Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A Resounding 'Feh' to Patrick Ruffini

I've stayed out of the recent tussle between some conservatives and George Lucas, primarily because I've known for years that Lucas, although a gifted filmmaker, wasn't ideologically sound. Heck, Richard Nixon knew it in time to include evidence in his 1985 book, No More Vietnams. Anyways, Lucas has said some things recently---no links; I don't care---that link George W. Bush with either Senator/Emperor Palpatine and/or Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, and the United States of America with the Old Republic/Galactic Empire. Clearly George is off his rocker; Jar Jar Binks is evidence enough of that. We're not turning into the Galactic Empire, although that would be cool. Being able to say, "We got Death Star" and meaning it is an attractive proposition, and so is the concept of a "dreaded Imperial starfleet". Message: We'll blow your planet up. Anyways, the one-time director of the Bush-Cheney 2004 Internet effort, Patrick Ruffini, has gone and done something annoying. That is, he has tried to claim Darth Vader as a conservative icon, by slapping various decals all over Vader's armor in a screenshot from the Bespin lightsaber duel. That it's amateurly done is besides the point; that's half the point of a Photoshop edit. Nevertheless, the work annoys. Why does it annoy? I don't know for sure. For one thing, I've been a Vader fan for nigh-on 30 years. For cinematic entries, it's hard to top the first shot of Vader stepping through a breached door on the Tantive IV. From there, he goes to choking Captain Colton Antilles with one hand, yet another uber-cool move. Come to think of it, he's the epitome of cold competence and hard-case throughout Star Wars. In The Empire Strikes Back, he ratchets it up a notch. Disposing of senior Imperial Navy officers who displease him? Check. Strolling effortlessly through a free-fire zone that his troops haven't yet secured, i.e. Hoth? Check. Stopping blaster bolts with merely an upturned palm? Check. Yeah, I like ol' DV. (So did Liz Phair, but in a much different manner.) So maybe that's why I object to the low-grade defiling of the original black-clad bad boy. Doing Vader up like a Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the Winston Cup circuit is, well, perhaps sacrilegious or something. I don't like it, and to top it off, Ruffini's selection of stickers seems enh, oleaginous. First off, George W. Bush ain't Darth Vader, and I doubt Vader would let Bush live long. The details: Darth Vader goes to war on a regular basis. He's an accomplished swordsman, Force-wielding adept, experienced at command, and is arguably one of the toughest guys in the Star Wars pantheon. George W. Bush, by comparison, served in the Air National Guard while dodging Vietnam service. Darth Vader would've gone to Hanoi, killed Ho Chi Minh with that remote choke, and then disposed of the Politburo by lightsaber. Advantage, Vader. Seeing the Fox News Channel ("Your source for annoying, poorly-produced news!") logo induces an eye-rolling "ugh". Ditto Glenn Reynolds and the attempt to link Vader to NASCAR and the Republican Party. Note: NASCAR under Brian France belongs more to the hip-hop wing of the Democratic Party, or at least we're supposed to believe. I would prefer non-political NASCAR, m'self. Dale Earnhardt, Sr., may have been "The Man in Black" on the track, but er, Vader tops him there. The "3" doesn't belong. As for Budweiser, must we focus upon that oat-brewed swill? Rubbish. I don't think it's mere coincidence that most beers look and smell like fluid waste. And besides, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., is a punk who dishonors his father's name. Peh to Glenn Reynolds and Hugh Hewitt; neither of them speak for me. At any rate, I've probably spent more time on this than I should, but Ruffini's exercise in jest doesn't get it done. Maybe I'm not part of the Fark crowd, but his picture just leaves me indifferent. An ever-so-indifferent tip of the Wisconsin hat to John Podhoretz.


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