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Viggo on Dubya

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Viggo MortensenLooks, brains, talent, and conviction: What’s not to love about Viggo Mortensen? The outspokenly leftist actor and artist, now steaming up the silver screen in David Cronenberg’s fascinating A History of Violence (see it, see it now!), is the subject of a new interview in The Progressive. Among other things, he discusses his visit to Cindy Sheehan’s Camp Casey, the bungling of the Katrina disaster, and the phenomenon of activist actors. And yes, the anti-war Mortensen discusses Dubya:

“I’m not anti-Bush; I’m anti-Bush behavior. In other words, I’m against cheating, greed, cruelty, racism, imperialism, religious fundamentalism, treason, and the seemingly limitless capacity for hypocrisy shown by Bush and his Administration. …

“It’s too easy [to pin all of the blame on Bush], and it lets a lot of people off the hook. I think impeachment proceedings need to be started immediately but not just against him. God forbid we should have Dick Cheney as President. No. Those two need to go, and many of the others in the inner circle need to go.”

Not anti-Bush, anti-Bush behavior: I like Mortensen’s sense of nuance and applaud his ability to sum up the Shrub Administration’s sins so neatly. And I agree: The US needs regime change. Now.

Do check out the interview in its entirety. And by all means, see A History of Violence. Viggo’s performance is award-worthy (not that he cares about that sort of thing) and the points the film raises about the seemingly endless effects of violence will stay with you long after the closing credits roll.

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About NR Davis

  • Baronius

    I increasingly understand why actors were considered low-class, barely above criminals, and buried outside town.

  • “I’m against cheating, greed, cruelty, racism, imperialism, religious fundamentalism, treason, and the seemingly limitless capacity for hypocrisy shown by Bush and his Administration.”

    Show me on example of each that Bush (our greatest president) has done.

  • Anthony, Bush may not deserve all the criticism the biased and ignorant – like Mortensen – subject him to, but he certainly isn’t a saint or our greatest president.


  • Anthony–Bush is our greatest president? Are you fucking high? You have no ability to look at this with any sense of reason. You’re the equivalent of a screaming teenybopper at an NSync concert.

  • MCH

    Re comment #2;

    Would DESERTION from the National Guards qualify as an example you’re looking for?


  • No. History of Violence was the worst movie I’ve seen since Reindeer Games.

  • Really, it is between Bush, Jefferson, Lincoln and Reagon for the greatest President. I stand by my statement.

    Please, someone tell me how he isn’t the greatest.

    “Would DESERTION from the National Guards qualify as an example you’re looking for?”

    If your source is Dan Rather, then you need to leave this thread. Bush never deserted anything. He did his time in the National Guard and trained people to fly. I am sorry MCH that not everyone has the desire make a career out of the military like you.

    Would you call Clinton hiding in England desertion also???

  • MCH

    “Bush never deserted anything. He served his time in the National Guard and trained people to fly.”
    – Anthony (RJ) Grande

    Here’s what General William Turnispeed, Ret., to whom GW Bush was ordered to report at Dannelly AFB in 1972, told the Boston Globe in May, 2004, regarding GW’s AWOL from Dannelly:
    “To my knowledge, he (GW Bush) never showed up. Had he reported in, I would have some recall, and I do not. If we had a first lieutenant from Texas, I would’ve remembered.”

    Here’s what Lt. Col. William Harris and Lt. Col. Jerry Killian wrote May 22, 1973, regarding Bush’s failure to participate in Guard meetings at Ellingson AFB:
    “Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of report.”

    Here’s what Major Bobby W. Hodges, Ret., told the Boston Globe in May, 2004, regarding Bush’s no-show at Ellingson:
    “His (GW Bush) unit continued to fly the F-102 until 1974. If he had come back to Houston (Ellingson AFB), I would’ve had him flying the 102 until he got out. But I don’t remember him coming back at all.”

  • Biased and ignorant? He stated his opinion. Are you telling me that your bias does not appear in your opinions, Mr. Nalle? And as for ignorant, Viggo Mortensen is very well-educated and well-read. He may draw conclusions that differ from yours, but that is no reason to insult his intelligence. Should people who find any of your views abhorrent automatically label you as ignorant? I would hope not; that would not be fair or humane.

  • Anthony, usually, I’d let misspellings slide, but since you thing Ronald REAGON was one of the greatest president’s ever, thought it might help if you knew how to spell his name. It’s REAGAN. Most times, people just hit the wrong key, but you missed by a mile! I mean, shit dude, the “a” and “o” are on opposite sides of the keyboard, leading me to believe that you’ve been thinking all this time that his name is spelled that way. No wonder you keep having trouble googling him!!

    Now you should be on your way to proper research all of your fave Presidents!

  • Matt, what you couldn’t answer my arguments so you attack a “one” letter typing mistake???

    ReagAn, Bush, Jefferson and Lincoln are the greatest presidents we ever had.

    MCH, your sites are not credible. One is title “democrats.com” and the other is about the 04 election.

    Yes or no: Were there National Guards who were sent to Vietnam???

    And do you consider Clinton a deserter???

  • What arguments? You said these are your favorite presidents. I’ll spot you Jefferson and Lincoln.

    How can you possibly say Bush is one of the greatest Presidents ever? 9/11 happened on his watch, he fucked up Katrina, he’s hired cronies for every post possible, his main man Rove is leaking operatives to the magazines, 2% of black people like him, only 39% of all Americans like him. He fucked up the war in Iraq–no exit strategy and no plan to deal with the insurgency. Even conservatives are pissed at him right now with Miers. Except you, of course. You think Bush is perfect and has never done anything wrong.

