Looking for Mr. Goodbar – this1977 Oscar nominated film starring Diane Keaton as Theresa Dunn details the story of a woman unsure of her image who looks for the one thing that can satisfy her increasingly intense “needs” for acceptance, to be seen as beautiful and desirable by men who are willing to demonstrate that acceptance by committing the most of intimate of acts with her…making love. Only in this case, she replaces the emotive component of love with the adrenaline rush of dangerous sex and she eventually finds the perfect representation of her definition of “love”…a pure psychopath, incapable of human love but filled with the anger of sexual frustration – in the end, she resigns herself to accepting the ultimate adrenaline rush and in a final violent act, she is fatally satiated in the act of being stabbed to death.
…traces the sexual awakening of a young teacher searching for excitement outside of her mundane existence. Suffering with severe body image issues and a sense of inadequacy following a childhood surgery that left a large scar on her back, Irish American Theresa finds first love with her older, married university professor, who ends the affair as her time in college comes to an end. The end of the affair leaves Theresa feeling used, and she begins daydreaming about being reunited with her professor.
Theresa enters the sexual revolution of the 1970s feeling confused, as she is simultaneously repelled and attracted to the sexual experimentation she witnesses going on around her. Although she continues to teach by day, developing a reputation as a gifted and caring teacher to deaf children, at night she goes clubbing at a series of increasingly seedy bars, picking up men for one-night stands. The recreational sexual encounters slowly become an addiction, as Theresa begins pursuing more dangerous men with violent sexual proclivities to enhance her “high”.
Theresa ultimately breaks up with Tony following a disastrous “date” to his mother’s birthday party, during which the volatile Tony verbally abuses his family and starts a fist fight. With the new year approaching, Theresa resolves to leave her clubbing behind and take control of her life. Seeking one final hookup on New Year’s Eve, Theresa picks up a man named Gary, who turns out to be a sexually confused war veteran. At Theresa’s apartment, Gary finds himself unable to attain an erection. Misreading Theresa’s frustration as her questioning his sexuality, Gary attacks her and begins beating and raping her. After Theresa screams “Do it!” Gary stabs her to death.
What does a movie about violent sexual fantasies have to do with anything?
I think that there are parallels between Theresa’s desperate searches for validation though violent sex and the current Republican primaries.
Conservatives have been jilted, first by their establishment professors who used them in the post-Reagan years to gain control of government Congress in 1994 and then dropped them like a used Kleenex when they thought they had a “permanent” majority and then in 2006 and 2008 by the public at large. After having our reputation ruined by the “compassionate conservatism” of the Bush years, we were tossed aside by the general public in labor of liberal Democrats and then the Marxists supporters of Obama.
We are now are looking for Mr. Goodbar as surely as Keaton’s character was looking for someone who could fulfill her sexual fantasies, except our reaction to being scarred and having low self-esteem is causing us to troll the bars around closing time for Mr. One True Conservative. The question remains, will conservatives share a common dénouement with Theresa? Or as Voltaire, the 18th century philosopher, could be paraphrased as questioning, will we let the perfect be the enemy of the good and as a result, nominate a “Gary” who will kill us in the end by allowing the re-election of Obama?
I must confess, there is a lot to like in some of the specific positions of the individual Republican candidates. Apparently enough for the left to fear all of them…
What if Obama loses?
It’s a common complaint—we’ve certainly made it over the years—that too much political campaign coverage focuses on the horse race. The packed debate schedule in the current GOP nomination battle has put a bit more focus than usual on the substance of what the candidates are saying, which is good. But even so, most of this coverage has wound up being about whether a given policy position might help or hurt a candidate’s chances of winning. What’s most important has been left largely unexamined: if one of these candidates actually becomes president and advances his or her policies, what would be the consequences for the nation?
Part of the reason this question is seldom addressed is that it’s genuinely hard to do; it requires thinking three steps ahead and accounting for numerous variables. But there’s also a widespread assumption that extreme positions taken in the primaries will fade in the general election as candidates “move to the center,” and will disappear entirely once the serious business of governing begins. Surely President Newt Gingrich would not get rid of child labor laws. Surely President Perry would not seek to eliminate three cabinet departments.
