Friday, September 23, 2005

"Bugsy" vs. The Guv

Even though Warren Beatty does work on behalf of traditionally liberal causes and probably is positioning himself for a career in politics, I first though he was just trying to get some “face time” on TV with this speech, but then I reconsidered when I read this line (courtesy of The Huffington Post):

Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson said "we don't care that much about Warren Beatty, and based on his ticket sales from the past generation, I doubt anyone else does either."
I think we can now “consider the gauntlet to be officially thrown down.” I can’t think of any self-respecting actor who would ignore a cut like that, and somehow I’m sure “The Pro” won’t either.

So, we can soon look forward to the following campaign “stump” speeches:

BUGSY (channeling “Bulworth”): “Hey, you know, what can I say? I just love being at this gala dinner with the Weinstein brothers and George Soros. It does my heart good as I hear the rattle of your jewelry and the tinkling of the glass of your champagne flutes. But I gotta tell ya’, we gotta do more for the blacks, even though I just don’t care about them if they won’t give me money. I mean, my people are smart – they always make sure I can make time for all the rich Jews. Hey, Meyer, how do I get this hit called off on me, anyway? I promise I won’t rap any more.”

THE GUV (channeling the same role he’s played a hundred or more times): “Zees ess teepecaal voor uh lee-baa-ral! Hee eees saaaa-keeengg ahhp tu zeee tee-chaaaz ahhn zee naaa-siiis uuu-neee-ahhns! Ahhnn heee neee-vaah haad tuu grope aahh vooo-man tuu get ahh date eee-thaaah! Noow ess zaa time fuuuh mee to kees maah bal-ging triceps!”
(I hope I got Arnold’s translation right, though I should admit that I do have experience deciphering the communication of people who are functionally illiterate.)

I respect Beatty for a lot of reasons, including "Reds," having the unmitigated gall to make a visually nauseating movie like "Dick Tracy," and standing by the dying Elia Kazan when he received his honorary achievement Oscar a couple of years ago (while Nick Nolte self-righteously sat there and stared…two things: 1) When Nolte contributes something more meaningful than the occasional solid acting performance mixed in with a bunch of tabloid headlines on a par approximate with Kazan’s body of work, I’ll give him his due; 2) Kazan made a terrible mistake by naming some names to the HUAC in the 50s, but I’d like to know what Nick “Feet Of Clay” Nolte would have done when faced with the choice Kazan had, which was to dime out your friends and keep working, or clam up and possibly lose everything.). Of course, Kazan got Beatty’s career started with “Splendor In The Grass,” but the fact that Beatty remembered that says something about him, I think.

Actually, I wouldn’t get too worked up about a campaign of Ahh-nold versus Warren. Now, Annette Bening against Maria Shriver (maybe even including a “Winner Take All” steel cage wrestling match)…THAT would be interesting :- ).

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