    He’s practically a lame duck already, with 1,200 days left to go.

    Greatest President ever? Umm, no. He might not even be in the top 30.

    Good job getting that spelling right on Reagan. Proud of ya.

  • MCH

    Anthony (RJ) Grande;
    Are you calling General Turnispeed, Lt. Colonels Harris and Jillian, and Major Hodges liars?

    Hhmmm…must be a conspiracy.

  • Cunning linguist

    Everyone knows that Ronald Reagan was the greatest president ever.

  • MCH, you answer my question first: Do you consider Clinton a deserter also???

    Matt, you are a poster boy for liberal talking points.

    How did he fuck up the Katrina disaster???

    9/11 happened because of Clinton’s pussy policies on terrorism. During his presidency we were attacked 5 times. The Somalia disaster, first World Trade center bombing, U.S.S. Cole bombing, Embassy bombing in Kenya and the Oklohoma City bombing let the terrorist believe that they could do 9/11 with no consequences. Bush sure proved them wrong. Have we been attacked since 9/11???

    Yeah 90% of Blacks always vote Democrat but they still live in Poverty.

    That number, 39%, is way off.

    And where did I say that Bush was perfect??? I just said that he is one of our greatest presidents. Does that mean he is perfect???

  • Got any evidence Clinton was ever in the military, Anthony? By definition, you can’t be a deserter from an organization that you never joined in the first place. In other words, if Clinton is a deserter, so are you.

    Asking somebody whether they consider Clinton a deserter is a feeble attempt to divert attention from the fact that you have not put forward any solid reasoning to support your views.

  • I think Mr. Grande means to call Clinton a draft dodger, which, arguably, he was.

  • Maybe so, Natalie, but I haven’t seen anybody here try to claim Clinton was this country’s greatest president ever.

  • Mr. Plenty, I would not think of making that claim. I will opine, however, that the draft dodger was a helluva lot better than the deserter.

  • MCH

    I agree Ms. Davis, re comment #19;

    Actually GW Bush was both…before he deserted, he actually dodged the draft by being bumped to the front of a waiting list of 500 men to get into the Texas National Guards in the first place.

    And I notice Nalle refused to respond to your #9; perhaps a little more truth than our resident know-it-all cares to address…?

  • In the midst of all of you intrigued by what one comment poster thinks about President Bush, the greatest lie in history was slipped by all of you suckers in this post: that History of Violence was actually worth seeing.

  • Sorry, MCH. I hadn’t noticed this thread was still live. Just for you I’ll respond to #9.

    >>Biased and ignorant? He stated his opinion.< < And opinion which assumes as fact things which are both unproven and unsupportable about Bush. That's at least biased and that kind of bias usually exists in an environment of ignorance. >> Are you telling me that your bias does not appear in your opinions, Mr. Nalle? < < I would assume it does - especially my bias against extremism and deception. >>And as for ignorant, Viggo Mortensen is very well-educated and well-read. < < I have no information on that. All I have is the statements which he has made, which clearly aren't terribly well informed. >>He may draw conclusions that differ from yours, but that is no reason to insult his intelligence. Should people who find any of your views abhorrent automatically label you as ignorant? I would hope not; that would not be fair or humane.<< He said what he said. Whether he's a raging genius and a saint or not, his statement quoted here is ignorant, simplistic and biased. If I made a statement like that I'd expect to be decried as a fool too. Dave

  • The guy can say whatever he wants. I just don’t care.

    So why I am I posting on the thread if I don’t care?

    OK, good point and you sort of have me there. I guess it’s to say I don’t feel threatened or diminished because an actor has a world view very different than my own (anymore than I think I would feel validated by having one espouse my views).

    I am not going to criticize the actor. Hell, I am not going to criticize anyone. I guess I am just “over” the craze of celebrities championing causes or politics. it’s their right to do so. It’s my right to yawn and hope their next album/book/movie is worth a damn.

  • Mr. DJRadiohead, that is probably the healthiest viewpoint. At the same time, we “little people” have the right to state our opinions. Granted, we don’t have interviewers chasing us with microphones, but it seems to me that being famous isn’t supposed to take people’s rights away. And absolutely, a “celebrity’s” is no more important than anyone else’s, but it shouldn’t be less important either. Meaning, you are entitled to your view, I am entitled to mine, and Viggo is entitled to his. I am just happy to find someone who is in agreement with me; dissent is a lonely road.

  • Celebrities are entitled to their opinions AND their biases, as are any citizens. But their celebrity doesn’t afford their opinions any additional weight or importance. The celebrities aren’t the problem (at least not until they run for office). The problem is a culture that values the opinions of the pretty and popular over the opinions of the informed — of any political persuasion.

    But we have a culture that can’t distinguish between opinion and fact, and that’s a bigger problem.

    Now, regarding GWB: I’m certainly no fan, and I question the rationale for any assessment of GWB as a great president. But I’d also question any suggestion that Bill Clinton was any better.

    But how does arguing about either’s military service or lack thereof solve any of this country’s problems? What does it accomplish?

    Forget left and right, liberal and conservative. Consider solutions, weigh opinions, and question EVERYTHING — especially the opinions and ideas of career politicians whose jobs involve little more than collecting money to finance their re-election.

  • Interesting point… it’s not a matter of whether or not Mr. Mortensen (I shouldn’t get too familiar) has a right to his opinion but rather why would any of us care what it is before he gives it? Once he has given it, people who agree with him will like it and those who don’t won’t.

    The right to have an opinion or express an opinion isn’t being questioned by me. He can do it. So can the rest of us. His means as little to me as mine does to most of the folks reading this. I’m over myself, too.

