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Ed Driscoll

The Obama Effect: Close Encounters of the Agitprop Kind

July 13th, 2012 - 12:01 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare yourself for… The Obama Effect:

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Newsbusters’ Matt Vespa accurately dubs the above clip an “Unintentionally Hilarious Trailer for Pro-Obama Movie,” which is directed by and stars veteran actor Charles S. Dutton as an insurance salesman (a man used to selling and being sold to) who suffers a heart attack and is reborn with a higher cause: becoming Obama’s self-proclaimed John the Baptist. As Vespa writes, “The promoters of the film cast it as a comedy, but it’s NOT a satire. It really does appear to be a serious movie.”

Or perhaps Dutton’s character is the political equivalent of the everyman character portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, compelled by unseen forces to build a shrine to the higher power he perceives to be calling him. The Blaze has screen caps of the entire trailer, including this (presumably) unintentionally hilarious moment:

Click to enlarge for the full infantilizing…Obama Effect.

When you were a kid, did you ever have a shrine to your favorite rock group, sports team, or a film like Star Wars, with posters on every wall of your bedroom? Dutton himself is 61 years old, presumably the character he plays is about the same age, or a few years younger. But in any case, he’s not 12 years old, and yet he’s swooning for Obamamania! (As with Terri Garr before her, no wonder Dutton’s character’s wife, played by actress Vanessa Bell Calloway, shown above, is terrified by the strange path her husband has chosen to pursue.)

As in the summer of 2008, with today’s polls currently showing a neck-and-neck horse race, Obama may yet of course win this fall. But those of us who sat in the screening theater around the corner from the 2008 Republican Convention in Minneapolis and witnessed the debut of An American Carol and watched an army of talented actors, led by David Zucker, who cut his teeth on laugh-a-minute films such as Kentucky Fried Movie and Airplane, know the painful experience that occurs when comedy is sacrificed to agitprop. And knew ultimately the sinking feeling such a film portended as a mile marker on the road to November.

On Wednesday, I had two quotes of the day, which this agitprop film (which ironically, as Big Hollywood notes, benefits from the left’s bête noire, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling) helps to visualize perfectly:

When God is invisible behind the world, the contents of the world will become new gods; when the symbols of transcendent religiosity are banned, new symbols develop from the inner-worldly language of science to take their place.

Modernity without Restraint, The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume Five, 2000.

They did not vote for a President; they voted for a Redeemer, a Christ figure, who would bring Peace to Earth. These moral quandries weren’t supposed to exist anymore, according to their religious-zealot thinking. We were supposed to enter our Thousand Year Reign of Christ on Earth.

Well… Christ isn’t here yet. Sorry about that.

Maybe later, guys.

But keep on pumping out your religious tracts and prophecies. One day, you’ll get a prophecy right. Law of large numbers, after all.

– Ace of Spades today, “Fervent Liberal Polemicist: Why, This Obama Character Certainly Murders A Lot of Innocents With His Drone Attacks, Doesn’t He,” responding to Esquire’s Tom Junod’s newfound epiphany that Obama isn’t God.

Yesterday, a clip of Obama making a recent appearance on CBS News made the round, as the president uttered the now-boilerplate left-wing response that if only he had shaped his narrative better while he was in office, he would have had a more successful presidency. But that’s just it – a great narrative and a supine media can get you into office, but then you have to govern, and then watch as the real world – in the form of markets, employees, foreign countries, and the rest of world – react to your decisions. In the end, the man who promised his most rabid supporters in 2008 that securing his party’s nomination (not even the election — simply trumping fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton in the primaries) “was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal,” did it all as a smokescreen to cronyism, the base motive of every Chicago hack politician.

Allow me to end this post with one more quote, from Umberto Eco in 2005:

G K Chesterton is often credited with observing: “When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing. He believes in anything.” Whoever said it – he was right. We are supposed to live in a sceptical age. In fact, we live in an age of outrageous credulity.

But fortunately, we’re leaving behind plenty of warnings to the future not to repeat those same mistakes.

Related: Twitchy.com rounds-up the Twitter reaction to The Obama Effect. Like the aftermath of its namesake’s economic policies, it’s not pretty.

More: At the Washington Free Beacon, Matthew Continetti quips, “Honey, I Shrunk Obama — Four years have miniaturized Obama’s appeal, plans, and rhetoric.”

That’s inevitable when the star’s product fails to live up to his advertising.

Update: Jim Geraghty tweets, “I hear that at the end of ‘The Obama Effect,’ Charles S. Dutton says, ‘I can’t wait to see President Obama at the 2012 NAACP Convention.’”

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