02 September 2012

A Smaller World

I suppose that there are several ways by which the world continues to get smaller. Of course, there are the obvious means: a person grows bigger and distance and heights alter as a result of the change of perspective. The means of transportation makes possible travel through distances once thought impossibly hard if not hardly possible. Here the world becomes smaller in virtual size relative to the actual lengths and distances that physically exist. And technology also shrinks the wide world by bringing it to me as if I were merely looking at those truly foreign places out of my kitchen window. And as a result of the technology, I can travel through space and time at will, visiting almost anywhere I choose to travel, when and wherever I so desire.
And another way that the world becomes smaller occurs when I voluntarily give up a piece of the world with which I have had some prior and regular contact. So it now occurs with my relationship with Clint Eastwood. For better than fifty years I have for the most part enjoyed his films, and I think especially his productions of the past ten or fifteen years led me to a world that stimulated my thought and feeling. I looked forward to the next Clint Eastwood movie. But now, no more.
Clint Eastwood’s offensive performance at the Republican National Convention (itself an offensive presentation to the American public of mendacity and deception) perpetuated the climate of insult and incivility now prevalent in America and raised it to a level that disgusted me. To have spoken (to) and about the President of the United States in the manner used by Clint Eastwood offended not only the Office of the President, but the present occupant of that office, who to my mind has been subjected by too much vituperative insult from the likes of South Carolinian Senators, Minnesota congressional representatives and former vice-presidents. I am appalled at the stupidity and contempt Eastwood’s remarkable rudeness displayed toward Barack Obama in his discussion with the empty chair. “Tell him to do what? He can’t do that to himself!” Eastwood said in mock seriousness (to) and for the President, and in this statement Eastwood transformed the Convention Floor into a street corner and the purported high purposes of the gathering into a farce suitable for some vulgar stage.
And so the world has shrunk a bit further for me, alas. I will not ever again venture into a Clint Eastwood production. My world is smaller but perhaps, a bit more decent.


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