We don’t think that this year, with this GOP, those assumptions are warranted. And so we asked a distinguished group of reporters and scholars to think through the hitherto unthinkable: What if one of these people actually wins?
I do love the aroma of Marxist fear in the morning – it smells like…victory.
I like the Constitutional stands of Ron Paul (but he is an anti-Israel nutter and conspiracy theorist), the staunch social conservatism of Santorum and Bachmann (but remember that Rick supported stand-up comedian and RINO – former Senator Snarlin’ Arlen Specter over conservative Pat Toomey and Bachman has withdrawn), the political savvy of Newt Gingrich (but remember that he hearts Nancy and supported a RINO who withdrew and supported the Democrats in a debacle in NY 23 – Dede Scozzafava over conservative and Tea Party backed candidate, Doug Hoffman), the business background of Herman Cain (until the Clintonian level bimbo eruptions) and the brass balls of a Texan like Rick Perry (until his dreadful debate and post-debate performances) – but we aren’t electing a presidential committee, we have to choose one candidate. We have to have a candidate that embodies as much of these characteristics as possible without the flaws that have been exposed in each…and blame the left-wing press for assassinating them one at a time as they rose to the top but in fact, these faults are things that we knew or should have known about them before this election cycle. Sure, Obama didn’t get this level of scrutiny in his run – we know that the press is on his side – but this is exactly the kind of “vetting” that the press should be doing.
It is almost uncanny how much we have forgotten in just 4 years, Republicans are truly the stupid party and conservatives are the co-dependent enablers of this dysfunctional relationship. It seems that it wasn’t that long ago that Mitt Romney was “conservative” enough to be a viable alternative to John McCain and now Newt Gingrich parrots Obama in attacking him for being rich enough to have a vacation home in New Hampshire and calls him a Massachusetts “moderate”…this from a man content to sit on a couch with the most liberal House Speaker in history, Nancy Pelosi, and cut TV ads about global warming. This is also from a man who has made millions off his Speakership, one ended by political mismanagement and scandal and a guy who subsequently went on to lobby on behalf of the very two quasi-federal agencies that are at the epicenter of the mortgage meltdown, Fannie and Freddie.
I don’t mean to question Gingrich’s conservative bona fides but it seems that we have convenient memories where Newt is concerned…and the other candidates as well…
As far as the assertion that Romney is getting a pass – not true. He is lower on the list of the press today because he has been through it already in his run in 2008 – McCain went after him as the press went after both of them – even as they showered praise on President Hope and Change. I think that the perception that he is flying low and under the radar has more to do with his 2008 run than the liberal press liking him – they like no Republicans, not even the RINOs.
Romney’s main detraction seems to be that he did what it took to win the Governorship of a blue state and once there, he didn’t turn Massachusetts into an eastern seaboard version of Texas. The criticism of MassCare rings hollow to me coming from people who purport to believe in the Tenth Amendment and a state’s rights to enact whatever their people determine that they want. I’m not a fan of universal “healthcare” in any form but I’m also not a citizen of that state – if they want socialism at a state level as long as they don’t use federal dollars to support it, I’m cool with that…and I think that the Founders would be as well. That is one aspect that they maintained in from the Articles of Confederation – the ability for the states to decide matters such as this for themselves.
Our fault in following Voltaire’s criticism is that we are comparing our candidates to each other and not to their eventual opponent in the national election, the Marxist Barack H. Obama. There will only be one candidate from the Republican side to oppose the president of the Hugo Chavez book club. The question that we should be asking is this: will our candidate for president be more or less conservative than the current president and will he have the right skillset and political savvy to pull us back from the brink of becoming a banana republic?
On that score, Romney appears to me to possess the best toolkit, the right package of business acumen and political finesse (I see his governorship of Massachusetts as a positive in this aspect), the right mix of the qualities that I like in the other candidate – and there is no doubt that he is far more conservative and has infinitely more respect for the Constitution than Obama.
Let’s hope that the stupid party isn’t as devoid of original ideas as Hollywood is these days and decides to re-imagine 1977’s “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” in the form of “Looking for Mr. Goodbar II: The One True Conservative” – because if we do, the ending will be pretty much the same – except this time it will be America that gets raped and stabbed to death.