  • this of course relates back to the whole Dixie Chicks thing. it seems that people tend to complain about celebrity opinions when they don’t line up with their own.

    for instance, i didn’t hear a whole lot of conservatives bitching about Toby Keith’s “Angry American” tune.

  • An interesting point, Mark. Let me submit however that there might be a difference between a song and an interview.

    R.E.M. wrote a couple of songs with some heavy political content (as have a number of other artists… Pearl Jam’s “Bushleaguer” coming to mind, Eminem, The Stones…) that would be ‘anti-war’ or ‘anti-Bush’ and they were not necessarily roundly criticized. Toby Keith wasn’t dismissed by conservatives for his song.

    When a songwriter puts it in a song their commentary comes in the form of their craft- doing what they do. We can then discuss whether or not they are particularly good at it or not (that Toby Keith song is shit, for example). Songwriters often take the role of observer/commenter and feed that in their songs. Actors, by contrast, pretend to be other people. Does that mean musicians are more qualified than their stage/screen counterparts? Of course not.

    Yes, there is a tendency to champion the opinions we like and ignore the ones we don’t. We all do it. And it doesn’t just happen with celebrities. We do it with co-workers, family, and friends.

  • Nancy

    Remember, all, that Anthony is still a kid in high school, & therefore both his judgement & capacity to reason are still undeveloped. Cut him some slack. He’ll grow up eventually, get a job (maybe?), & learn Reality the hard way, like the rest of us.

  • Remember, all, that Nancy is still a woman, & therefore … well, you see where I’m going with this.

    I’m only keeeeeding! Ay dios mio!

  • Suss, I would toss you a flak jacket but you’re on your own. Duck!

  • It’s a shame that actors’ political views do carry more clout than the average person. Anytime an actor with a recent movie or debut TV show speaks their mind, everyone goes in a tizzy about it. DJRadioHead has the right idea.

    Just remember when McCain sang Streisand songs on SNL to see how ridiculous the crossover is.

    History of Violence blew worse than every female hurricane this year combined.

  • Nancy

    Well, let’s see: Anthony is excused because he’s young & doesn’t know any better; I have the excuse that I’m just a woman…so, Matt, what’s YOUR excuse for trenchant stupidity?

  • Nancy

    Aside from the sexist spoutings of Mr. Sussman, if we examine either president, Clinton or Bush, both of them have substantial failings, but Clinton’s seem to be of a more personal (i.e. not likely to affect anyone but himself) nature: the inability to keep it in his pants, & then lie about it. W., on the other hand, has lifelong displayed a record of failures at very public endeavors that did/do affect a lot of people not himself, financially if not otherwise, i.e. the string of business failures based on total lack of sound judgement that one would expect of someone who purportedly got a degree in Business Adminstration from Yale – even with a tepid, “C” average. His track record as governor of Texas was equally lacking. Therefore, considering only drawbacks affecting presidential performance, I’d have to say that W is the greater disaster by far.

  • He thinks Fred Armisen is funny?

    Mr. Sussman, whatever names humans give them, hurricanes are inanimate objects that have no gender. And while you are certainly entitled to your opinion of Cronenberg’s film, do know that many people disagree with your assessment of it.

  • MCH

    Along the lines of actors and politics….

    I think Rush Limbaugh, for example, has successfully performed the biggest scam in modern history – rivaled perhaps by only P.T. Barnum.

    I mean, here’s a draft-dodger whose only real-life experience was that of a disc jockey;

    And yet he’s managed to convince hundreds-of-thousands right-wingers that he’s “a great American patriot” and a military expert.

  • Wrong. No. That’s simply not true. Hurricanes are named that for a reason, because every alternating named storm is scientifically name and female.

    For example:

    Katrina became a hurricane on August 25.

    Rita became a hurricane on September 20, a span of 26 days between Katrina and Rita.

    Wilma became a hurricane on October 18 a span of 27 days between Rita and Wilma.

    Meanwhile, Hurricane Stan went to Mexico to party, got wasted, and was never heard from again.

    It’s science.

    And speaking of wrong, every person who speaks well of History of Violence is incorrect. It’s not a good movie. It’s not. The majority is not always right, and in this instance they are all wrong. It’s horrible and bad and a waste of 5 bucks.

  • You are correct, Mr. Sussman; the majority is OFTEN wrong. However, I never said that the majority praised the film, only that many disagree with you on the matter. My question for you, sir: When did your opinion become fact? And another: When did Roger Ebert die and make you the final arbiter on a film’s worth? You didn’t like the film. Great. Throw a party.

  • Roger Ebert isn’t dead. But the ghost of Gene Siskel came to me in a dream and said History of Violence is “the feel good movie of the year … for crazy people.”

    That’s as close to natural law as it gets.

  • El Bicho

    What sort of a dump plays for movies for $5? No wonder you didn’t enjoy it.

  • “if we examine either president, Clinton or Bush, both of them have substantial failings, but Clinton’s seem to be of a more personal (i.e. not likely to affect anyone but himself) nature” by Nancy

    Clinton never hurt anyone but himself??? Have you ever heard of Waco??? Do you remember how he sent Elion back to commie Cuba??? Do you remember how he vetoed two bills that would have banned partial-birth abortion???

    Oh…yeah…I almost forgot: Clinton is cause NUMERO UNO for 9/11.

    Six incidents and reasons why Clinton caused 9/11:

    *Our soldiers were massacred in Somalia by mobs led by a terrorist that he never took out.

