Sunday, November 14, 2010
On Halloween I saw Hereafter, the wonderful Clint Eastwood movie about the afterlife that's in theaters now. Since I just blogged about that one, I decided to muse about these two of an earlier vintage.
Heaven Can Wait. One minute, NFL QB Joe Pendelton is peddling his bike down a California highway, the next moment he's in a "waystation" between this world and the next. His guardian angel plucked him away from the scene just before the moment of impact, hoping to spare Joe a gruesome death. But his timing was off -- because of his superior reflexes, it was Joe's destiny to avoid the accident, and he would still be alive if the angel hadn't intervened. So now what? One of Heaven's higher-ranking "escorts," Mr. Jordan, tries to find another body for Joe to live in until his pre-destined moment, years in the future. At first Joe rejects the body, and the new life, he's given to inhabit. But then he meets Betty and falls in love ... Warren Beatty and Julie Christie are Joe and Betty, and they are so dear and sweet and romantic. While I'm not sure I believe that destiny has but one perfect person for us to love, this movie makes a most convincing argument.
Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. Dickens gave us the Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, and Mr. Magoo gave me my first and still most favorite Scrooge.
Dear Mr. President:
Every time I think of you, that old Laura Nyro song starts playing in my head. You know the one, "BILL! I love you so, I always will ..."
And I did and I do. But you broke my heart.
It wasn't the infidelity that bothered me. Hell, I'm a Kennedy girl. I grew up believing we can and should separate personal behavior from public performance.
It was the way you allowed your good ol' boy horndog behavior to seep from the personal to the public that makes me nuts. You did a young and emotionally vulnerable girl in the Oval Office! How did you think you were going to get away with that? And I don't for a moment think you cared for that poor kid. You saw more interesting, more attractive women every day on the rope line in front of the White House (remember, this was before 9/11 when we could tour 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue). You chose her simply because she was there, and you did her simply because you could. And then you not only lied about it, you demeaned her ("I never had sexual relations with that woman ..."). The imbalance of power between you two and your fates appalls me. YOU were the most powerful man in the free world, YOU were the one with a wife and daughter (a daughter not that much older than your mistress). Yet today you remain one of the most popular men on the planet, and she's a punchline, a synonym for oral sex. How is that fair?
You're a good man and you have done a lot of good. But you had the capacity to do more and be a great man. I believed in you, and you let me down. You let the nation down. And you let yourself down. Every account of your presidency will include the phrase, "impeached by the House of Representatives."
And yet ... and yet ... When you talk about the Clinton Global Initiative, I'm transfixed. When I watched you walk Chelsea down the aisle, I got misty. Every time you have a health problem, I say a little prayer.
So even though you broke my heart, I love you so, and I always will.
She's either 62 or 63 now, and is learning graphic design because she has her sights set on a new career and dreams of being able to afford her own home. (Because of financial setbacks, she is living with her daughter, son-in-law and stepchildren.) At times Kathy exasperates me, but I admire faith in herself and hopes for the future.