Love for Sale
With the mother of all sequels looming in 2012, what’s a billion bucks among friends?


As is well known, the movie business is pretty much dead to audiences unless you’re a teenage boy, so times is hard out here in Tinseltown for a scribe like me. I mean, how am I supposed to write a hit sequel if there’s no breakout original for me to rip off? Like our fearless leader, His Serene Majesty the Emperor Barack Hussein Obama II, Lord of the Flies, Keeper of the Hoops, Master of the Greens, Bringer of Kinetic Military Action, Vacationer-in-Chief, Slayer of Osama, Atomizer of the Economy, Sultan of the Slippers, and Protector of the Holy Cities of Honolulu and Chicago, I need love and inspiration. And right now, except for Ginger, I’m not feelin’ it.

Where is the spirit of Hope and her lovely sister, Change? Where are the triumphal Styrofoam columns of Denver, the shouting ersatz Volk of Grant Park, united in their fervid love for The One? If you ask me, America-of-KKK-A has been going downhill since that historic moment on the steps of the Capitol in January 2009, when this rotten country finally put its racist past behind it for all of two minutes before Rush Limbaugh and the rest of you fascists began raining on the inaugural parade.

It’s no wonder, then, that the movie business has followed it down the drain. We did our best during the Darth Vader years to show you wingnuts the error of your ways but, no, you wouldn’t listen to us, so we had to beat it out of you at the ballot box in 2008, and even then your morale didn’t improve — in fact, it got worse.

As is well known, we progressives are nothing if not patriotic, even if our brand of patriotism has more to do with the future than with the past, more with the country that will come than with the country that has been. We’re like those heroic Soviet peasants in the posters on my wall here at my palatial pad in Echo Park, eyes lifted to the glorious future, feet planted in ingloriously present mud. But like Michelle Obama, all we want to be is, finally, proud of this great land of ours. And you won’t let us — you and that crowd of reactionary revanchists and irredentists you call the American people.

So, with nothing to do until someone more creative than myself comes along, Ginger and I went down to Lanskyland in Florida recently to visit my father, the sainted “Che” Kahane, and the first thing he said to me when he un-padlocked the door, threw back four or five dead bolts, and sent the pit bulls out back to feast on the remains of one of the stray neighborhood children who had unaccountably escaped the abortion mill and now faced the prospect of a miserable life of poverty and crime, was: “Wäre es da Nicht doch einfacher, die Regierung Löste das Volk auf und Wählte ein anderes?

For a moment there, I could tell that Ginger was flashing back to her XXX remake of Ilsa, She-Wolf of the Social Security Department — you remember, the one set in the Amerikkka of &*^%BUSH*&$!. Yeah, I wrote that one under a pseudonym. But she surprised me.

“Why is your old man’s German so idiosyncratically capitalized?” she whispered. Ginger never ceases to amaze, and I’m not just talking about after the sun goes down.

Che’s ears are still almost as sharp as they were back in the day when he was informing on fellow cell members in the Village in exchange for a lighter sentence, although he’s always denied it. “Because I’m speaking in poetry, Dummkopfin,” he thundered. Che sure knows his German gender, something beaten into him back in Frankfurt when he was a grade-school kid studying at the Institute for Social Research before, having destabilized Germany, it decamped across the pond to my alma mater, Columbia, to continue its great mission of “critical theory.” He still speaks the language at least as well as Matt Damon did in The Bourne Identity.

“Dad, this is Ginger.”

“I know,” he said, ushering us inside, with a wink and a leer.

Uncle Joe was waiting for us. “Well, wouldn’t it be easier for the regime to dissolve the People and elect another?’” he demanded. Like Dad, Uncle Joe always gets right to the heart of the matter.

“If you say so, Uncle Joe.”

“We both say so,” said Che. “Because Barry’s blowing it and something must be done.”

“Ruining it for all of us,” lamented Uncle Joe. “But that’s because he’s not feeling the love. We’re just not good enough for him. We’re not worthy.”