    **The first World Trade Center bombing was done by Al Queda and he never showed action to prevent another.

    ***The Embassy Bombing in Kenya, done by Al Queda, which Clinton showed a weak unfollowed through response.

    ****The U.S.S. Cole, done by Al Queda, Clinton did nothing.

    *****In 1998, Osama bin Laden declared open war on the United States and Clinton did nothing.

    ******The Oklohoma City bombing showed terrorists that they could take out a building or buildings.

    All six of the above let terrorists, Al Queda in particular, believe that they could do 9/11 and get away with it. But they made a big mistake: BUSH WAS IN OFFICE, NOT CLINTON!!!

    These six reasons along with the Waco incidents, the vetoes of the ban on partial-birth abortion, the sending of Elion back to the commies and when he cheated and lied are the reasons and justification for me to move William Jefferson Clinton to the bottom of the list of the Greatest President ever.

  • RogerMDillion

    Is daycare out already?

  • Baronius

    I would guess that Natalie wasn’t sitting around waiting for Viggo to tell her what to think about the President. But she did post his comments, as if the weight of his celebrity made them more important.

    I prefer Gimli to Aragorn. John Rhys-Davies has said that Bush is right to lead a battle against the worst elements of Muslim culture; that the West must be protected; that some members of the Bush administration are on par with the Founding Fathers. I wouldn’t expect Natalie to quote him. I only refer to him because I think he’s right.

  • Mr. Baronius, I posted it because I found it interesting and wonderful, not because I felt it was particularly important. And you’re right: I wouldn’t have posted the opinion of John Rhys-Davies (though I love the actor’s body of work). I disagree with him vehemently, of course, and frankly, IMO, antiwar voices don’t get nearly enough play in a Shrubya Bush world. Anything I can do to promote anti-war and pacifist views is my duty.

  • Going back a bit, I’m with DJR. Ultimately whatever Mortensen says isn’t terribly important or interesting whether it’s well informed or just loony.

    What I really want to know is why his hair looks so weird.


  • IMO, antiwar voices don’t get nearly enough play in a Shrubya Bush world
    That kind of goes up my ass sideways. It’s not that they didn’t get enough play, we just don’t all agree on this point!

    I am going to launch a sprawling bit off topic… I remember when Michael Moore was asked about the results of the 2004 election. He intimated that Bush’s win was a result of an electorate not properly informed. I don’t have the exact quote. I am more than cool with Moore voting for a candidate of his choice. I am more than cool with him not liking the outcome of an election and more than more than cool with him expressing his dislike for the outcome of an election. What I didn’t appreciate is the notion that the reason it didn’t go to his liking is because “we didn’t know better.”

    I have a problem with a suggestion that his way of thinking is the only correct one and everyone would have agreed with him if only they had been better informed.

    Back to the comments above… I realize “IMO” was part of it and if someone thinks the ‘anti-war’ position has been underreported, they are entitled to that. I disagree, but that’s part of the game.

    I don’t like the inference that could be drawn from that. The one that suggests those who support Bush or the war are somehow too stupid to know any better or just ill-informed.

  • I think if I was better informed about how he gets his hair like that that I might Viggo better and thus be better prepared to care what he thinks about Bush or the war.

  • Magnus

    Hey check this out… Dubya is sure doing well on those extremists 🙂

    Just for the record, I think Americans spend far too much time contemplating Bush’s navel to actually see what he’s doing to Americans, America and the rest of this world. He’s a war criminal and as such he should be treated.

    And don’t come crying to us for help when you run out of gas and oil… 🙂

    Just thought I’d stir things up a bit… goodnight!


  • MCH

    “What I really want to know is why his hair looks so weird?”
    – Dave Nalle

    Does it look weirder than you in that goofy little cowboy hat, Nalle?

  • Hey MCH, what do you think about Clinton hiding from the draft??? Why are you avoiding the question???

  • Maddog 20/20

    Dave, In your web site you profess to be a libertairian The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition defines libertarian as:
    1. One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.
    2. One who believes in free will.
    How in anyway can you justify the war in Iraq? This country, our country, has waged war in another country. What about the free will of the Iraqi people. If they (Iraqis) wanted Saddam out, they should have put him out. If you believe the lies and spin currently coming from Washington D. C. you’re living in a dream world. They are lies; people like Karl Rove have a track record of lying and dirty politics. Don’t forget that this is the party of Nixon. Many of these people worked with that administration. The public is waking up to George W. and his games, which is why his poll numbers are tanking. From your bio. I feel that you think you’ve been around and you know a thing or two. You’ve been to Syria and Iraq. You’ve stuffed some envelopes for a candidate or two. You’ve taught a course or two at a community college (I currently attend a local CC, if you are like my instructors I’m not impressed.). At you website http://www.elitistpig.com all the front page entries are by you. You have a large list of members but, very few of them have offered entries or comments. Maybe a couple students fed you a line of BS and said you should run for office. They were probably trying to help their grade. It appears you probably need some more work with your many entries at http://www.blogcritics.com it seems you don’t have anything to do. You’re web site says;
    “Federal environmental legislation has been used as a tool by special interest groups to interfere with free trade and force their social agenda on local communities all over our country. Farmers and businessmen have been driven into bankruptcy, private citizens have been denied access to resources and free use of their own property and our entire society has been burdened with the cost of whimsical and unnecessary legislation.”
    It reads to me that you’re just worried about your own selfish dollar. You don’t realize that if we don’t have an environment to live with, nobody lives, not you, not your children, grand children, not me or my children. If you’re worried about your own selfish ideas you won’t be much of a representative. Are the needs of one individual greater than that of society? I don’t know. Here’s an idea though, you should start a new political party. The Dave party then you can dictate what causes or situations that you want to get involved in. Your charter should be a blank page, that way there is nothing holding you to a certain belief, you can be involved in whatever you want or decide to be involved in. Your party symbol could be a yin and yang. This could indicate spin which is all you’re doing. Spinning information.

