Back to the Future

Last Sunday’s Book Review section in the New York Times has a wonderfully funny article by Dave Itzkoff, "Planetary Politics", suggesting works of science fiction that different presidential candidates might say they’ve been reading. Rudolph Guiliani, he posits, might say he’s been reading The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells; Itzkoff summarizes the story: "During a cataclysmically destructive event, an observant bystander happens to be in the right place at the right time and thereafter never stops talking about it." Dennis Kucinich might admit to reading The Running Man by Richard Bachman, the story of "a desperate participant in a brutal TV contest who appears to be the only person who doesn’t realize there’s no way he can win it." And President George W. Bush might look to A Scanner Darkly, by Philip K. Dick, in which "a troubled law enforcer invites a series of increasingly desperate, damaged characters into his home and lives to regret the decision." To extend the idea a bit farther, I wonder what science fiction films different candidates might say they are watching.... "Star Wars", the story of a young dreamer set upon by cynics and would-be tyrants, seems the obvious choice for Barack Obama. And given his willingness to stand by certain positions, no matter the personal fallout to himself, John McCain would seem a natural for "Star Trek", particularly Spock’s famous credo from "The Wrath of Khan": "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." But the biggest scifi film fan of all would have to be Tom Tancredo. What’s the usual story, after all, if not human civilization nearly overrun by aliens? Jim McDermott, SJ
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
10 years 5 months ago
For Hillary, I'm thinking Armageddon - after all, she survived watching a huge asteroid almost destroy everything she had worked so hard for, including her marriage.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The news from Ireland and the United States reminds us of Herod, of Pharaoh. What culture betrays its children?
The EditorsMay 26, 2018
A woman religious casts her ballot May 25 in Dublin as Ireland holds a referendum on its law on abortion. Voters went to the polls May 25 to decide whether to liberalize the country's abortion laws. (CNS photo/Alex Fraser, Reuters)
The repeal of Ireland's Eighth Amendment, which guarantees the right to life of the unborn, has passed with a nearly 2-1 margin.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies at a House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Secretary of Education stirred up controversy when she said it was up to schools to decide if an undocumented student should be reported to authorities.
J.D. Long-GarcíaMay 25, 2018
Thousands gathered in Dublin May 12 to say "Love Both" and "Vote No" to abortion on demand. They were protesting abortion on demand in the forthcoming referendum May 25. (CNS photo/John McElroy)
“Priests and bishops get verbal abuse by being told, ‘How can you speak for women? You don’t know what it’s like!’”
America StaffMay 25, 2018