So giving one of the headlines running into the weekend of 1 May 2016 I was moved to comment on the buzz surrounding the Will Ferrell / Ronald Reagan movie thingie.
The Right and not without some understanding the surviving Reagan family members were outraged that a comedy was to be filmed with the plot of a devolving into dementia Reagan being coached by an eager intern that he is starring in a movie where he is cast as the President.
The uproar has caused Ferrell to back out of the project and has no doubt given many on the Right the warm and fuzzies.
There’s the rub in my book. The Right is the end of the political spectrum that allegedly believes in free speech. Mocks “safe spaces” and rightly rails against the Lefts incessant shout downs of so called “controversial” persons on campus and in the public square. Now we’re supposed to believe that shouting down someone is right and proper because it is a case of an idol being mocked. I don’t get that.
Eagerly reported on by all the usual suspects the fronts of this controversy were Patty Davis,Michael Reagan and the Alzheimers Association. I can appreciate the two personal invocations of experience and horror the AA is corporatist and unworthy of caring about in this matter.
Americans seem to have a mixed history of being critical of ourselves. We write a hard hitting book and on more than one occasion have ponied up scathing documentaries focused on US policy and politicians. Where we seem to not be willing to tread is mocking our idols with biting humor. Sure we hit politicians with a decided leftist bias on our sit-coms and late night shows but we seem to reel away from going feature length dark and bawdy. Ferrell himself made a living out of dogging George W. Bush with a one man comedy show,but that was all pretty light hearted stuff. Why not an irreverent comedy of Reagan or a satirical thrashing of either FDR,JFK or Bill Clintons WH infidelities?
I mentioned somewhere else today that a television series was created back in the 90’s called The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer. This series went down in flames. It was controversial for everyone. It mocked slavery,black history and roundly disrespected the Lincolns. That it was ever dreamed up is a credit to the principles of America,including how it reeked of ripping off Black Adder from the BBC. Bottomline it was to say the least irreverent and inane and capitalism probably would’ve chocked this baby in the bassinet without the outrage of interest groups. Hell the “network” that created it died from natural causes. (UPN)
All I’m really saying is the Right got this one wrong. Even if you think they got it right you have to admit they got it worked out in the wrong way.