  • MCH

    Anthony (RJ) Grande;

    Are you a slow learner? Ms. Davis and several others explained to you the difference between a draft dodger and a deserter.

    Accusing Bill Clinton of desertion without even having served in the military has done irreparable harm to your credibility.

    But it is amusing that a female pacifist knows more about the armed forces than you…

  • MCH, what do you think of Clinton hiding from the draft???

  • comment 53 is not rephraised by the way. It is the same question that MCH ducked on comment 50.

  • RogerMDillion

    “What I didn’t appreciate is the notion that the reason it didn’t go to his liking is because ‘we didn’t know better.'”

    What’s the problem unless your concerned he might be correct?

    Maybe you saw Morgan Qunito Press’ ranking of the smartest states? Only two of the top ten went to Bush, VA at 7 and MT at 9, but he cleaned up with eight of the bottom ten.


  • MCH: “Does it look weirder than you in that goofy little cowboy hat, Nalle?”

    It looks different, but then I was dressed up for a costumed event, and he has his hair all the time.

    I know a guy who lost all his hair in a fire. The wig he wears to hide the burn scars looks an awful lot like what Viggo has on his head.


  • valery dawe

    Dubya is a sleazy deceitful swine. He and his bumboy Tony Blair lied through their teeth about the existence of WMD in Iraq and then unleashed their real WMD on Baghdad. They murdered innocent Iraqi children, women and men. They should both be tried for war crimes along with Saddam.

  • No, RogerMDillion I am not worried about whether or not he might be correct. And if we’re all so damn dumb how come we keep winning? You’d think the ‘smart’ kids could win an election every now and then.

    Strike that.

    That’s the kind of thinking I believe we should all attempt to rise above. Disagreement is not in and of itself proof of stupidity. I don’t care if Michael Moore (or anyone else, for that matter) disagrees with me. I do prefer people not dismiss me as stupid because I don’t think the way they do.

    If calling me stupid makes you feel better, go for it. I’ll see you on Election Day. 😉

  • steve

    I lost all respect for this Viggo character. Who decided he had a valued opinion anyhow?

    He is just another commie actor like sean pean or tim robbins

  • Nancy

    The point I get from some of the comment above is, why should anyone care what a celebrity thinks on any subject not his/her particular area of expertise, any more than anybody else’ opinion? Also, I don’t need a celebrity to clue me in to what I should think about a particular political party or personality. What’s pathetic is that apparently so many people do.

  • I won’t say that the GOPs or the Dems are not intelligent, but I must posit that smarts count for less in the vile game of politricks than cunning and the willingness to put winning above principle and above doing what is moral. Both of the so-called major parties are guilty of being ethically challenged, IMO, and in the long run, that isn’t smart.

  • Also, I don’t need a celebrity to clue me in to what I should think about a particular political party or personality. What’s pathetic is that apparently so many people do.

    Says a commenter on a post about an actor who shares his political views in a magazine.

    Halle Berry has an opinion. News at 11.

  • Duane

    I’m much more interested in Sussman’s assessment of A History of Violence than in anything an actor type has to say about politics. What about it, Suss?

  • I tend to prefer Viggo’s hair when it is longer, but this look is so much better than his most unfortunate buzz cut. That said, I think he looks pretty damned good. Not that that is important, but there it is.

    As for Mr. Sussman’s assessment of the film, why would I give him any credence after that ridiculous comment about hurricanes? If he didn’t like it, that’s fine. He saw it and made up his mind, same as those who saw the film and appreciated it.

  • Personally, I prefer an actor-activist who prefaces things with, “What the hell do I know, I’m just an actor, but…”

  • Does a plumber preface her opinions that way?

  • I’ve already done my History of Violence review, now let me sing a few bars from Streisand

    P.S. – Katrina, Rita and Wilma turned to Category 5s every 28 days.

  • A plumber likely doesn’t have microphones and cameras in his/her face all day, asking opinions on everything from favortie color to favorite facial buff to What Should We Do About Iraq?

  • Eric, I prefer the ones who say, “I am an actor/musician, etc so I let my ballot do the talking and stay out of this.”

    I am with Tony Soprano. Whatever happened to the strong, silent type?

  • Thanks for reinforcing my point, Mr. Sussman.

    If the actor, musician, plumber, or what have you defines himself as an activist as well, why wouldn’t he speak on an issue or evade a controversial question? That would be shirking his duty. The Progressive asked him to do an interview? What else were they going to ask him about — his latest girlfriend or whether he wears boxers or briefs?

  • RogerMDillion

    “if we’re all so damn dumb how come we keep winning?”

    According to Moore, because there are more dumb people than smart people. You only need a majority; you don’t need to do well on a test.

  • If the smart people were so smart maybe they ought to be able to persuade a few dummies, would be one school of thought.

  • Self-titling is easy. I’m an activist, journalist, abstract artist, Internet expert, think-tank analyst and Level 2 Reiki recipient.

    But I didn’t make any point. It was always there in the hurricane tracking data.

  • Level 2 Reiki… very funny stuff. I have a friend who is a Reiki “master.”

    To expand upon my statement, I think it’s fine and good for any citizen to have an opinion. But celebrities need to take care and be responsible in weilding opinions before a voracious entertainment media.

  • True. How do you feel that Mortensen was irresponsible (if I am inferring your thought correctly)?

