Monday , May 27 2024

Of Candidates and Killers

I was under the impression that Martin Sheen is a socialist or something, but I guess he’s just a Democrat. Sheen, apparently seeing a mirror image of his TV president character, has endorsed Howard Dean for president:

    Actor Martin Sheen, who portrays President Josiah Bartlet on NBC’s “The West Wing,” endorsed Democrat Howard Dean last week when Vermont’s former chief executive dropped by the set – on location, by the way, in Washington.

    Sheen thinks Dean is “the best possible hope for the Democrats because he’s not afraid to lose,” said Glennis Liberty, the actor’s publicist.

    Dean’s staff happily pointed out that the fictional Bartlet, like Dean, is a former governor of a New England state and a Democrat. Both also are married to physicians.

    “People are familiar with the show: a New England governor whose wife is a doctor. That is our story line,” said Susan Allen, Dean’s campaign press secretary. [AP]

Not familiar with Howard Dean?

    I have serious concerns about the increasingly unilateralist approach to foreign policy we have seen from the current Administration, particularly in the President’s posture toward Iraq. Any President must be prepared to use force in defense of our nation’s interests. Had I been in Congress, however, I would have voted against the resolution providing the President sweeping authority to wage war against Iraq, because I do not believe the President has made the case that war is justified. I am also concerned about the President’s foreign policy priorities. The war on terror – against an enemy that has killed over three thousand innocents on our soil – is far from over, yet we are shifting our focus from the known threat of Al Qaeda to the less certain threat of Saddam Hussein.

I don’t believe we are lessening our concern with al Qaeda, I think we have simply enlarged our concern to include Saddam.

Speaking of Saddam, he doesn’t appear to be afraid to lose either since he continues to flout the wishes of the UN, to be enforced by the US and allies. Is Sheen in favor of him too? Is this from Saddam or Dean?

    I believe I have a proven track record of doing the right thing – fighting the good fight, standing for what’s right, even when it means standing alone.

You had to think for a second, didn’t you?

And speaking of Sheen, we watched most of Badlands on TV over the weekend: Terrence Malick’s directorial debut, made thirty years ago with Sheen as the strangely affectless and dispassionate killer on the lam with his very young, amoral girlfriend Sissy Spacek. The enormity of the barren landscape through which the couple travels seems to drain them of their ability to connect with their fellow humans. Springsteen covered the same story on “Nebraska.”

“I can’t say I’m sorry
for the things that we done
At least for a little while, sir,
me and her we had us some fun”

I’m not sure if the dispassion with which they lived out their adventure makes them better or worse, but Malick seems equally upset by the couple’s status as celebrities by the end of the film as he is with the crimes they committed, as though society shares some culpability. This is nonsense: all responsibility then and now resides with the individuals who choose their own dangerously deviant path. Like Saddam.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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