Cold war noir revisited

LI saw Seven Days in May last night. How did we ever miss that flick? It is a generational thing – while I was not of the generation that was taught to hide under the desk if a bomb hit, I do clearly remember the impact of reading Hiroshima in the sixth grade – lent to me by my then best friend, Mike Sears, a boy who was way ahead of his time in the gore department- and having nightmares that mixed naked bodies and skin melting off them. This was just when naked female bodies were zooming to the top of the charts, as far as LI’s interest in things, so the whole thing was extremely disturbing. And it wasn’t unreasonable to actually think it could happen to good old suburban Atlanta. Why not? Any plane you saw in the sky could, potentially, be part of an attack squad that had made its way from Russia, unloading the h bomb at this very moment to fall and explode right above your own back yard. Hello Daddy Hello mom its your sk-sk-sk-skin-scrapin’/ cherry bomb

But enough psychopathology. There was one thing in Seven Days in May that struck me as extremely funny. The movie is about a liberal president who signs a disarmament treaty with the Russkies. This so pisses off General Scott (played with that Burt Lancaster trademark handsome unctuousness) that he plots to overthrow the Pres and install a military dictatorship. Here was the funny thing: we are supposed to consider the country in crisis, and the president teetering on disaster, because he is achieving only a 29 percent approval rating in the polls.

How funny and true. A Far Side moron like Bush can achieve 29 percent in the polls for years, and the establishment media will continue to treat him like he’s the second coming of Christ, disguised as the Lord of the Flies – but it is certainly true that a liberal president would be relentlessly hounded for those same numbers. Righfully, conservatives assume that they are entitled. They do, after all, own the papers, the networks, and the circle jerk of think tanks and tv-genic experts.