  • “According to Moore, because there are more dumb people than smart people.”

    That would be the lower class people living in poverty that actually believe that the DemocRats are helping them. They are not the majority though.

    Your quoting Michael Moore??? Your true colors have been shown.


    Natalie who the Hell is Viggo Mortensen anyway??? What has he done to be famous besides critisizing our great President???

  • In this case, I think Viggo is borderline irresponsible by throwing around terms, like treason for example, that he clearly doesn’t have evidence to back up.

    Much the same as in the blogosphere, hyperbole can be dangerous and lessens the strength of one’s argument.

  • Anthony, he is an actor who rode the Lord of the Rings wave so well his fans are lauding him in History of Violence, a movie that takes an unprecedented, controversial stance on violence in society by saying “it’s a bad thing.”

    Like the gourd from The Life of Brian, they take something mundane and doctor it up with a background story. Therefore, movie critics will slap an “artsy” or “indie” description on it, so that they won’t sound so goofy when they say, “Golly, this is quite an unprecedented and controversial movie and you should see it because they say that violence is bad, which is true, no matter what ignorant people think!”

    The truth is, at least Reindeer Games had plot and character development. And at least Castaway had a faster tempo than Cecil Fielder running the wrong way on an airport floor belt.

  • Clearly? Mr. Berlin, given that the interview was for The Progressive, I suspect the assumption was that those who would read it would already be aware of the reasons behind the charges (which many of us believe are gospel truth — hence our ever-present calls for impeachment). He was speaking to the choir, whose members are already familiar and humming along with the tune.

    From the progressive anti-war POV… the Cliff Notes version of what’s behind Viggo’s recounting of Shrub sins:

    cheating — the stolen election of 2000

    greed — obvious

    cruelty — federal marriage amendment, for starters

    racism — obvious

    imperialism — Iraq

    religious fundamentalism — obvious

    treason — Iraq, Plamegate, violating the separation of church and state, thumbing his nose at equality for all under law, lying to his employers, terrorism, befouling the reputation of what is supposed to be a great nation

    seemingly limitless capacity for hypocrisy — compassionate conservative takes a week to finally get off of his ass to attend to Katrina, for starters

    Mr. Grande, your president is not mine, and as usual, there is no compelling reason to even discuss the matter with you. Ta.

    Same with Mr. Sussman, who insists that everyone must agree with his opinion of the film. Is the message a simplistic one? Yes, but the film is much more than the message that violence is bad (a message that needs more play in this hideous culture, not less). I fully believe that if he saw no character development, he didn’t pay attention and likely went in looking to hate the movie.

  • Ms. Davis — I see your point with Viggo speaking to the readers of this specifically progressive publication, well taken.

    But I would add that a mainstream audience reading comments by an actor about treason in the White House might be taken the wrong way and somewhat amplify the charges of Hollywood limosine liberalism.

    I think progressives should certainly speak their minds, but I’m always one — as a partisan Democrat — who always likes to see efforts made to convince the vast middle to return the Democrats to power. And to do that, in my view, using inflamitory language rarely works.

  • I see your point. Remember, though, that many, if not most, antiwar liberal progressives are not Democrats. In fact, we view Dems with pretty much the same suspicion and fear as we view GOPs. As was shown during Slick Willie’s term, your success often is not ours.

  • Agreed. And can we also agree that we need each other (progressives, liberals, partisan Dems, moderates) and that compromises must be made if progress is to be made?

  • “cheating — the stolen election of 2000”

    How was it stolen??? Gore go his recounts??? Gore didn’t get to change the law so he can win though. I call that “attempted robbery”.

    “greed — obvious”

    Greed??? How??? explain.

    “cruelty — federal marriage amendment, for starters”

    He, just like the majority of Americans, believes that Marriage is between a man and a woman. Just because he doesn’t share your beliefs doesn’t make it cruelty.

    “racism — obvious”

    Yeah, Bush IS a stone-cold racist. Condilezza Rice, Alex Gonzales, Colin Powell, his knoweldge of the Spanish language, and his brother’s family who are Cuban don’t exist either.

    “imperialism — Iraq”

    How is the war in Iraq imperialism??? Maybe you need to look the word up.

    If we colonized Iraq and refused them a Constitution and own Military then it would be Imperialism.

    “religious fundamentalism — obvious”


    And I am not even going to touch that treason one. I don’t know where to start with that.

    Bush is definately in the Top 5 of the Greatest Presidents.

  • “can we also agree that we need each other (progressives, liberals, partisan Dems, moderates) and that compromises must be made if progress is to be made?”

    You’re asking that question of a Nader voter (1996 and 2000) and Cobb voter (2004), of a pacifist who is trapped within a violent nation, of a person who puts principle over expedience.

    It depends on the issue, Mr. Berlin. Frankly, moderates in general frighten me more than the most virulent, violent right-wingers. And lord knows, supposed allies almost always betray me on the one basic issue that by definition can not be compromised: equality. I say it’s better to lose with one’s integrity intact than to win after selling out one’s principles. In fact, that win would really be a loss of cataclysmic proportions.

  • I don’t go into movies with my mind made up.

    I went in hearing the movie was about a man with a forgotten criminal past … not that he was a lying sack of shit about his past.

    As soon as I heard the phrase “I should have killed you in Philly,” my mind was made up. This movie blew.

    And yes, the message wasn’t just “Violence is bad.” It’s that “Violence is REALLY bad, and can affect FAMILIES in INDIANA.” But you’re a pacifist, so that automatically makes that message unprecedened and the movie amazing.

    Tom Stall didn’t develop as a character.

