Then I saw "W."
Ask anyone. I'm not typically down with Mr. Oliver Stone -- he's got a something going on there that just doesn't resonate with me. I hadn't planned to see W, feeling that the trailers were so assaultive, the movie itself would be relentless. But then a friend called and I wasn't busy, it was nearby, there was reserved seating, so OK.
I'd expected to feel a lot of things: Anger, disgust, outrage, shame. The usual. Which I did. But what I hadn't expected to feel was pity. Or compassion. Or to shed an actual tear.
Yes, it's just a movie. But it's an Oliver Stone movie, so aren't we supposed to accept it as defacto fact?
I'd always assumed Bush was an idiot: Evil, self-centered, reckless, out of touch. Now I wonder if, well, if I was wrong.
I wonder if -- could it be -- that G.W. is really just not smart? I kinda thought he knew better and just didn't care, but what if that's not so? What if he's really just not smart? An eager to please lap-boy marching to the beat of those around him, those who actually are evil, self-centered and reckless?
It surprised me to find the film, nee the character, so poignant. And while it doesn't change what he's done, the mistakes, the lies, the ruination, it does affect me.
Because compassion is always good, right? Accepting that there might be reasons? Not justifications, but, you know, causes? That no one is completely evil (except Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld)? Counts for something, right?
Maybe it doesn't. All I know is I had one of those disapproving fathers, I know what it's like to want to get that pat on the head. Thankfully, I've never had to play out that drama on a global stage. I've been able to mess up, hurt people and behave badly in relative anonymity.
W-ever. See the movie, see what you think. For me, I've got a little more compassion and that feels good. But make no mistake: I am counting the days until January.