31 August 2012

Ambassador Eastwood and the Allegory of the Empty Chair

Do you know anyone like this? I do. I have family members like this: No matter what you say, no matter what portion of the last four or five years of facts you present to persuade, you probably know a person who sees our 44th President of the United States exactly as they want to see him. And no matter how much this person you know defends Barack Obama, you can't see the President he or she defends in his favor.
The Allegory of the Empty Chair.
 So, I couldn't see anyone sitting there in The Chair, could you?  Not at first anyway. Read on to see what I believe actor Clint Eastwood did with his performance.

Award-winning actor, director, film producer, former City of Carmel Mayor, distinguished octogenarian and citizen extraordinaire Clint Eastwood presented at the Republican National Convention an old fashioned improvisational skit. At 82 years young. (ADD moment: I pray I have that kind of memory at such a grand age) I do not know Mr. Eastwood's particular political leanings, although I'd guess he might be libertarian-conservative. And,  for there but the Grace of God go I, I shall not criticize his performance. What all the flapping lips & talking heads are saying about it all doesn't really matter. 

Thursday night at the RNC, Mr. Eastwood served as an Ambassador from the arts & film industry to the political realm, the citizen delegations, the electorate, media members, activists and an estimated 30 million plus television viewers and radio listeners around the world. And he showed all of us precisely who was sitting in The Empty Chair. Let me explain.

Mr. Eastwood begins a dialogue with an empty chair wherein we start to conjure up as sitting in it the President of the United States. Mr. Eastwood delivers many lines I believe most of those watching and listening could completely relate to. Did you begin to see the President we Conservatives, Libertarians & Republicans know sitting in The Empty Chair? The one who promised not to raise one single dime of taxes? The one who promised to bring our troops home from Afghanistan? The President who, quite literally, lies to our faces? Not hard to see that guy at all, is it? Mr. Eastwood even had "mutual conversation" with the President in The Chair. Do you know what they were saying to each other? I don't - I have no earthly idea. I liked that part of the performance, too. Ambassador Eastwood sure told the President we knew was sitting right there in The Chair exactly what we wanted him to hear, didn't he?! And from none other than a virtual living legend who acted in movies playing a good "dirty" cop who carried a .44 Magnum.

Here's what matters: Who was it that we didn't see in The Chair? It's the President that Hollywood sees, that your (my) die-hard idealist Democrat family member(s) see, that your neighbors, teachers, union members, co-workers can still see today. The First Black President! was sitting in The Chair. The "But We Made History!" President was sitting in The Empty Chair.  

And so the blessed, aged, creative, and yes, wise Left Coast Ambassador Clint Eastwood, when you dig deep enough into your imagination, was showing everyone the person no one really knew anything about to begin with, but a President so many people are unwilling to let go of: President Hope & Change. Here sat the President that needed to hear "When you don't do a good job, it's time to let you go." And of course, there sat the President we must vote out of office. It's all brilliantly metaphorical, with just an empty chair, isn't it?

Mr. Eastwood delivered a powerful message. (Here's the allegorical part.) With his soliloquy-dialogue, Eastwood conducts the "Mainstream-NewsMedia' conversation that has never happened going all the way back to 2007 when the The One began campaigning. In one 12-minute no-not-perfect well-though-out act, Ambassador Eastwood even gave us a glimpse of the function what used to be called the "Fourth Branch of Government" - Journalism. I think it started to die sometime in the 60s, struggled for a few decades, and died on January 20, 2009. No, I don't think that's a stretch. Look at Mr. Eastwood's career - the films he's made, the stories he's written to screen. So yeah, I think Clint Eastwood did all that. 

I'm not sure too sure very many people got the message, or allegory if you will, that I think was cleverly  portrayed in the skit. Did the Hollywood elite, the lapdog media, or the people who freaked out over Mr. Eastwood's performance take away anything from it? I have an answer that I think the legendary actor would appreciate: "The play's the thing."

Let Me Know What You Think!

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