Friends asked me to let them know what Trump said in the State of the Union Address because they weren't planning to watch. I replied, "And the reason you think I will be watching is because...??"
They thought I'd be tuning into get something to write about this morning. I said that I am unable to watch Trump speak for more than 15 seconds at the very upper limit, and if I had to watch him read poorly off a TelePrompter for an hour my head would explode. And not watching him talk for more than 15 seconds has not limited my ability to write accurately about him. There are articles, video clips, analyses, tweets, spokespeople and plenty enough else to figure out reality and watch is going on. Indeed, I've found that 15 seconds, at the very upper limit, is a generous and very fair amount of time given the substance and amount of time and thought he himself has put into the material. And given that he likely had next to zero input in writing the State of the Union address and was probably seeing it for the third time when reading it poorly to the nation, I think that not watch was a close equivalent.
Further, I would ask them -- "Did you not read my article yesterday?", where I wondered what part of "The Republican Party, as a party, has no credibility any longer. It's gone, they have torn it up and thrown it away. What they say, as a party, has no meaning" wasn't clear and would make them think that listening to Trump (who I also noted the Washington Post had documented has lied over 2,000 times since coming to office) for an hour would change all that?
I explained that I was moderately interested in some of the post-speech clips and commentary, though not the part where it would be said (as we know it would be) that he read the speech well and didn't come across like the crazy, out-of-control Trump we see all the other times in public and that he came across as more "presidential" than usual. Nor was I interested in hearing him say how great the economy is because the stock market is so high (though unmentioned, I'm sure, that it's less of an increase than during Barack Obama's first year when it had been in a tailspin), and how low the unemployment numbers are (though unmentioned, I'm sure, that when the unemployment numbers were plummeting when Barack Obama was president, Trump had called those fake) and how strong the economy is (though, unmentioned, I'm sure that it's built entirely on the turnaround created by Barack Obama on the heels of the Bush economic meltdown, and the economy still has far to go and huge salary inequality.) And I said that I have absolutely no interest in seeing SarahHuckabeeSandersKellyanneConway DevinNunesMitchMcConnellPaulRyanLouisGohmertSteveKing say, "The president hit a home run tonight", nor hear Lindsay Graham saying, "That's my good friend the president who I know and love and play golf with who has America's best interests in his heart."
For the record, I wrote the above last night before the speech. We'll see how close I came.
I also knew that I could catch up on the highlights and low-lights later. And watch Joe Kennedy's Democratic response.
Moreover, I know what the state of the union is. I watch the news and read about it. And I wrote about it yesterday.
Instead, I went to a Writers Guild screening of an upcoming movie called, Please Stand By. It’s based on a play by Michael Golamco, who wrote the screenplay, about an autistic young woman who sneaks away from her caregiver to submit a 400-page script she wrote for a Star Trek scriptwriting contest. (Note: most screenplays are around 120 pages.) It stars Dakota Fanning, Toni Collette and a British actress who I’ve been pushing for a movie project I'm involved with, Alice Eve. Also, Patton Oswalt has a very nice, small role.
The movie is smart, well-directed and with good performances. It's at its best when dealing with the young woman in her residential-care environment. It gets a bit too episodic (and somewhat coincidental) when she hits the road, though that's still an important part of the film for her character, and it does wrap-up well. Interestingly, in a Q&A afterwards, the writer noted that his play had been a one-act and only dealt with the story up to the point when she leaves the residence and goes out the door to hit the road. The film expands on the play about what happens next.
(By the way, given that I saw the movie at the Writers Guild Theatre, it will not shock you to learn that the biggest laugh of the evening comes after she mentions that she's written this screenplay -- and "it's 427 pages.")
The movie is 93 minutes. I'm told that that's just about the same length as Trump poorly-reading the speech written for him. Kismet. And given that the evening was hosted by the WGA's Disability Committee, I heard more about helping others with compassion than I suspect the American public did watching Trump for the same amount of time. Further, there was a reception after the screening, so not only did I keep my head from exploding but I also got cupcakes. A win-win all around!
Here's the trailer.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor