Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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More on the Schwarzenegger Surprise

Anyone scandalized by the allegations in the Los Angeles Times regarding Arnold has probably never been involved in show business. If they were, they would realize that the atmosphere of even a high school drama or local theater rehearsal--let alone a Hollywood movie set--is a far cry from that which exists in the average office. The art of performance is an emotionally intense experience, and capable of generating behavior that would be far less acceptable in ordinary circumstances. Those old stories about the immorality of "show business folk," going back at least to the Elizabethan era, stem from this, I would argue. I have seen this sort of behavior personally in virtually every theater production in which I have been involved--going back to my Catholic high school drama club.

All of this is not necessarily to defend Schwarzenegger (although I would rather see him as governor than either Davis or Bustamante), but merely to try to put his behavior into some kind of perspective. He may well be a cad, but I have seen even people with otherwise high moral standards behave, in the context of the stage, in ways that would be shocking to those who have never been in such an environment.

Discussions - 12 Comments

This type behavior might be fine if he was running for President of the Screen Actors’ Guild, however, it is less tahn acceptable if you are running for governor. I suppose that is unless you are a Kennedy or Clinton.

Stating that most actors exhibit obonoxious behavior, like "Conan", is hardly a "glowing" endorsement. Perhaps he should stick to something his better "morally" suited to, rather than moving into a career in politics. I don’t believe the better candidate, Sen. Tom McClintock, carries any such immoral baggage!

The critical difference, of course, is that Kennedy and Clinton engaged in these behaviors while holding public office.

Does anybody recall how much stuff we have learned in the past ten years about the real Camelot of the vaunted Kennedy years? The guy was a walking drugged out sex maniac with his damn fingers close to the nuclear trigger in 1962!

But who knew then what we know now? Back in 1962 most folks trusted "the government in Washington to do the right thing," as those civic polls clearly show. And they did so across party lines too. Ike was every bit as trusted as JFK was. There was a black and white "consensus" in this country that America was great, the USSR was rotten... and of course Big Government took care of us all.

Enter the baby boom.

John Cougar Melloncamp said it all, "And the walls come tumblin’ down, and the walls..." What didn’t we boomers do in our youth, in our coming of age years, that never ceases to embarrass us in front of our own kids today? How we love to preach to ’em on the virtues we all tested to the hilt, huh? Let’s be honest, we baby boomers are in quite the pickle. We want to "save the world" from all the havoc that was wrought when we were young adults. And damned if we’ll not gladly figure out a way around our own hypocrisy while seeking to save the next generation from our own selves!

Clinton got to the pinnicle of political power way too soon, imho. He showed us all a big dose of what I call "boomer imaturititus." A lot us never really did believe we’d really have to grow up and face the music. 9/11 changed a little of that, but perhaps all that mass destruction did was throw salt on the already nasty wound. Sometimes when I gaze at the political landscape these days I can’t help thinkin’ that I’m gazing at a mirror of my own soul. The mirror reminds of that wound and says very clearly, "Physician heal thyself."

"And then you will be worthy to save others."

John Moser wrote:

The art of performance is an emotionally intense experience, and capable of generating behavior that would be far less acceptable in ordinary circumstances.

Ah yes, who can forget such emotionally intense Schwarzenegger films such as "Eraser," "Total Recall," the "Terminator" trilogy, and of course, the mack-daddy of dramatic cinema, "Jingle All the Way."

Thanks for the laugh, John. That was a good one, really.

Cute. But what I’m saying doesn’t just hold true for high-brow productions. Lord knows the sort of stuff I’ve appeared in isn’t exactly "Citizen Kane." My point is that, for whatever reason, acting creates a level of familiarity that does not exist in any other profession I know of, save prostitution. I guess it’s something that’s tough to understand for people who have never done it. Acting, I mean.

What didn’t we boomers do in our youth, in our coming of age years, that never ceases to embarrass us in front of our own kids today?

The closest I ever came to expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler was laughing very hard at Mel Brooks’ Springtime for Hitler. So I can’t give Arnold Schwarzenegger a pass on what were clearly unsupportable statements he made to a wannabe biographer in 1975 when he said Hitler had a Horatio Alger aspect to his life.

But I do know something about the time when Arnold was making those statements, when he was allegedly groping women who happened to get near him either in the gym or on the movie set. I know I don’t want to be held all that accountable for things I did and said back then. It was a different time. Remember the sexual revolution? Hey... women participated in that too, and it certainly did get the guys fired up.

I was writing a gossip column for the Hollywood Reporter, a daily trade paper during just those years when Arnold was digging the hole in which he now finds himself. People would literally say or do anything to get a little attention, to get some buzz, to get in the columns. If you’re an unknown with an alphabet-long name and a thick accent... you had to go extra outrageous to get anyone to pay attention.

I know because I used to run items in my column about this strange muscle guy named Arnold whatever... way back when.

Now... the question for Californians... is it better to take one of their own — a guy with a checkered past who seems to have come through it okay — as their new governor... or stick with the old guy who they don’t much like? Things are always complicated in my home state.

That’s My Word. By John Gibson (Fox News), Friday, October 03, 2003

Thanks for making my point, John. :)

My point is that, for whatever reason, acting creates a level of familiarity that does not exist in any other profession I know of, save prostitution. I guess it’s something that’s tough to understand for people who have never done it. Acting, I mean.

Surely you are not implying that Schwarzenegger is an ACTOR?!?!?!? ;-)

"Surely you are not implying that Schwarzenegger is an ACTOR?!?!?!? ;-)"

Why not, Gray and Cruz are!

"The critical difference, of course, is that Kennedy and Clinton engaged in these behaviors while holding public office."

Making them in your eyes what? More or less reprehensible than "Conan"?

"My point is that, for whatever reason, acting creates a level of familiarity that does not exist in any other profession I know of, save prostitution."

I don’t recall Jimmy Stewart, the "Duke", or the "Gipper" having a reputation as a "mass groper". Perhaps it is really a Nazi or Austrian thing and not the trait of a true thespian!

Of course, "Conan’s" Uncle Teddy has had his share of "gropes" in his hayday. Most likely "uncontrolled groping" could merely be a social diease manifested in the political leftist.

"So I can’t give Arnold Schwarzenegger a pass on what were clearly unsupportable statements he made to a wannabe biographer in 1975 when he said Hitler had a Horatio Alger aspect to his life."

But how about someone whose dad was with the SS and who invites Kurt Waldheim, also with Nazi SS, to their wedding, even after he had been "outed". Personally, the only thing I have against "Conan" is his not renouncing his Austrian citizenship when he became an American citizen. TO me that makes no better than Cruz!

Of course, "Conan’s" Uncle Teddy has had his share of "gropes" in his hayday. Most likely "uncontrolled groping" could merely be a social diease manifested in the political leftist.

Yes, just as how lying (Reagan), cheating (Nixon) and drug use (Bush 2) are manifested in the political conservative.

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