Huffpost Entertainment

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Lionel Headshot

Pity W, Pity Us More

Posted: Updated:

I'm a cinephile. But I feel that sexual preference and religious affiliation are irrelevant in socio-political commentary.

That was a joke. (Jesus.)

Frusheda and I saw W opening day, Friday. Sorry, Charlie, it was a great movie. Not a classic, but great. Most of you won't see it. You feel that you'd be betraying your anti-Dubya sentimentality. Or that if you're pro-W, you wouldn't dare add to Oliver Stone's coffers. Two groups clueless, bound by antipodal senses of cluelessness. Cinematic syzygy, perhaps. Both groups cocksure. Both right. Both immutably stupid.

You've forsworn all things Dubya, or arguably pro-Dubya. I know. You're a progressive and if you saw this film you'd be somehow countenancing his regime or might be confused with the intellectually curious. Just like if you read Mein Kampf, you'd be a Nazi. I get it. You're a member of "the club." You don't consider anything other than that which is seen through your own prism. You will have nothing of the opposition. Even if the opposition is Oliver Stone. I get it. If you feel this, if you believe this, then you're an absolute idiot. A Boeotian. An abderite. A reject of Skaneateles, NY, at best. I loathe this president as much as you in fact do, but I feel the film was still worth seeing. I want to know what makes this guy tick. Whether a dramatic presentation or a psychiatric workup. Why?

There is a psychological reason for the mess that we're in. Its name is Dubya. And the film depicts it artfully. Albeit not a documentary, it nonetheless dealt with the complexities of this simpleton-in-chief. Now, lest you think I've let 43 off the hook for the war crimes and constitutional violations that he alone is responsible for, allowed and countenanced, not to mention the 4185 brave Americans (as of today) who gave their lives in Iraq in this neo-con pipedream, I do find his psychological and emotional composite fascinating -- that may help explicate this man's pathology. (The definitive analysis on said subject is Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of a President by psychoanalyst Justin Frank.)

Bush is a dry drunk, messianic, meta-Oedipally-complexed, Manichean, apodictic, ham-fisted psychopath. A man without feeling, sympathy, empathy and who harbors that classic symptom of psychopathy, a lack of appreciation for consequence. A man bathed in privilege, a "man" who has lived under the shadow of Jeb, the chosen one. Jeb, by the way, will be forever sullied and tattooed by the stain of ineptitude committed by his very lucky brother. The Bush name now enjoys its place in the pantheon of toxic nomenclature as Typhoid Mary, Shinola, Halliburton and Robert Green do. (That was a joke.)

A dry drunk describes one "who was once someone abstinent and on a progressive path of recovery [who now] has slowly returned to chaotic and unrealistic thinking." Characteristics described are (now get ready, ask yourself who this sounds like) grandiosity, impulsivity, being judgmental and complacency. Wow. Sound familiar?

Dubya's childhood was fraught and replete with a Freudian analyst's wonderland of sinkholes, speed bumps and wrong turns. His relationship with his mother is frightening. Bush 41 ("Poppy") is the hero dad that Dubya can never satisfy or get near to in accomplishments. (Other than two terms, the first albeit stolen by Poppy.) Forty-one always gets Dubya out of scrapes. And into the White House. Bush is duped by Cheney (brilliantly portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss) who appeals to his messianic side and the sadly-hysterically funny Rummy (portrayed by Scott Glenn), who spouts one maddeningly circuitous phrase after another. Jeffrey Wright favorably portrays and Colin Powell shows the pain he suffered and moral conflicts in siding with the administration. And when you juxtapose that with Powell's endorsement yesterday of Barack Obama, wow. And while we're at it, Thandie Newton as Condie Rice, with a brilliant delivery of that clipped Rice-speak, is nothing short of remarkable.

Movies to avoid, however, like the plague: "Rachel Getting Married," "Happy Go Lucky" (save Eddie Marsan) and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."

Now we have a man who wants to succeed Dubya and whose own psychological makeup is considered off-limits: a man whose famous temper calls into question his ability to possess the equanimity required of the leader of the free world.

Fine, you say I'm no psychiatrist. What gives me the ability to opine as I have? Granted, I have no qualifications, aptitude or learning.

Well, Dubya's not qualified to be President as he has for eight years. He likewise is devoid of qualifications, aptitude or learning. If this yokel can become 43, I can wax psychiatric.

Fifteen days.