August 12, 2003
Schaden 1, Freude 0

There's no point in adding fuel to a fire if there's no oxygen to feed it. But here it is anyway.

The thing is, that in plenty of other countries, scandal is a meaningful word. Let's take Germany, since Americans do that, look at Willy Brandt, look at the recently deceased Ernst Moellemann.

Willy Brandt was the popular and populist Hitler-resisting Nobel-prize-winning Chancellor of West Germany. Was, until it turned out one of his personal assistants was a spy planted by East Germany. Brandt simply resigned, in spite of being a great hero at a time when people needed heroes.

Couple decades later. Ernst Moellemann was no hero, he was about as far right as the Free Democrat Party is going to get, and was about as anti-Semitic as German law allows: rather unsubtle critiques of Michael Friedman -- the jewish-german Jerry Springer -- and of Ariel Sharon, who needs no introduction. But when there was an investigation of his use of office to "promote a product manufactured by a relative," Moellemann was forced to resign as economics minister, simple as that.

Not really that simple. Later, when an unrelated criminal investigation opened up, Moellemann executed one of his trademark paratroop into the press-conference PR stunts. He outdid himself, though, by executing a familiar 5000 foot jump over a barley field, but without releasing his main or emergency chutes. This limits his chances for re-election considerably.

Scandals are scandals, is all I'm saying, and the point is, it's worth looking at Arnold Schwarzenegger's repeated and unambiguous support of a fucking Wehrmacht captain head of state and by the way charter member of the Undesirable Alien club, 40,000 subversives, terrorists, and criminals not welcome in California or any of the other still United States.

That should be reason enough to focus group that Hollywood ending, but predictable and numbing conclusions are really what the studio system is good at. I don't mind that Schwarzenegger is so unqualified and so naive, and I don't even mind that he invited Waldheim to his wedding with a Kennedy; the part that makes me crazy is the part about how none of it matters at all. If I thought the apparatus of democracy provided any chance for a movie star to be carefully considered, I'd wish Herr Schwarzenegger a lot of luck, but sadly, luck has nothing to do with it.

Posted by kevin slavin at August 12, 2003 02:14 AM
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