Day 53

It's pretty bad when politicians have no moral core. All they offer is chaos, depending on who's ass needs kissing at any given time.

But it's doubly bad when one politician has to check with another politician to find out where he's supposed to stand on any particular issue. That's Dan Forest's problem, and it's crushing his pretty boy campaign.

Over the past month, Dan Forest has staked out every possible side of the coronavirus catastrophe. One week he's yelling "open everything now," and the next week he's crying "batten down those nursing homes." One day he's saying "we need more and better testing," and the next day he's whining "we have to reopen even if we don't have good data."

If these contradictions sound familiar, they are. They echo the very same positions Donald F. Trump has taken to try to explain away his well-documented failures in responding to the pandemic. Trump has done everything perfectly, a 10 on a 10-point scale, better than Jesus by god. So what if a hundred thousand people die as a result of his incompetence. Blame it on Obama.

America is flailing under the so-called leadership of a man who accepts no responsibility for his actions. The last thing we need is a governor with the same holes in his personality.
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Lately I've been wondering just what people see in Dan Forest. Can anyone explain it? I'm baffled.

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Another pretty face?

Someone told me recently that the main thing Dan has going for him is the look of boyish charm. Not actual charm, mind you. Just the look.

It's about 85% Forrest Gump

And I'm being totally serious. That's what the whole "run forest run" 3 sign bullshit was all about, creating a false sense of a wholesome, brutally honest politician. That and the pretty face carried him this far, but it appears some of that is wearing off. And the more he whines and attacks Roy Cooper, the more will wear off. I don't want to get too confident, but I feel considerably better now than I did last fall.

About "Forrest Gump"...

I remember seeing the film during its original release in the '90s. Even though the special effects were impressive for the time, I absolutely hated that movie, but couldn't put my finger on it at the time. I watched it on home video a second time to figure out what made it so irritating to me.

The movie is a little conservative fantasy where drifting through life with a kind of fake nostalgia, only caring about people you love and being oblivious to the world around you, is seen as admirable. And the other subtle messages are that if you're a liberal, you'll suffer, get AIDS and die, and that starting your own small business solves any problem.

Critics picked up on that message and the time, and, more recently, have seen it as prescient for the rise of Trumpism. In 2009, conservative magazine National Review placed it on the magazine's list of top 25 conservative films.

What is conservative about “Forrest Gump”? Well, the magazine notes that the title character played by Tom Hanks is an “amiable dunce who is far too smart to embrace the lethal values of the 1960s.” As for his love interest, she embraces the ’60s and becomes “a drug-addled hippie, with disastrous results,” the magazine said.

I later read the original novel and the tone is very different. The script by Eric Roth and the film, directed by Robert Zemeckis, changes the entire messages of the book, which is much more of a cynical commentary on Baby Boomer nostalgia.

In the novel, Gump is more of a savant - he's brilliant with mathematics and physics and that leads him to fulfilling the academic requirements for the football coach at college and becoming a national chess champion. He's also more physically imposing, becoming a professional wrestler, The Dunce, and a Hollywood stuntman, in the book. (The novel's author saw it as a vehicle for John Goodman, rather than Tom Hanks.). The film also sanitizes Gump's sex life and more calculating approach to life - Gump isn't a simpleton in the novel, but much more complex as a person.

The relationship with Jenny is different and less emphasized, with Jenny involving Gump in a folk music group and the Vietnam anti-war protests.

In the end, Gump makes a fortune off of his shrimp business, but gives it away to Bubba's relatives and family, disappointed by all the complications the business added to his life.

Gump ends the novel with Dan and an orangutan, happy to live sleeping on park benches and making a living begging for change as a one-man band.