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
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9 years 11 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.

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