Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Matt Damon Is Angry Because the President Isn't Really Bagger Vance

Matt Damon, Harvard dropout (read: epic fail) and son of a stockbroker (read: one percent) is throwing a temper tantrum.

Matt Damon is a successful Hollywood actor, which means he's actually probably the top one percent of the one percent. His films rake in millions of dollars and earn him millions of dollars too.

Matt Damon lives the ultimate fantasy life. He's the danger-dodging hero in action films. He's the soldier who always wins the war, the athlete who always triumphs in the most adverse competitons, he's the embodiment of nobility and goodness. In films, a body can do anything, even play golf with and as well as Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen, even though that body had to have the help from someone who was, effectively, a Magic Negro.

Maybe Matt Damon came to believe in a mystical Magic Negro figure - much the same way Linus believes in the Great Pumpkin. Maybe he believed, in 2008, that Barack Obama was Bagger Vance incarnate, the Magic Negro, himself.

Maybe Matt Damon, and others like him, saw Barack Obama through the eyes of a child caught up in the make-believe world of the movies. The Magic Negro arrives, eyes twinkling, imparts words of wisdom and quells all opposition and all obstacles in his path. He clears the way and cleans up the mess left by the big, bad Bush.

But if Matt Damon thought more like an adult living in the real world (the type who pays money to watch his films and augment his wealth), then he'd realise what exactly this President encountered in the way of opposition, vicious innuendo and hatred. He would realise that the sole goal in the mindset of the Republican Party is to ensure that Barack Obama is a one-term President ... which, curiously, seems to be what Matt Damon wants too.

You see, Matt Damon realises now that the President isn't Bagger Vance, that there really isn't a Bagger Vance at all.

But instead of seeing the President as someone actually striving to make life better for the working and middle class people of America, instead of recognising the enormous achievements he has accomplished in the face of the most virulent opposition any President has ever faced, instead of appreciating the President for those achievements and supporting him like his fellow co-stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Tom Hanks, Matt Damon throws the mother of all hissy fits and throws the President under the bus, with the most ignorant of insults and the most puerile of politcal analyses.

Earlier this year, Matt Damon, Harvard dropout, presumed to tell Piers Morgan, in an interview on CNN that the President, an actual graduate of Columbia University and the President of the Harvard Law Review, had "misinterpreted his mandate" when he - in Damon's words - "rolled over to the banks" and extended the Bush tax cuts.

Really, Matt?

Then tell me, O Son-of-Stockbroker-Daddy, why is Wall Street reacting so virulently towards the President and the regulations imposed upon the banking industry by the Dodd-Frank Bill? Could the legislation have been stronger? Of course, but the President doesn't legislate, Matt; Congress does, and the law cobbled together by then-Senator Phil Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank is the best that could be obtained in the Congress of the moment.

Bottom line, Matt? If you want the President to sign more liberal legislation (because that's what he does), if you want him to endorse more liberal policies, then give him a more liberal Congress. That's not so difficult to comprehend.

And as for the Bush tax cuts, for a man who trumpets the fact that he learned the history of the United States at the foot of his next-door neighbour, Howard Zinn (which is a history of the US from the prospective of the working classes and the working poor), how can he not see that the compromise which the temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts achieved resulted in a plethora of legislation which actually bettered the lives of the poor, the unemployed and the working poor?

How can he not see it, unless he chooses not to see it? This is exactly what he's chosen to do, and one has to wonder why and what's behind such an obtuse point of view.

