppet president with daddy issues, go see Vice. Then, after you’ve had a few laughs, you can tune in to NPR to hear some expert explain why Trump’s decision to remove troops from Syria is such a dangerous mistake.