Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Starring George Bush as James Dean
I stumbled upon some psychological insight into the chuckleheaded mass of protoplasm known as George Bush. I was watching him cross the White House lawn after getting off of his helicopter, making those inane hand wiggling motions he uses for a wave, and then he did something that looked sophomoric but vaguely familiar. He held his hand out, palm down, and made a scooping, circular motion that ended up as some type of greeting. I knew I had seen it in the distant past, but I couldn't quite remember where until it occurred to me that it was the wave James Dean used in two different movies, most notably "Giant." I used to think it was cool, and did the scoop wave myself until I outgrew it in the seventh grade. It was then that I realized; "This dumb son of a bitch thinks he's James Dean."
To prove my theory, we acquired a copy of "Giant," the George Stevens four hour soap opera of the Edna Ferber book, and it views like the George W. Bush story. You can almost picture George in 1956, wearing his coonskin cap, mesmerized by the big screen's version of the Lone Star state. Filmed in Marfa, Texas, "Giant" is the huge, sprawling tale of the Benedict Ranch, starring Rock Hudson and Liz Taylor as the ranch's proprietors, and James Dean as the ne'er-do-well roustabout Jet Rink. Jordan Benedict (Rock) lives on the ranch with his silver-haired sister, Luzz, (read: Barr), who is Rink's benefactor and surrogate mother. She even looks like Barbara Bush and has a bad temper and an intolerant streak for Mexicans, to whom she refers to as "those people." Luzz pampers Rink/Dean, but surrogate daddy Rock wants him the hell out of there. When Luzz dies, she leaves Jet a small parcel on the larger ranch which he calls "Little Reata," just like "Arbusto Oil."
Surrogate Dad is a successful, old-school cattle man, but Jet wants to be a wildcatter, and sure enough, he strikes oil, which leads to one of the films memorable scenes. Jet drives his jalopy right up to the big house and tells Jordan, "I'm a richun', I'm going to be even richer than you." It gets stranger when Jordan and Leslie (Liz) have twins, just like the Bushes, and they name one of the girls Luzz after the silver-haired old bat, just like George and Laura named one of their daughters Barbara. The good son, played by Dennis Hopper, doesn't want to work the ranch and runs off to marry a Mexican woman, just like Jeb Bush. Remember when the elder Bushes referred to their grandchildren as "the little brown ones?" It's right there in "Giant." Even Georgie's Oedipal struggle with Dad is portrayed by Jet Rink's crush on Jordan Benedict's wife, Leslie, who's too good for him.
In the movie's conclusion, Jet Rink gets drunk and passes out at his own testimonial dinner, showing all of Texas that he does what he damn well pleases. Just like the dry drunk George Bush, who's manic antics have made him the Global Village Idiot, and caused international ridicule and shame over the morally and emotionally bankrupt child we elected as our president. Jet Rink, like George Bush, believed that money could buy him respectability. Poppy's money and assorted henchman even made Georgie the President, but respectability alludes him. He is still the oafish, immature cowboy, Jet Rink, and nobody tells him what to do. For Bush's first forty years, he imitated the fast cars, boozing lifestyle of James Dean. That's what caught the attention of Karl Rove and made him believe he could make Bush president. Only, James Dean wrapped his race car around a tree and made an early exit. George just got a DUI. Had Dean lived to see George the Jackass assume his mannerisms and his dress, he might have concluded what everyone else has by now; that George W. Bush is a punk-ass chump.