Wasn’t that the battle-cry of those teen-aged guerrillas in Red Dawn? You know, John Milius’ classic Russian-paratroops-land-in-Colorado flick that was so shamefully overlooked for Oscar consideration… oh, maybe twenty-five years ago.
And it is of Oscars and Wolverines which we need to speak.
As you can hardly be unaware, the Academy Awards ceremonies draw nigh. They’re being hosted by Hugh Jackman who, as here previously noted, is considered by Mrs. Stagger to be “The Sexiest man Alive Except When He’s Playing Wolverine in Those Dumb Comic Book Movies.” So, we will without question be munching on greasy pizza and watching the full three hours of puffing and preening. We kinda know how these things go, but here is a little fantasy I would like to see realized.
At some point in the proceedings –ideally just after they run the shots of everybody “in the industry” who died this past year– Mr. Jackman would smile ferociously into the camera. Twang! The signature Wolverine knives would slide from their fleshy sheaths, shredding the sleeves of his perfectly tailored tux. And he would say:
We need to go back now, back into the past. And rectify a grave injustice. Five years ago a filmaker, Theo Van Gogh, was murdered for the crime of making a ten minute movie. In that movie, Submission, he advanced his critique of fundamentalist Islam by detailing the abuse of four Moslem women. For this act of artistic freedom, he was subsequently shot eight times and had his throat cut.
And, now, here’s the thing. At the Oscars, that year, we didn’t even mention it. Not once. We didn’t even run his picture along with all the other actors and directors and producers and electricians and silent movie cameramen who died that year. We were way too chickenshit to do that. No, we just ran our mouths constantly about George W. Bush and what an idiot we –a bunch of high school drop-outs, most of us– thought our President was. That’s what we did.
But we’re gonna fix that now.
I want to introduce Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the woman who helped Theo make that ten minute movie and who has lived under a death threat ever since, and you are gonna get on your sorry feet and give her a five minute ovation. You did it for a faker like Lillian Hellman, and you can do it for Ms. Ali. And then you’re gonna start shouting at the top of your finely trained voices: Wolverines! Wolverines! Wolverines! And we’re gonna do that for a while. To drum up a little courage and determination. So nuthin’ as pusillanimous as what happened to Theo Van Gogh ever happens again.
And then, and only then, are we gonna sit down and go back to passin’ out these dumb-ass statues.
And it would happen. And Mrs. Stagger would look over at me and ask: Did you have anything to do with that?
And I wouldn’t answer. I would just yell: Wolverines!