Monday, November 22, 2004

A Hollywood Prophecy?

Demolition Man
Warner Bros. (1993)

By T. J. Willms

Try, as it will to distort our history and influence American society at large Hollywood only rarely hits the mark with the bone chilling precision of this frivolously amusing and mildly entertaining motion picture. The most disturbing quality of the film is that the more palpably prophetic events depicted are ancillary to the main plotline. When I first viewed it some eleven years ago I got the shivers over those peripheral details thrown upon the screen in an attempt at tongue in cheek mockery of a potential (if unlikely) future America.
Even though comparatively, a great deal more of the stark vision in George Orwell’s 1984 has come to fruition it did not paint the bloodcurdling image of the future of America in such a graphic way. Setting aside all of the gratuitous violence, and the captivating vision of a young Sandra Bullock clad in Spandex britches and a leather jacket. You need only to have a cursory knowledge of some recent news events, and this movie will leave you feeling afraid, very afraid. Why you ask? Because day by day, inch by inch it is becoming true before our very eyes.

It’s not the settings; the “San-Angeles metroplex” doesn’t quite exist. It’s not the time frame or even the story line, as we don’t yet freeze prisoners for their crimes. It is the people and their behavior that I recognized as alarmingly familiar in the world I find myself living in. For example while I don’t entirely disagree, the F. C. C. is currently going bonkers regulating and fining people for saying “bad words.” Feminist organizations in concert with a willing media and our public school systems are engaging in an active campaign of “feminizing” our boys and young men. I’m sure some of you have noticed in the recent past many pundits and commentators advocating licensing parents when something awful happens to a child due to astoundingly stupid parents. Reproduction is more and more frequently handled through a medical procedure rather than the “horizontal mamba”, or the “Hunka Chunka.” Need I mention the advent of advent of “cyber-sex” via the Internet and the clever inventors attempting to bring to life technology in an the attempt to make it more real. I have even caught myself singing in the car the so-called “mini-tunes” from this movie to my then infant daughter, all together now “My dog’s better than your dog, my dog’s better than yours…”

Ah...never mind.

The most accurate vision within this movie with the most alarming consequences for the America we all live in is contained in the fairly innocuous scene when Stallone and Bullock are on their way to dinner. Bullock’s character is chattering about doing some research at the Schwarzenegger library and has to explain to a thoroughly incredulous Stallone that it’s “the Arnold Schwarzenegger Presidential Library.” She goes on to explain how after his popularity as California’s Governor the constitution was amended to allow foreign-born citizens to run for president. In the scene Stallone shook his head in abject bewilderment, as I watched it my blood ran cold.

I have in recent weeks witnessed a growing movement of misguided people in California try to bring to life the very circumstance inserted into this near “B” movie to add a bit of comic relief. It was considered so far-fetched eleven years ago as to be an enormous joke to introduce it into a script for his long time box-office rival. I wonder if the writers are now shaking their own heads in abject bewilderment at the prescience of this tiny episode in their screenplay. At first I discounted the reports of these few individuals as perhaps being overzealous campaign workers seeing more in their candidate than is actually there. I did visit their website at and was still unconcerned.

Imagine my stunned consternation upon reading a news report a few days later that a former Secretary of State of the United States has now publicly endorsed such a foolhardy idea. It should surprise no one that it was none other than Madeleine Korbel Albright! She is at best perhaps one of the least effective Secretary’s of State in recent memory, presiding over our State Department during some of its worst failures in our history as a nation. Oh and by the way, was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Her wisdom and tireless efforts helped bring us the wildly successful peacekeeping mission in Kosavo, the failed Camp David accords leading to Arafat’s most recent intifada, a completely revitalized North Korean nuclear program, Genocide in Rwanda, and did I forget to mention her involvement in bringing us that spiffy “Oil for Food” program through the U. N. Her tenure at the State Department is not even slightly reminiscent of the images of “statesmanship” I can summon forth from my own memory of previous or even the current occupant of that office. Yet she is touted as being nothing short of brilliant as a former diplomat by academia and those wearing their DNC tinted glasses. She is extremely well read and educated, and an able linguist in several languages. She not wise in any way and fortunately for now she is ineligible to run for the office of the President of the United States of America.

Unfortunately her stature as a former Secretary of State may lend some impetus to this movement, which would be dire indeed for our nation. Our founding fathers had some very sound reasoning behind writing the following passage into our constitution.

Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution:

"No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

The person inhabiting the “Highest office” of our nation, and now the most powerful office in the world cannot possess divided loyalties to or harbor undue prior resentment for any other nation. Considering only the position as “Commander and Chief” of the most powerful military the world has ever seen, it would be unconscionable for us as a nation to allow it. There are even more opportunities for wide-scale economic chicanery. I will accede the point that many supporters of this movement make that most immigrants have to work far harder to attain their citizenship than many of those born here. That is clearly a failing of our educational system not our constitution.

We have an obligation to our nation, our children and those that will come after, and the world at large, to heed the wisdom of those long dead who thought it was important enough to clearly specify this condition in the founding document of our nation. It was not included by accident. The world has indeed changed in the 228 years since those words were added to the constitution, but the wisdom included within them is timeless. There are many scenarios that lead to a happy and benign ending in this endeavor to welcome and embrace those who have made America their home and have come to love this “Nation of immigrants.” Imagine if you will a naturalized citizen Kofi Annan or Jacques Chirac perhaps worse yet President of the United States Madame Madeleine Korbel Albright! There would always be questions looming about where their hearts, loyalty and judgment truly lie. Those who gave life to this truly Great Nation considered an un-fragmented allegiance to our nation a paramount requirement for attaining the topmost position of our government.

It would be irresponsible in the extreme for us to fall prey to a “cult of personality” contained within a charismatic and popular figure and discard the guidance and wise council of our forefathers. Little good can come from it and the potential for great harm would be lurking forever in our future.

Have a Joy, Joy Day!

P. S. I still have no earthly idea what the three seashells are for


Anonymous said...

Not allowing naturalized Americans to run because they aren't our nation's "children" goes on the assumption that the children of the nation have the nation's best interest in mind. If this were the case, there would be no crime, because the nation would be every citizen's top priority.
Maybe simply being born in America has no affect on the person's potential to care about the nation, or, for that matter, the person's potential to identify with another nation. Being born in America has nothing to do with a person's allegience.