The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, February 01, 2010

"Edge Of Darkness" (2010)

Everyone see Obama speaking with the Republicans at the GOP House Issues conference?

I don't want to say much here, because I'd love to get people's feedback. But the idiots (and yes, I use that word in its dictionary definition) who say he needs a teleprompter should just shut the @#$$ up. That's not to say you agree with him, or have changed your opinion of his policies or whatever. I'd love to hear some intelligent thoughts, and will keep mine to myself. Except for that teleprompter thing. Jeeze.


I saw "Edge of Darkness," the new Mel Gibson film, over the weekend. And found it better than I'd expected, but also a bit depressing. I'd expected a "fun" revenge fantasy, and instead got a meditation on loss, death, and lost honor. I walked out of the theater thinking how I would feel if someone hurt my Nicki. And it got to me, it really did. You know, I don't access my negative emotions directly. Rather than being swallowed by grief, pain, or anger, I tend to process it over time, in lumps. Joy, on the other hand, I let myself feel without filtering.

And I think I let myself process, really feel another big chunk of my pain at Nicki moving out to live with her Mom. I don't get to see her, hug her, bring her breakfast every week. It is the most natural and normal thing in the world, but it hurts, and I didn't let myself feel what there was stirring around in my emotional basement. Sigh. I guess that's the pale side of making a full commitment to the welfare and happiness of another human being: that "empty nest" feeling when they are no longer in your life on a day-to-day basis. What it would feel like for a cop, a widowed "protector," to watch his only child gunned down in front of him...oh, dear God. And I guess Gibson brought sufficient gravitas to the role that it wasn't glossed over. I sat in my car, shaken. Crying a little. And spent all Sunday playing with Jason. We do what we can.


Oh...I give "Edge of Darkness" a "B." It isn't a wonderful movie. It isn't a great film. But it is an effective thriller with a genuine emotional core. And that ain't bad.


What movies have ever made you stop and reexamine your own emotions or beliefs?


Pagan Topologist said...

I was really impressed by President Obama's meeting with the Republicans, although he is still too far right in his political views for me to be really comfortable with him. I think he probably could not get anything done that I would like to see, however. His analysis of the consequences of the Republican's extreme polarization were brilliant. I only hope it backfires on the Republicans, not on him.

Shady_Grady said...

I think the President's meeting showed that the Repuplicans underestimate PBO's intelligence and ability to think on his feet and articulate a response at their peril. That's independent of what I think of his positions and actions so far. The fact that some of them lined up to get autographs from a man whose legitimacy they were questioning is sorta funny to me. And it was hilarious to me that evidently things were going so poorly that Fox News cut from the meeting..

As far as movies that made me think about my emotions or beliefs there are lots but the first recent one that comes to mind is "The Wrestler".

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Tom Perkins said...

"But the idiots (and yes, I use that word in its dictionary definition) who say he needs a teleprompter should just shut the @#$$ up."

The idiots who say he doesn't need a teleprompter need to explain why he uses one so very, very, often. The least derogatory thing about his teleprompter use which I think is true, is that he feels he needs a crutch, and that one's his. Personally, I think he's terrified that without it, he's afraid he'll say what he really the "bitter, clinging" crack and "spread the wealth" gaffe--defined as when a politician accidentally speaks the truth.

Worst President yet, with the exception of Buchannan and Carter, and he may beat Carter. Buchannan, at least, I think he can't displace; the man was practically an asymptote.

As for the content of his remarks, berating people about not being "bipartisan" enough and not bringing ideas to the table--when you are lying to their face because they brought to the table some of the only ideas which can work--I don't think much of the content.

Steven Barnes said...

Easy explanation. All presidents use teleprompters. It's just the easiest way to stay on track. I've watched him without it. No problem at all when he wants to speak spontaneously. But on state occasions, he prepares speeches in advance. It would be foolish to memorize a new speech every week. What a waste of brain power! Such a simple explanation. You really hadn't considered that, or just spouting talking points?

Marty S said...

Steve: I don't care whether its a political meeting between Obama and the Republicans, A lecture on how to succeed financially by Bill Gates or a lecture by Steve Barnes on how to write you first novel. If more than one person listens to the presentation each person will bring something different away, because they brought a different set of life experience and interests in. I would be very surprised if in along presentation Obama didn't say something stupid at least from the point of view of those who oppose his policies and similarly I'm sure at least one Republican said something stupid from the opposing side's point of view.

Pagan Topologist said...

Carter was not a terrible President. The Camp David accords alone make him notably successful. Harding was probably the worst. It is true that there are a lot of white racists who are determined to make Obama fail at the Presidency, but that does not make him a bad president per se. I cannot really see why anyone would call him a bad president. I suppose the purpose was just to make reasonable people like me irrationally angry. I will take the bait no further.

Daniel Keys Moran said...

I keep hearing conservatives say that their problems with Obama aren't about race, and while this is surely true for some of them, I'm completely certain it's not the bulk of the story. Obama came into office with an approval rating among white conservatives that was something like 30% lower than Bill Clinton's when he came into office. And conservatives hated Clinton.

Pagan Topologist said...

"And conservatives hated Clinton."

Which is something I have never understood. Clinton and Obama are both more conservative than liberal. The only real liberal in the 1992 Democratic Presidential race was Jerry Brown, who didn't get very far at all. Neither did Howard Dean, the more recent primary candidate I would call a sort of a liberal.

Anonymous said...

Tom Perkins: Please explain the difference between reading a prepared speech written on paper and laid upon the surface of the podium and a prepared speech using a teleprompter. I'll tell you; you see the president looking down less often.

If you want to get technical, presidents prior to 1927 never would have thought to use television to their advantage. Then before that was radio.

And now the Russians have a stealth fighter, but it's still the teleprompter with you "hate Obama at all cost" nimrods.

Anonymous said...

Conservatives hated Clinton because he was getting all the good pu... I mean, women.

That left the jealous male conservatives with two options: have sex with their boy pages/interns, or go "hiking in the mountains".

Give me The Adams Family Values any day.

Marty S said...

I don't doubt that Obama uses a teleprompter so he won't make a gaffe or miss deliver his intended message. Any sensible president would. A lot of effort goes into preparing any presidential speech so he/she can get their message just right. Any president who doesn't realize the importance of doing so shouldn't be president. The whole world is listening to what the president says.

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