Subscribe  Subscribe to Comments  Follow me on Twitter  Circle me on Google Plus  Friend me on Facebook  Follow me on StumbleUpon

≡ Menu

Morbius: Why’d you jumble that combination?
Adams: What ever you know and hear, your twin self out in the tunnel knows, too.
[Morbius attacks Adams.]
Morbius: I’m not a monster, you …
[Adams gains control quickly, but Morbius continues to struggle.]
Adams: We’re
all part monsters in our subconscious! So we have laws and religion!
Morbius: Let me go!
Adams: You’ve got to listen! We don’t have much time!

    — Walter Pidgeon (as Dr. Edward Morbius) and Leslie Nielsen (as Commander John J. Adams) from Forbidden Planet

Start: If you haven’t seen the 1956 science fiction film Forbidden Planet, and you’re any kind of science fiction fan, consider yourself duly reprimanded. (If you’re not a science fiction fan but willing to put up with some retro eye-candy, there are certainly worse ways to spend an hour and thirty eight minutes.)

Long before the late Leslie Nielsen became famous for his over-the-top character Detective Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun movies, I first ran across a much younger and more serious Nielsen as Commander J. J. Adams of the United Planets Cruiser C-57D.

Beyond being a classic, the film does us a service in that it dramatically reminds us of a fundamental truth of who we really are. In our Ids — the Freudian term used in the film for the primal portion of the subconscious mind — whether we’re Liberal or Conservative; Black, White, Brown, Yellow, or Red; gay or straight; or Alpha Male or part of the herd, we’re all part monsters.

The Chosen and the Damned

I was taught when I was very little — as most of us in this self-important, recklessly breeding organism called the Human Race were taught at some point — a very easy way to be a monster.

[click to continue…]

Presidential SealDear Mr. President:

Let me open by saying this is not a letter of attack, nor is it a letter of unconditional praise. It is, in fact, a request, a request for leadership which I believe you have within your power to do for this country, leadership that is sorely needed in these troubled times.

I frankly had not been paying much attention to you or the political scene, until the moving speech you presented on September 9, on Health Care reform. I’m not sure why I listened, though health care is a personal concern, so I gave you an hour I normally wouldn’t give any politician.

Let me take a brief moment to give you some context: I was raised in a staunchly Republican household, and am attracted at times to some Libertarian thinking. With your speech, you successfully challenged me to open my mind to what your Presidency seeks to achieve.

Simply, your speech was brilliant. You defined the issue; delineated your expectations; challenged not just the assembled senators and representatives to work together on the issue, but all of us watching; reached across the aisle using your opponent in your Presidential race, John McCain, as a symbol of his party; and skillfully used the recent passing of Ted Kennedy for a final call to action built on an emotional appeal that only the most hardened heart would dismiss.

[click to continue…]