As is well known, we creative types in Hollywoodland deal in the imaginary. Like the White Queen in Through the Looking-Glass, we can conjure up six impossible things before breakfast, believe in all of them, and make a hit movie out of at least one of them. Which is why, I suppose, we’re all liberals out here. Because who else but someone well versed in fantasy could believe what’s going on in Washington these days? To us progressives, fantasy is far more potent, far more real, than reality ever could be, and that includes Jersey Shore.
Millions of dollars have turned into billions have turned into trillions, and still we envision more — a trillion here and a trillion there and pretty soon you’re talking about Obama’s 2016 budget, after the health-care bill really kicks in and “fundamental transformation” heads for the wow finale of January 2017, which will make Götterdämmerung look like Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
Why, if the president didn’t get to borrow another $3 trillion or so to get him safely past the cowboy/Rethuglican-infested shoals of the next election, our sacred inter-generational compact, sanctified by the hallowed martyr’s blood of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson, could be threatened. There’s nothing like the dead hand of the past to keep America on the straight and narrow, even if it bankrupts us in the process.
But what do we care? We lefties hate to be tied down by tradition, unless it’s our own. We simply must do the right thing, which is to promise the moon and then print and borrow money in order to deliver it in perpetuity so you’ll keep voting for us. It’s all funny money at this point anyway, a dizzying succession of zeroes that nobody can really understand.
Thanks to the miracle of studio accounting, we Hollywood insiders are used to magic tricks that make vast sums vanish into thin air. When you spend nearly $200 million to make a movie like Cowboys & Aliens and it brings in less than $40 million on its opening weekend — and gets roughed up by a bunch of Smurfs in the process — well, it’s good to know that 3,000 miles away, there’s somebody in even worse shape than the suits who greenlighted the fusion space-oater.
I have to admit that I, like millions of my generation, have been blindsided by the realization that a bunch of selfish geezers who call themselves “baby boomers” have all suddenly decided to grow old, retire, and get deathly ill simultaneously, and will now be demanding their piece of the FDR/LBJ pie. Who knew? Their number would include my father — the sainted “Che” Kahane — and my Uncle Joe, both gathering moss and hacking up phlegm down there in Hallandale, Fla., which they like to call Lanskyland on account of their respect for the Democrats’ illustrious past and glorious future as a criminal organization masquerading as a political party.