    Ed Harris and William Hurt developed into pathetic corpses.

    The family developed only in that they became scared shitless of daddy, but anyone can do that. I just have to show up to the dinner table with a chainsaw and the neighbor’s torso.

    Or I could violently rape my wife on the stairwell and have movie experts chuck Oscars in my direction.

  • Ms. Davis — As a moderate with some progressive leanings (well, maybe a lot depending on who you ask!), I couldn’t disagree with you more.

    Give me Al Gore, give me Joe Lieberman… hell, even give me a Colin Powell (’00 edition), and I’d take it in a heartbeat. Politics is selling, and politics is compromise.

    There’s principle in fighting for what you believe and accepting the best you can get. I admire those who are passionate and uncompromising, but in my book, I’d do almost anything (legal) to have someone not named George in the White House and a party not affiliated with donkeys running Congress.

  • You are correct, Mr. Berlin: We could not disagree more.

  • Ms. Davis, I’m afraid you’re going to be ever disappointed and frustrated with the political process then.

    How do you avoid becoming bitter?

  • Tell me something I don’t know.

    I am often bitter. But I also know that my conscience is clear. That helps.

  • I was bitter for a while in late ’04, but I’m over it now.

    My conscience is clear as well — we just have different views on reaching the goals we hold dear.

  • And apparently we have different goals.

  • Likely.

  • And very different beliefs, principles, values, and systems of ethics. I don’t mean to do some tit-for-tat thing here; I had meant to mention that previously, because the point is important.

  • Here’s why Bush cannot be one of our best presidents:
    1. He has turned the US into the biggest debtor nation on earth. We’re now in hock to the Chinese, and when they start selling dollars, they can bankrupt us. He’s made us a victim of the Chinese.
    2. He’s trying to defend torture (after Abu Ghraib) by threatening to veto McCain’s bill against it.
    3. He started a war with a country who was no threat to us.
    4. We are not safe under his leadership — not even safe against natural disasters like Katrina.
    5. He has destroyed the environment by gutting the EPA.
    6. He lied to us to get us into the war.

    NOW TELL ME, did Lincoln or Washington do any of these things. Did even Clinton? Who the heck can say Bush is a great president, when he’s economically irresponsible, morally suspect, totally incompetent, and his approval rating at 36% the lowest of any president ever at this stage of his second term?

    People who defend Bush should have their heads read by shrinks who use drills to get into their brains. Such people have the depth of a transgender’s vagina.

  • I’ve always been a Viggo fan but this is ridiculous.

    Nothing discredits someone quite like suggesting the impeachment of a President.

    But whoever said Bush is our greatest president, is just as wrong as the actor

  • “He’s trying to defend torture (after Abu Ghraib) by threatening to veto McCain’s bill against it”

    McCains’s bill is ridiculous. According to McCain the interrogator has to have his hands behind his back. If it banned torture Bush would sign it, but it does more than that. Passing bills like these will not discourage terrorists. The terrorists must be afraid of us. If we pass this bill than they won’t be afraid of being captured.

    “He has turned the US into the biggest debtor nation on earth. We’re now in hock to the Chinese, and when they start selling dollars, they can bankrupt us. He’s made us a victim of the Chinese.”

    Uhhh… that one goes to Clinton, not Bush.

    “He started a war with a country who was no threat to us.”

    What country??? What war??? Do you know that Iraq is our ally in the War on terror???

    “We are not safe under his leadership — not even safe against natural disasters like Katrina.”

    No Katrina disasters are the fault of Democrats who run Louisiana.

    We are not safe under him??? Have we been attacked since 9/11???

    “He has destroyed the environment by gutting the EPA.”

    I really do not know what you are talking about. The environment went to Hell when God (or evolution) created Humans.

    “He lied to us to get us into the war.”

    Saddam was trying to get weapons of mass destruction, paying Palestinian suicide bombers, murdered his own people and was pocketting reliefs from the U.S. and making under the table deals with the U.N.


    In the early 1930’s Hitler took power in Germany by force, ruled as a dictator, seized small territories, threatened his neighbor countries, threatened the League of Nations and mass murdered his own people. The U.N. ingnored him, saying that he wasn’t a threat. The Americans refused to get involved.

    Saddam took power in Iraq by force, ruled as a dictator, seized Kuwait, threatened his neighbors like Israel and Iran, threatened the U.N. and mass murdered his own people. The U.N. ingnored him, saying that he wasn’t a threat. But unlike the situation with Hitler the Americans, thanks to Bush, did get involved.

    The taking down of Saddam was like an abortion of a World War.

    Too bad Bush wasn’t President in the 1930’s.

  • MCH

    Oh, looks like day care’s out…

  • Oh yeah, this should also be included in the second part of comment 96:

    Hitler ignored post World War One restrictions and Saddam also ignored the Gulf War restrictions.

  • Mr. Ryan, do you hold those who suggested the impeachment of Clinton in similar contempt?

  • Natalie, Clinton should have resigned.

    MCH, glad to see that you are back. Now maybe you will answer my question:

    What do you think about Clinton hiding from the draft???

  • RogerMDillion

    “Oh, looks like day care’s out…”

    Hey, I used that line the other day. You don’t see me calling RJ and Nalle chickedhawks.

  • Roger, can you imagine if I got banned??? Or just left???

    You would have to leave too. If someone went through all your comments (by clicking on your name at most Prolific Commenters) I’ll wage that more than 75% of your comments are about or related to me.

  • RogerMDillion

    AG, the only people who I see banning you are the people on the same side with you because you don’t help their arguements.

