Friday, March 11, 2016

The GOP Poseidon Adventure (1972 and 2016)

The Poseidon Adventure was in my Netflix queue for unknowable reasons and when it showed up, I asked myself am I seriously going to spend two hours of my precious time on earth watching this Irwin Allen production? The answer, of course, is yes, a thousand times yes.

For those who missed it or its Mad Magazine parody (how I initially absorbed its insanity), The Poseidon Adventure was ground zero for the genre known as the disaster epic. This is the genre that gave us Earthquake, burying Los Angeles in rubble, The Towering Inferno, about a towering inferno, Airport 1975, so fabulously parodied in Airport!, and perhaps the most beloved of all, Poseidon, the cruise ship tipped upside down by a rogue wave.

I'm guessing these movies were cathartic for an angry and traumatized public, who had survived the idealism and violence of the late 60s only to face a decade of rampant inflation, the ongoing tragedy of the Vietnam War and the criminal-President that was Richard Nixon. It was the perfect environment for mayhem, chaos and against-all-odds survival. Where a star-studded cast, featuring anyone from Paul Newman to Linda Blair to O.J. Simpson and everyone in between were pitted against brutal destruction for the length of two hours, getting sweatier and dirtier and more ground down in the process. These films also pushed some VFX boundaries. Who could forget the magic of Earthquake in Sensurround—the dawn of the age of subwoofers, which have dominated our movie-theater sound experiences ever since?

The Poseidon Adventure is special because it's a metaphor. Yes, that's right, a metaphor for the current GOP election cycle unfolding before our eyes. It's almost too real, as if the GOP is actually turning upside down and falling through its own Tiffany-glass ceiling, right into the laps of the MSNBC news team who can't stop giggling about it. And who or what is this rogue wave that has upset the ship? You know the answer. Let's examine the GOP figurative death toll, Poseidon Adventure style. That's (junk) entertainment!

And now:

The GOP Poseidon Adventure

Starring Gene Hackman as Ted Cruz.

Red Buttons as Martin Kasich.

This kid as Marco Rubio.

That's Eric Shea, ubiquitous 70s' kid actor

And featuring Ernest Borgnine as Chris Christie.

 Stella Stevens as Carly Fiorina.

This guy as Jeb Bush.

Waiting in the wings, Roddy McDowall as Rand Paul.

Leslie Nielsen as Mitt "Too Little Too Late" Romney.

And no one as Ben Carson because #PoseidonAdventureSoWhite

While Sanders and Clinton bide their time, watching the carnage unfold...

...and the liberal media sharpens their pencils in anticipation...


Relax, liberal media—we're just getting started.

The Grand Old Party's been pandering to the lowest common denominator for so long, they didn't see the an apocalypse of their own making on the horizon.

After years of paranoid storytime on Fox News and rabble-rousing tea-party histrionics, a rogue wave suddenly unleashes itself on the unsuspecting GOP Poseidon, en route to the White House.

The crew reacts by staring balefully into the near distance while tilting so far to the right it can never regain any semblance of balance.

"Hard left!" cries the Captain, but it's much too late

Now up is down and down is up and their only hope is for Ted Cruz to climb the Christmas tree ladder to salvation.

Alas, the Republican multitude is swallowed by the symbolic embodiment of hatred, paranoia and ignorance. No, not Satan—TRUMP.

Kasich beseeches Christie to form a coalition to oust their popular rival, but Christie has other ideas...

While Cruz forges on, for what? He says less government, but a little more regulation might have kept the ship from plowing into a tidal wave. It's all speculation at this point.

Hoping to split some votes, they invite Rubio along for the ride.

While Christie's would-be power alliance predictably backfires.

"Oh deary me!" cries Kasich. "And I courted the anti-abortion contingent so diligently too! All for naught."

Fiorina's advice to her cohorts: "See ya in the funny papers, boys!" and she's gone.

While Christie roasts in a hell of his own making...

Rubio asks "Wha- happen'?"

And an almost universally despised Cruz is left hanging.

The stunned, demoralized, hysterical and weeping right-wing can only hope there's a new dawn for the Grand Old Party.

Don't hold your breath.

Cue the music!

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