Sunday, March 19, 2017

On Beauty and the Beast

I saw the newest version of this classic, which was close to being very good. There were a few long boring bits, and the CGI of the beast was hard to watch, but I liked that they added a little subplot about LeFou. I'm not talking about how inclusive it was, how in 2017 the Disney Corporation finally allowed an explicitly gay character (as opposed to the slightly less overt previously slipped in). I'm more interested in one particular line LeFou speaks: "Meh, I've decided to switch sides," which wasn't a double entendre. He just suddenly, flippantly, realizes that he's wasted years spending all his time and energy supporting a cad, and he changes teams in the middle of the final battle. There's not a moment of guilt or shame becoming a turncoat. He flipped from 100% for him to 100% against in the bat of an eye. He made it look so easy.

And I think of Trump's closest minions, and what a delightful plot twist it would be if one of them would turn on him. The problem is that many of them are far worse. But maybe Spicer could suddenly start speaking truth to power as he stands at his podium. Maybe some kind of realization would hit Conway enough to lift her off her knees from that couch and suddenly help her see the bigger picture, brush off her allegiances, and take to the streets with the protesters. What a fairy tale that would be!

Maureen Dowd has written a beautifully caustic piece about the sycophants on the hill:
Maybe if these elites-pretending-not-to-be-elites deigned to talk to some knowledgeable elites in government once in a while, they might emerge from the distorted, belligerent, dystopian, Darwinian, cracked-mirror world that is alarming Americans and our allies. They might even stop ripping off the working-class people they claim to be helping.
Of course Belle is Angela Merkel being courted by Trump (We were both wire tapped!) who is outrageously sexist and has no respect for her education or intelligence. He has no respect for anyone's education or intelligence. But who is the Beast? Who is the good guy that has tolerated a spell making it look hideous, making it behave cowardly, but with some bit of goodness beneath, and with the strength enough to destroy Trump if it can only regain its former glory?

The fourth estate.

If Trump's henchmen don't have the wisdom to turn on him and his lies have people carrying pitchforks to ignite crosses on lawns and fight their neighbours, then the only beast that can stop him is knowledge. Once the fog lifts and the angry mob starts to see their neighbours as people again, then maybe, just maybe, Trump's reign will crumble.


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