Sunday, March 30, 2008

Magic Man

When I was much younger, The Wizard of Oz was my favorite movie. I just loved imagining myself being there with Dorothy and being part of that great adventure she had.
Surrender Already, Dorothy
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: March 30, 2008

Every now and then Maureen Dowd likes to throw in a little Third Year French just to keep us on our toes. Todays lesson en Francois is:
Pas si vite, mon vieux.
Which roughly translates as “Not so fast, old man.” It was said in response to this:
Bernard Kouchner, the foreign minister of France and a strong supporter of the United States, recently observed that President Bush has done such a number on our image in the world that no one will be able to restore the luster.

“I think the magic is over,” he said.
Maureen thinks there is someone with some fairy dust that can save us:
It’s all about the magic, really.

And whether we can take a flier on this skinny guy with the strange name and braided ancestry to help us get it back.
There is a type of stock character in the movies that Spike Lee calls the "super-duper magical negro.” This is the wise, noble African American that tells the hero where he has gone wrong and what he needs to do to get right with the universe. Think Sydney Poitier in The Defiant Ones. Think Will Smith in The Legend of Bagger Vance. Think Morgan Freeman in about anything. In the 2008 Democratic primary it is Barack Obama.

Of course, there is good magic and there are the Dark Arts, the type that Hillary practices:
Many voters decided last week to stick with Obama despite his less-than-convincing explanations about the Rev. Wright — even as many soured on Hillary, casting her as Lady Voldemort.
And the comparison to the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz just comes too easy when Hillary serves up softballs like this:
Hillary sunnily riposted that she likes long movies. Her favorite as a girl was “The Wizard of Oz,” so surely she spots the “Surrender Dorothy” sign in the sky and the bad portent of the ladies of “The View” burbling to Obama about how sexy he is.
And given Maureen’s poor memory about “Surrender Dorothy” signs, maybe she needs to stay away from Oz references.

But Maureen thinks Obama is the Knight in Shining Armor that will save us from the Clintons reseating themselves on the throne:
Obama, like the preternaturally gifted young heroes in mythical tales, is still learning to channel his force. He can ensorcell when he has to, and he has viral appeal. Who else could alchemize a nuanced 40-minute speech on race into must-see YouTube viewing for 20-year-olds?
And maybe we can get Denzel Washington to play him in the movie version. That would be magical.

Photo Credit: Todays illustration comes courtesy of Iowa Presidential Watch PAC, which posted it December 14, 2007. Clearly it takes more to get rid of Senator Clinton than merely throwing a bucket of water on her.

1 comment:

Grace Nearing said...

MoDo word of the day: ensorcell. She definitely broke the pretentious meter with that one.

Think Morgan Freeman in just about anything.

Absolutely. Oh yes.