Now in his recent interview in Elle magazine, he's heapiing more unfounded criticism on the President - the emphasis being mine:-

“I’ve talked to a lot of people who worked for Obama at the grassroots level. One of them said to me, ‘Never again. I will never be fooled again by a politician,’ ” Damon says, his disappointment ringing with a now-familiar tone of wounded idealism. “You know, a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done would have been, in the long run of the country, much better.” Damon gestures in the direction, just out of sight over the tree line, of the sign-wielding picketers who are beginning to gather steam. “If the Democrats think that they didn’t have a mandate—people are literally without any focus or leadership, just wandering out into the streets to yell right now because they are so pissed off,” he says. “Imagine if they had a leader.” And, as on the day of that DC rally, it is momentarily possible to get swept up in the moment, to imagine—however ridiculously, whether in reality or coming soon to a multiplex near you—exactly that.

I wonder how stupid Matt Damon really is. If he's in any doubt about the "stuff" the President has actually "got done," the blogger Milt Shook has kept a highly accurate list of the President's achievements on his blogsite. They can be found here. If he's still in any doubt, he can speak to Lily Ledbetter or Matthew Shepherd's parents, or maybe he can read Spike Dolomite Ward's evocative letter of apology to the President for ever doubting his sincerity, his ability and his intentions. For what it's worth, Matt, Ms Ward is suffering from breast cancer, and the President's healthcare legislation ensures that she's getting treatment. If you're in anymore doubt, Matt, ask the thousands of gay and lesbian servicemen and women who now no longer have to live a double life in their professional career. If you're in any doubt, ask the thousands of military families whose loved ones will be sharing Christmas with them now that the Iraq War - you know, the one George Bush started - is over. If you're still in any doubt, Matt, check out some history, and you'll find that the President has actually achieved more during this term than Franklin Roosevelt did in his first four years in office - and Roosevelt had 71 Democratic Senators out of a field of ninety-six.

Not bad. In fact, I'd say that's pretty Bagger Vance. Pretty much what a Magic Negro would do.

Or maybe Matt Damon didn't buy into the Bagger Vance inspirational moment at all. Maybe he saw Bagger Vance at face value only - a black caddy whose sole purpose in life was to carry the white man's bags and clean up the white man's mess and if he offered any words of wisdom at all, they were always whispered and subtly so behind the scene.

Maybe it irks Matt Damon to see Bagger Vance, Harvard Law graduate, in the Big Chair with the big worries, whilst Matt Damon, Harvard dropout, can only pretend to be a hero in a fantasy world.

And Matt Damon wants to remember, when his white boy in the movie played golf, Bagger Vance had the balls. Still does. Maybe Matt's projecting.


  1. THANK YOU so much for writing this! I just want to shake Matt Damon and people like him! How about you heap some of that scorn on the Republicans that are obstructing everything? I mean damn! I saw this on HuffPo (which is really turning into Red State) and most of the comments were agreeing with him and suggesting HE run for President! Really? Maybe then he'd see it's not a monarch.

  2. You rock. There is a massive disconnect between people like Damon and the rest of us "unwashed" masses who not only completed the simple task of putting a check mark next to Barack Obama (D) President when we occupied the voting booth, but continue to support the President as he faces vicious attacks from the disappointed left and the hateful right.

    My son (25 years old) was able to receive a life saving surgery, without bankrupting the family, because he could stay on my health insurance plan. So Mr. Damon, go ask him if he is upset that there was no public option in the Democrat's/Obama's health care reforms.

    Shazza said it perfectly, you just want to SHAKE THESE PEOPLE!!!!!!

  3. Do you have an English version of this?

  4. I was reading this terrific post over on OsborneInk and loving every word of it. But when I clicked on the link to read Spike Dolomite Ward's letter of apology to the President, it goes back to Milt Shook's PCTC blog entry on the President's Accomplishments. I think the link you meant to use was from the LA Times
    "'Obamacare' to the rescue" Dec 6, 2011

  5. A person rock and roll. There's a substantial detach in between individuals such as Damon as well as average folks "unwashed" public that not just finished the easy job associated with placing the examine tag alongside Barack Obama (Deb) Leader whenever we busy the actual voting sales space, however still assistance the actual Leader because he or she encounters aggresive episodes in the let down remaining and also the hateful correct.

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