Sunday, August 20, 2006
Time to Leave or Time to Control the GOP Fear Tactic
François Ozon's 2005 film entitled Le temps qui reste (The time that remains) but translated into English as Time to Leave, which he both wrote and directed, starring Melvil Poupaud in the lead role as Romain and Jeanne Moreau in a cameo role as his grandmother, hit a nerve when I saw it today.
The lead character, Romain, is a young gay photographer who is told he has a few months to live because he has cancer. Surprised it is not AIDS, Romain has to deal with what to do with the knowledge, including how to handle his love affair with Sasha, played by Christian Sengewald.
It is beautifully filmed, with Jeanne Lapoire as cinematographer, and the music enhances without making the film a Hollywood syrup. Instead this film makes one think about how one should or can confront death.
In light of wars going on and the liquid terror on airlines, Luke Mitchell's article entitled A Run on Terror which appeared in Harper's Magazine in March of 2004 and which is mentioned in John Dean's book Conservatives without Conscience somehow all came together for me after watching the film.
In 2001 sadly 553,768 people died of cancer in the USA and 27,801 children died in their infancy, yet on 9/11 only 2,978 people were killed in the attacks.
Which is worse? To know you are going to die (as with the Romain character) or to be killed in a sudden attack be it on a plane, building, or train by a terrorist? It is better to know when one is going to die (at least one can get his/her life in order) or should doctors not tell terminally ill patients the truth? Of course, no one wants to die but unfortunately no one has found a solution in order to avoid it, lacking immortally of the gods.
One of Dean's points is that the GOP has and continues to keep the USA in a state of terror frenzy and of course the media does it share to scare us all for the ratings--always the ratings to produce cash. The sad reality is perhaps the GOP and gang have realized that if they simply continue to keep Americans in a frenzy state, they will simply ignore the realities of life in the USA, the economy, the pollution, the killings in our streets, the poor educational system that seems to perpetuate itself perhaps because sadly Americans are too comfortably ignoring that we are losing our competitive edge in the world market and that corporations have recognized this and are simply going overseas to find competent and cheaper workers. Are we all going to hell in a hand basket that the GOP is hoping the terrorists will continue to re-supply? Be afraid, be afraid! Now there are Snakes on a Plane to keep us afraid.
Should we be afraid for the thousands who are losing their lives in the USA in car accidents, due to cancer, heart disease, AIDS, kidney failure, or due to fatal workplace injuries, etc.? All of these deaths a year alone out number the causalities lost in any war the USA has been involved in yet as Dean mentions in his book, there is no government office such as the US Department of Homeland Security to prevent any of these annual deaths.
Yes, the government should do its share to help prevent deaths be they caused by terrorists or diseases that are ailing Americans due to what corporations are
pouring into our rivers, in the air we breath, or chemicals that are put in our food, but when the government such as the GOP uses the terror to keep Americans in a frenzy state of terror for the sake of political gain, then we must not only question their authority but we must become aware of what our government is doing because as Dean states there are people out there who are "without conscience" and who are using the fear for their own political and monetary gain. And in the process we are losing/destroying our country and its democracy.