To Speak of the Death of the King
In ancient times one of the worst of all treasonable offenses, punishable by swift, painful and usually picturesque death, was to speak of the death of the King. Nonetheless, some of left-wing millionaire Michael Moore's cinematic ravings have come close, and the movie V For Vendetta came closer still with its depiction of a lone resistance fighter blowing up one of democracy's most arrogant and pompous symbols, the British Houses of Parliament.
Now another British film maker has come right out and portrayed openly on the silver screen what hundreds of millions of people around the globe are thinking. The movie Death of a President depicts the assassination of Jug-Ears, openly and without any fictional fig leaves. A recent British news media article says the film, "...shot in the style of a retrospective documentary, looks at the effect the assassination of Bush has on America in light of its War on Terror...the 90 minute feature explores who could have planned the murder, with a Syrian-born man wrongly put in the frame.
"Set around October 2007, President Bush is assassinated as he leaves the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago," says the This Is London article. "Peter Dale, head of More4, which is due to air the film on October 9, said the drama was a thought-provoking critique of contemporary US society. He said: 'It's an extraordinarily gripping and powerful piece of work, a drama constructed like a documentary that looks back at the assassination of George Bush as the starting point for a very gripping detective story. It's a pointed political examination of what the War on Terror did to the American body politic.'
Dale went on to say, "I'm sure that there will be people who will be upset by it but when you watch it you realise what a sophisticated piece of work it is. It's not sensationalist, or simplistic but a very thought-provoking, powerful drama. I hope people will see that the intention behind it is good."
Mmmm...yeah, okay. But one is left with a strong suspicion that these Brits are in fact obeying the oldest law in the entertainment industry, and giving the public what they want. Those of us with long memories can recall the cheers that rang out in the theaters when the aliens in Independence Day blew up the White House, and more recently the cheers and applause which have greeted the pyrotechnic explosion of Parliament in V For Vendetta.
Let's face it--while (obviously) nobody is actually willing to assassinate Jug-Ears themselves, can we honestly deny that in certain quarters of the world, and in this country as well, a quiet sigh of relief and in some cases downright jubilation would not greet Jug's demise, either at the hands of an assassin or else in another drunken fall off his bicycle? As one old Klansman said about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, "I deplore the use of murder in politics, but I wouldn't give ten cents to bring the son of a bitch back to life."
It is not yet known whether or not the movie Death of a President will be allowed into the United States under the Patriot Act.
For the sake of maintaining the state and the social order, and above all for safeguarding the material possessions of the wealthy against the depredations of the poor from whom that wealth was originally stolen (the true purpose of all liberal democratic nation-states), the one topic most taboo, the one idea most off limits, has always been assassination. So much as the slightest hint or suggestion that a solution for the endless corruption, misery, and despair that democracy brings may be found at the end of a gun barrel aimed at a tyrant's bloated gut or arrogant noggin, causes the governments and ruling elites of the world to go into screaming hysterics of fear and paranoia, and to lash out in all directions.
The simple fact is that in the final analysis, once people lose their fear of death and punishment, there is very little that even the most advanced security systems can do to stop a determined person out to avenge his own wrongs or the wrongs of history.
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
If I know this, know all the world besides,
That part of tyranny that I do bear
I can shake off at pleasure.
Act I, Scene 3