12/05/2016

Who Are the Good Guys?

For most of my life, I’ve thought I could tell who the good guys were in novels, movies, and history. Based on that assumption, I thought that most of us were cheering for the same folks at the end of the movie. After the 2016 elections, I’m not so sure.
Pic 3I thought I’d post a few pairs of pictures just to calibrate myself with your ethical standards. Take, for example this pair of mythical characters. Who do you like here: the poor kid from Kansas who works for a liberal newspaper and wastes his time saving ordinary people from catastrophe and rich criminals or the rich guy to takes what he wants and could care less about who he hurts?

Pic 1
Being a rock and roll sort of guy, I thought this comparison is pretty obvious, but apparently I’m wrong. So who do you like: the artist who donates lots of his time to charity and who is actually a musician or the NRA spokesthing who crapped his pants to get out of fighting in Vietnam and who has threatened to murder the current President of the United States?
Pic 6
This ought to be a telling comparison. (The first guy is Jimmy Stewart, in case you’re confused and too young to remember Xmas movies.) The characters are Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others, and Gordon Gekko, a Reagan era idol famous for his unrestrained greed and a 1980’s tag line, "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good." I don’t know how conservatives even blink with this choice. They have to love everything about Gekko, especially his job-killing corporate raider tactics.
Pick 5
This one should be another no-brainer for the pseudo-conservative crowd: a misfit loner, although a decorated and PTSD afflicted WWII vet, who actually destroyed parking meters or a for-profit prison warden. The warden delivers the line that appears to define the 21st Century, "What we've got here is failure to communicate." I don’t know how conservatives can not love a man who enforces the law without compassion, any sense of justice, or the slightest trace of decency.
Pic 7
I tried to make this one obvious by picking a picture of who I thought was the relative “good guy” with his gun in hand. However, this should be a tough one for conservatives: one guy is a paid assassin with a touch of morals and the other is a crooked sheriff who believes he’s the ruler of “my town” and does anything he feels like doing, including torture, behind the protection of the law.
Pic 2
This last one is the most confusing for me. One is a consistently ethical man with a beautiful family and who has given the country the most honorable government in my lifetime and the other is the living embodiment of Richy Rich and everything you’d think working class people would hate about the ruling elite.

But the election of 2016 proved that I have been viewing life, moves, and everything completely differently from 50-some-percent of the people in this country. It turns out that every movie I’ve ever watched has been interpreted differently by at least half of the theater audience. I should have known, since I attended the first showing of This Is Spinal Tap and discovered that most of the audience thought the film was an actual documentary and not a comedy at all. I didn’t bother trying to confuse you with these picture-pairs. I put the people I thought were the good guys on the left and the bad guys on the right, but I’m suspecting a lot of you thought I’d mixed it up a bit. You can not imagine how incredibly sad that makes me.

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