Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder in “The Producers” (Embassy Pictures, 1968)
In possibly one of the funniest movies of all time, The Producers, (the original one, in 1968), there’s a key scene just before the opening of ‘Springtime For Hitler.’ By the way, if you’ve seen the new version, great; but the old version has an edge to it that seems timeless; a copy is probably available at your local library. Gene Wilder (playing Leo Blum), in a burst of unbridled optimism, shouts out, “This is it!”, thinking that in the next few hours, the worst play ever, with the worst director, and worst actor, will fail spectacularly. The end result will be “wine, women, and song,” with he and Max Bialystock in Rio.
The reason this scene resonates so well with me, and with the current strange election season is that in about 24 hours, we’ll know if we’ve got Mr. or Madame President. Surely, there will be people on both camps, who are gleefully rubbing their hands (internally or externally shouting “This is it!”) thinking a) they are going to win, and all will be well, (and!)/or b) their opponent will win, and they’ll take the blame for the coming bill that will come due.
If Ms. Clinton wins, we may get more of the same, and as many from the right hand side of this blog roll have mentioned, that won’t be the kind of thinking that we’ll need. In fact, it will be the kind of thinking that will accelerate our demise. Likewise, if Mr. Trump wins, we’ll have a different kind of thinking, which will also accelerate our demise. Like the old joke about capitalism and socialism – “What is the difference between capitalism and socialism? Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man. Socialism is the reverse.”
The real wildcard, of course, is that something will actually get done when the new president takes office (echoes of “Hope and Change”), but let’s not hold out breath. Tempers are frayed, families and friends are fighting; we’ll all be glad when this is over. And at the end of the day, we’ll have a leader who will most likely be up to their eyeballs in scandal.
- “Après moi le déluge,” so it has been said by Louis XV of France, before the French Revolution. What will be a equivalent phrase uttered by our next president, when things really start to implode?
- Will we have a Ceausescu moment in the US in the next four years?
- We’ve all been waiting for the implosion of things. Will we get Ugo Bardi’s Seneca Cliff, or John Michael Greer’s fractal decline? Will the choice of president/outcome of the election influence this, or not?