    Which is it? 90% or 75% I was here before you and comment in many other posts. Of course, if you knew how to write or stopped making up things, I would almost never comment on you.

    And don’t count my new tagline:

    Vote For Anthony

  • Mr. Grande, I disagree with you on 99.99% of your statements. The .01% I agree with is that, yes, Clinton should have resigned.

  • MCH

    Apologies…I knew at the time it was wrong to steal it, but couldn’t resist it was so good…what can I say, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak…

    Ms. Davis;
    Don’t you mean “Master” Grande…?

  • Ouch.

  • “the only people who I see banning you are the people on the same side with you because you don’t help their arguements.”

    Yeah I am sure Steve, Practical Joe, Ryan, the spirit of Mark the sane and sensible want me to go away (sarcasm, because you can’t read between the lines). The only problem is that non-pussy right wingers don’t belong to Blogcritics. We just show up as commenters to keep you fascists in check.

    And don’t say that Al Barger is a right winger because he is not. He is a fake. He doesn’t want Roe v. Wade to be overturned. He is a sell-out. He is a moderate so he will fit in with the rest of the Blogcritic assholes.

  • Natalie, I have made it clear before that I am anti-Death Penalty. Are you pro-Death Penalty??? You said you only agree with me on one thing and that one thing wasn’t the Death Penalty.

  • “I was here before you and comment in many other posts.”

    Wrong!!! I was here first.

    Comment 300 on this site is my first comment I posted on Blogcritics.org: http://blogcritics.org/archives/2003/11/06/071305.php

    See how much I changed???

    Show me your first.

  • Also on http://blogcritics.org/archives/2003/11/06/071305.php you will see people like Al Barger even back then showing negativety towards me.

  • Bennett

    Clickable links please.

  • The only problem is that non-pussy right wingers don’t belong to Blogcritics.

    Is not “non-pussy” a slight to the female sex? I’m so tired of “right wigers” calling liberals pussies! These same male right wingers claim to be the greatest gift to heterosexuality previous to the advent of the vibrator, yet they use terms which are definitely anti-female. To be a patriot, one need not be an extreme liberal or extreme conservative. Patriotism is not a political persuasion, it is a gut-wrenching emotion that claws at the soul of one who cherishes freedom and the so-called democracy we maintain.

    Insofar as Mr. Mortenson is concerned, he talks about the Bush hypocrisy as if this Administration were the only guilty party. There’s plenty of it to go around both parties. While we need more people to openly criticize what this Administration is doing, we still have to recognize that the alternative isn’t much better. We’ve been electing the lesser of two evils for over a generation and that is what needs to be changed.

    If one were to go back and read some of Howard Dean’s press in the early days of his presidential campaign, one could argue that Mr. Dean was on the money all along. The Kerry machine, in a marriage with the Democrats who feared Howard’s rise, did all they could to crush him much like what Bush did to McCain in South Carolina. Perhaps we should pay closer attention to whom the political machines work to crush. What the machines fear is that these individuals will rise to elective office and change the rules of the political game taking the power out of the special interests.

  • RogerMDillion

    You were here about 5 weeks before me, so you are correct. I first showed about early 3/04

    “See how much I changed???”

    Comment 298 posted by anthony g on February 7, 2004 02:23 AM:
    “ja is even prettier than ashanti,”
    –It appears you found men more attractive than women. Is that a change or are you now self-hating?

    Comment 330 posted by anthony g on February 8, 2004 06:17 PM: unlike you i have freinds to hang with on the weekends.
    –you called me out when I said I watched a game with some friends. Claimed it was “bragging,” yet you did it last year.

    Comment 344 posted by anthony g on February 8, 2004 08:12 PM:
    “I’m just a moron and I don’t know any better…I’m sorry. I’ll try to pull my head outta my ass.”
    –you no longer appear as self-aware.

    so yes, you have changed, but let me asj you this, were you unaware that there were gay people around or that people were having abortions back then?

    Also, you probably shouldn’t have drawn my attention to previous comments because it appears the reaction you get from people hasn’t changed too much.

    Here are some of my favorites:

    Comment 322: “Anthony, I can’t believe that you’re this stupid.”

    Comment 348: “Anthony, you’ve gotta be the biggest moron I’ve ever seen.”

    Comment 357: “Thank you, Anthony, for proving that you REALLY ARE an asshole.”

    Comment 408: “Anthony, you’re pathetic.”

    Sweet dreams, little prince

    Vote for Anthony

  • And very different beliefs, principles, values, and systems of ethics. I don’t mean to do some tit-for-tat thing here; I had meant to mention that previously, because the point is important.

    I would hope, Ms. Davis, that you don’t hold your beliefs, principles, ethics, etc. as “better” (or worse) than mine or of anyone else.

  • RogerMDillion

    MCH, I was just giving you a hard time. Feel free to use the “day care” line whenever you like.

  • I would hold that they are better for me, Mr. Berlin. In the grand scheme of things, of course, your views are as valid as mine or anyone else’s.

  • Roger, don’t believe every comment you read on that site. Half of them were posted by someone else posting under my name. Then I tried to retaliate and I got banned while no one else did. It just reveals the hypocrisy of Blogcritics.


  • Anthony — If someone is posting under your name, there’s no need to retaliate. Just let the editors know and we’ll take care of it.

  • Silas, reread my comment. I wasn’t calling liberals pussies. I was calling Conservate Bloggers on Blogcritics pussies.

  • dani e di

    Oi ppl.. sei k voces ñ understand nothing do k eu dgo mas n interessa… Axo k o viggo mortensen esta mt cute nesta foto.. e tbm em tds
    goodbye aí