Getting Political

If we can be realistic about the extreme to which we are determined by our biology. If we can admit that we are animals. And throw in the adage (and assuming it’s true) that everyone is capable of murder, then we can imagine a human who is more mastermind-er-ly in his bearing and hence more dispassionate in the uses toward which he would put his accessible (because he is human) homicidal mania. We can see that person, rather than wielding the axe himself, positioning himself at the controls of an Islamic-style suicide bomber. And we can imagine him wondering to himself: where shall I send my bomber? Could I actually do some good with this multi-murder weapon? He quickly concludes affirmatively, saying, “Yes, yes I can!” He can use a suicide bomber for good by sneaking him into the U.S. Senate chamber during a fully attended, important debate, and wiping out the senatorial hundred and their auxiliaries. Because: who would mourn (besides the corporations which employ them)? Who would actually mourn the loss of these men – too old to think, too rich to care, too ambitious to study. Invading our televisions with their ugliness. The Senate is a hopelessly corrupt business organization with the distinction of their unusual “election” hiring practices. One President could no longer tolerate the Senate and decided to use all his power to begin dismantling it. That would be Nixon. You saw what they did to him. Now no President will ever be able to reform it. The Nixon Precedent makes more extreme measures necessary to start the process of reform. Basically: blow it up.

Then you have the idea of this suicide bomber scene as the opening scene of a movie. We follow a typical American-looking kid as he enters an elevator alone; we see him adjust and arm his explosive belt. Ding. He has arrived at his destination floor. We cut to C-span cinematography and an image of the Senate chamber at its busiest and most lively. And moving into the frame at the top of the screen is the kid from the elevator striding confidently down the carpeted chamber aisle toward the speaker and suddenly KABOOM! Death, instant death, body parts, suits, hairpieces; it’s a blood chamber. Now plotwise you go back. How did we get here? Let us tell you in flashback the story of the mastermind and his recruit. Let us show you first the brain, then the brain which gets washed; the planning; the complications; the emotions. And then though we have already seen it, let us replay the perfect execution of that plan in the Senate chamber and then let us explore the aftermath of the attack. The true perpetrator is not an Islamic extremist, but his plan is to put one at the scene with evidence planted upon him, a perfect Oswald for the papers, but in a twist the mastermind has been duped. The "terrorist" is just some kid playing around impersonating an arab. And all along there is this underlying conflict developing within us the viewers: why do I not hate the murderous mastermind? Why am I linking him mentally with heroic revolutionaries of our history like Nathan Hale? Why am I agreeing with the mastermind that wiping out the Senate would be good for America? What is right? What is wrong? And by the end, if we've done our job, you'll be asking only one question before nodding off -- 'who cares?'

copyright 2006 by Christopher Duckett