Lately, I've had action heroes on the brain: John McClane, Indiana Jones, Republicans.
Of course, the heroic comportment of the Bush administration and the Republican candidates shares something fundamental with the heroism of our big-screen tough-guys: it is totally fictional.
Vital to how a hero holds himself are authority and manliness. And while the suggestion that Republicans project these attributes more effectively than Democrats is not exactly groundbreaking, I am continually amazed at how the media helps such Republicans blur the line between reality and roleplaying.
Political blogger Glenn Greenwald has taken a hard look at, and a wide view of, this phenomenon. In a particularly disturbing piece, he starts with a narrow focus: the posturing of Fred Thompson and the response to it by MSNBC's Chris Matthews--one that suggests Matthews is charting a trajectory from talking head to Thompson groupie.
Be warned: It's bizarre. How bizarre? Let's just say that if you thought the dance of politics and media couldn't get more homoerotic than Jeff Gannon, then in the words of Bette Davis (appropos of everything), "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night."
One other item: This Tuesday, there will be two places to look for me. For those of you in Los Angeles, I'll be signing copies of my book, Action Speaks Louder: Violence, Spectacle, and the American Action Movie at the Borders Books & Music in Westwood (1360 Westwood Blvd.) starting at 7pm.
For those of you in the world, Tuesday will also be the day my first piece for Slate.com will be published. The article reveals which one-liner is the greatest in action movie history--and why.
That's this Tuesday, June 26th. The date is easy to remember. Just start with the release date of Live Free or Die Hard, then subtract one.