I couldn’t stand to watch more than 20 seconds of “Clint Eastwood Unleashed.” I was too embarrassed, both for Eastwood and the GOP.
Sure, I’ll grant that Clint Eastwood is free to say whatever is on his mind. And I’ll even grant that Clint is simply an old man — that happens to movie stars and regular Joes alike. So I’m forgiving… up to a point.
That point comes when I find myself thinking, “if I ever do that, please shoot me.” And that’s pretty much how I felt while watching Clint’s speech to the delegates at the Republican National Convention.
“Every old man needs to have a handler”, that’s what Clint made me think. Someone who jabs you in the ribs and says, “you’re sounding crazy, you need to back off.”
But one delightful part of being a Rich Old Man, obviously, is that nobody can tell you what to do. Until, of course, you can’t even function without everybody telling you what to do.
And that’s what Clint Eastwood made me think last night: is he at the point where he needs people to tell him what to do?
A little while back I discovered I could see a free episode of his wife’s reality show. Wife? Cripes, I don’t know if they’re even married. I know that Clint Eastwood has a bunch of kids by a bunch of different women. That makes him the perfect match for the social conservatives who run the G.O.P.
Well, no, of course not really. Eastwood’s personal life is stereotypically Free Love Hollywood. No matter, American conservatives are always giddy when they find a celebrity with right-wing views. At that point, all their previous protestations about Hollywood celebrities go out the window, and we all get it, sure, sure…we hate that dirty player, unless he’s on OUR team.
And so the delegates in Tampa were giddy to see Clint Eastwood. Even giddier when he poked hard fun at President Obama. So giddy, in fact, that they apparently didn’t see what the rest of us saw: Clint Eastwood embarrassing himself.
Eastwood didn’t embarrass himself because he was siding with Mitt Romney. Clint Eastwood’s politics are famously all over the map — what do you expect? He’s an ACTOR. He’s made millions of dollars making movies that conservatives love to complain about, and he’s made millions of dollars making movies that liberals love to complain about. He’s in the celebrity business, not the politics business. So his political views amount to nothing.
And THAT’S why he embarrassed himself. After 50 years of making movies just for the sake of entertainment, Clint Eastwood, in a rambling, barely coherent, self-indulgent speech, tried to make us believe he was a meaningful voice in American politics.
Instead, he looked like an old man who was being exploited, beyond his understanding, and it was sad.
Clint Eastwood… you foretold it all: