Wednesday, April 08, 2009

DREAM BIG. At AOL, Matt Lewis posits the "Top 3 Conservatives Who Deserve a Biopic." After an expected intro about Juno, Knocked Up, Team America: World Police, The Passion of the Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis imagineers biopics of Whittaker Chambers, Bill Buckley, and the Duke lacrosse scandal. Gotta give him credit: along with the usual dreams of glory ("Kelsey Grammar, whose portrayal of corrupt D.A. Mike Nifong earns him the award for Best Supporting Actor"), Lewis credibly scenarios flicks that would make the Tea Party crowd swoon ("a harrowing tale of political intrigue, chronicling Chambers descent into communism, his recruitment as a Soviet spy, his change of heart, and finally key role in exposing Alger Hiss").

But I see both the promise and the problem here: Lewis is describing Lifetime wingnut movies -- small-scale stories that might work if Rupert Murdoch greenlighted original productions on Fox News, but unlikely to garner the bucks and buzz necessary to launch a big-budget rightwing moving picture. Dream big or not at all, Matt! The Passion of the Christ was about the biggest conservative hero of all -- a Jesus beaten and flayed by Philistines, Jews, transsexuals and other liberal stand-ins, who summoned the second-life strength to dish out post-mortem payback. That's a story that sells tickets and popcorn! Let's re-imagineer on his behalf:

Joe. Nobody gives young Joe McCarthy (Paul Dano) much of a chance: he isn't very bright, isn't much of a speaker, and tends to lie about his service record. Even when he beats Bob LaFollette's boy (Richard Lewis) in a Senate race, he gets no respect. But when he discovers a nest of traitors in the State Department, led by the master criminal Alger Hiss (John Malkovich), the now-mature McCarthy (Gary Sinise) finds a new eloquence, and ordinary Americans, symbolized by the parents of John Birch (Chris Cooper and Allison Janney), rise and affirm his accusations against the denunciations of the corrupt attorney Joseph Welch (Patrick Stewart). Joe's ascent is ultimately arrested by the closet Communist Senator Ralph Flanders (Robert DeNiro) and his Democrat enablers; Joe takes to drink and in a photogenic D.C. bar gives many prescient speeches about a future Negro President and his Alinskyite subversion. He is felled by a heart attack while laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, who takes his spirit's hand and leads him into the Congress of the future, where he stands behind Michelle Bachmann and nods sagely as she calls for an "armed and dangerous" uprising against the traitor Obama.

AuH2O. Young Barry Goldwater (Drew Carey) is a goofy kid working in his daddy's Arizona store, always giving a hard time to his boss Mr. Wick (Drew Ferguson) and his secretary Mimi (Kathy Kinney). But when he goes to the Senate, he finds that his nemeses Jack Kennedy (George Clooney) and Lyndon Johnson (Geoffrey Rush) are "a bunch of statist jerks," and resolves to run for President with the help of his buddies Karl Hess (Diedrich Bader), Joseph Welch (Ryan Stiles), and Phyllis Schlafly (Christa Miller). He tells the delirious crowd that "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," and they all join him in a dance number to Ian Hunter's "Phoenix Rocks." After he is beaten by the evil liberals in 1964, he spends his days wisecracking and playing pool in his backyard till Ronald Reagan (James Brolin) pulls him out of retirement to support his successful Presidential campaign. He then hangs out at the White House, where Mr. Wick and Mimi are engaged as servants and serve as comic foils. Late in life, drunk on his buddies' homemade beer, he says crazy things about evangelical Christians and homosexuals, which he corrects in a "Hey, just kidding" monologue delivered from Heaven, where he, Douglas MacArthur, and Richard Nixon make a series of humorous videos for Reason magazine.

MLKKK. This contrarian epic stars Tea Party singer Lloyd Marcus as ambitious Baptist preacher-traitor Martin Luther King Jr. who gives comically Communistic speeches ("I may not get there with you -- ya knows I sleeps late 'cause of tha niggeritis!") while true patriots try to achieve racial harmony via the free market. There's a hilarious reversal on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, in which King and his minions ("Whoa-a-a-a-aah! Go back! Go back!") are driven to retreat by Major John Cloud (Leslie Nielsen), and comical scenes of King and Lyndon Johnson (Dennis Miller) -- "You da man!" "No, you da man!" -- before the farcical assassination in Memphis facilitated by a fame-hungry Jesse Jackson (Alfonzo Rachel). At the end, the chastened ghost of King tells moviegoers to support the Tea Parties ("A riot is at bottom the language of the unheard"), and leads the cast, all armed with semi-automatic weapons, in a new version of "Movin' On Up" ("Stim-ul-us crushes all of us/Everyone rich and poor/Long about time/We shot Obama/And shoved his corpse out the door").

There -- fixed it for them. But will they have the courage to follow my lead? Blargh! That's the problem with these Obama-age wingnuts -- they think they have to accommodate the littlebrains. But give them time; they'll catch up yet.

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