As my closest traveling companions know, I am quite the fan of films. The light of the projector filling the canvas as I watch in the comfort of my combination home cinema/liquorium, nursing a delicious colorless drink pulled directly from the still while smoking a fine cigar rolled in my favorite banana republic. I've spent many a night watching that faint glow before going to bed, wearing only a look of delight as I watch my favorite characters dance across the screen. Though I must admit it is not the same since the sound was added; watching young maidens tied to railroad tracks as a private pianist pounded away at the keys reminded me of my boyhood, when my father would bring instrumentation on his trips to collect mortgage dues. But I digress; I'd like to take a moment to discuss with the loyal readers a movie I saw just this week.
This movie is a harrowing tale of what happens when the political process goes completely awry, when the political will is subverted by the actions of one perverted individual interested only in promoting his own desires. It is a tale of intrigue and betrayal, with a twist ending so shocking it would make even the finest monocle crack.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a cautionary tale about the perils doomed to befall us should the "average citizen" ever be allowed to rule. Gone would be the delightful days of the smoke-filled room and the "political plum" appointment that have sustained American politics all these years, instead replaced by a focus on the "common good" and the "will of the public."
This movie revolves around a dashing political boss named Jim Taylor, who watches the death of one of his finest champions in the Senate. This fine martyr is replaced by a young, strong-headed buffoon named Jefferson Smith (aptly played by the dullard James Stewart), a yokel whose previous occupation was to run a young boys' camping outfit. Upon Smith's arrival in the Senate, he is mentored by a fine associate of Taylor's. And what is Smith's repayment? To attempt to create protected parkland for his Scouts - right in the middle of Taylor's dam-building scheme! The nerve!
Soon, Taylor is forced to forgo his trademark calm and mercy in an effort to rein in the chaotic Smith; he proceeds to inform Smith's constituency of his misdeeds and untoward actions in an effort to spur the appointed man-infant to take the gentlemanly path of resignation. But does he take it? Of course not; Smith attempts to filibuster the Senate in order to clear his name and ensure the creation of his inane Boy Scout park, allowing him to take any number of pedophilic ventures into the wilderness with the cherubic youth of America.
I won't spoil the ending for you now, but let me just say that this movie's conclusion so strongly contradicted my natural notions of right and wrong that it left my moustache in a curl for nearly a week! In any event, I would advise this movie to any who dismiss the dangers inherent in a "populist" government, though it is nary for the weak of heart. Good-day!