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FINEFROCK Independence Daze: Braggin' Rites
by Steve Finefrock - Hollywood Forum [scriptwriter] 7/6/06

Dubya spoke, NASA launched, new citizens took their oath. Quite a trifecta, this day just two days after the Declaration was authorized, on the exact day it was signed by its initial sponsors [sidebar: many signatures came in subsequent weeks -- the pathway to even a mere declaration is long, arduous and sometimes uncertain, nevermind the war that makes the Declaration a fact on the ground]. All closing the weekend that Superman returns to reveal Hollywood's perspective on America [absent "...and the American Way" replaced by "...and all that stuff"]. Their own "write stuff" as proof of their stuffing.


Founder of Hollywood Forum, a speaker-bureau and panel-discussion vehicle to "Bring the Potomac to the Palisades" on issues that overlap politics and culture with the Hollywood film-TV influence on such national concerns. His scripts have addressed politics [including a TV series pilot/bible package about state political combat, called "A State of the Union"], hazardous materials [from twelve years in emergency management, including six years managing FEMA's Superfund curriculum for hazmat], terrorism, equestrian reincarnation, serial murderer killing journalists in the nation's capitol, and fantasy about time-wasters.[go to Finefrock index]

It has been a bumpy road, with or without your seatbelts fastened, as Discovery launched this July 4th, the President spoke at Ft. Bragg, while an asinine author was interviewed about his new book, without any skepticism on "Lehrer News Hour" in an assault on Dubya's Dick, the VP named Cheney. Call me a DickHead: Cheney is the best thing to happen to the vice-presidency since it was left vacant by Lyndon Johnson's ascendancy. The bright spot was the shuttle launch, illuminating TV screens with the resurgence of our techno-capability: the serious headline reads SHUTTLE RETURNS in real life, as Superman returns in reel life. Contrast the shuttle's competence with an Il-wind of N. Korea's pitiful pretense at adult nationhood.

SRBs, Superman, America

Watch closely the ignition of main-engine power at a shuttle launch, several seconds before countdown ends. The NASA voice notes the "main engine start" and three massive nozzles spit flame from pure oxygen combusting with pure hydrogen -- liberal environmentalists' favorite "future fuel" for our automobiles. But the 4.4 million pound spacecraft, and its massive foam-encased fuel-tank's load of liquid oxygen and hydrogen, merely squat on the pad. As the countdown-clock reaches zero, the NASA voice says, "we have booster ignition, and launch" as she sprints off the ground. That is the moment when two solid-rocket boosters, the SRBs, add the final heft that makes the crucial difference. Emblematically this Fourth of July, that was The American Moment, our Superman returning, as our technology demonstrates our political, moral role for the world.

It takes that final, solid-fuel humping of the load upward for the shuttle to get to its destination and complete its mission. Alone, the SRBs are just huge pop-bottle rockets, without directional guidance unless bolted to the fuel tank's huge mass. Once the payload is aloft, the SRBs fall away, spent and due for recovery, refurbishing and recycling. Replenished by the hand of man, but not superman in the factory, the SRBs can be re-cycled to assist the ascent of a subsequent payload.

Superman has returned, from a long absence, this launch only the second since reentry burnup of Columbia, a reminder that space is dangerous, technology has surprises, and heroes must die or else what they do is not heroic. In Iraq, our GIs continue to be heroic, but also to die. They are the SRBs of that effort; the key question is, Whether the Iraqi "system" has three functioning engines of the three branches of republican government. Do they have the ability to continue to their lofty destination when the Marines, et al, are released to recycle for a future, superman's mission? A destination where no Arab has gone before, but all seem to yearn to achieve. They need a winged-horse, political breed of steed that can boost them out of the muck of their centuries of backwardness, mixed with the pride of the failed and the bragging of the inept.

Democrats' Daze

Bush bragged this same day at Ft. Bragg, doubtlessly to be dissed by the left for "exploiting" the flag and patriotism. Superman's boxoffice was boffo, even as "...and the American way" was edited from editor Perry White's mission statement. But the American Way is here, visible and vital and comprising the vittles that the world needs in reality, as much as they "cry for a savior" in Superman's Hollywood world. Many if not most of those new citizens, taking their oath in all four timezones [including aboard the deck of the U.S.S. Constitution in Boston harbor], adore the Superman nation, shed tears at those heroic metaphors. Even as another pair or quartet or dozen GIs perish on Iraqi battlefields this same Independence Day.

The Left is in a dither, a daze, a dyspeptic distraction. You can find a pulsing heart over the Fourth's patriotic prancing, in a democrat or two, but it is in the hearts of conservatives which pumps the most accelerated blood at a shuttle launch, a Marine band blast of brass, Superman's reassurance that "I'll be around" now that he's returned. They just "don't get it" on these occasions. They don't want to commit our SRBs until a nation's resources are already ready to take the reins of their own initiative. They forget the Liberty Math reminder: from 1774 to the Declaration was two arduous years, and then seven more to 1781's final victory at Yorktown, this for a nation with lengthy colonial government experience. Iraq has zero such experience prior to Saddam's ouster. And the math continues: 1783 was the final signature to formalize the British withdrawal terms, after which they then left the barracks in NY and Boston. When did Washington take the reins as our first constitutional-era leader? That would 1789, the end of our arduous, error-filled search for our final form of government, encompassing fifteen serpentine years.

Math Anxiety

Liberals can't do this math. They expect the main-booster capability in Iraq to be fully empowered after but two or three years. They would cut off fuel to the Iraqis' political booster, and detach our SRBs, after ten or twelve fiscal quarters. Without knowing, or at least refusing to acknowledge, the dozen-plus years required for our own emergence into constitutional, stable governing. Did I say "stable"? Many more speed-bumps awaited the eighteenth century's just-born U.S. of A. [Alien and Sedition Acts, et al, and a little thing call the "unpleasantness" circa 1861-65], and more bumpy hurdles await Iraq. We cannot cut off their booster fuel, even if one booster may not be up to speed [remember one of five boosters failing, on the launch of "Apollo 13"? But the mission continued, and survived an even nastier distraction].

For liberals' limited logic, this is not mere arithmetic, or even math -- that level of computational strategery they could understand: 2600 deaths equals cut-and-run -- but is so beyond their brain, that Bush's Brain and DickHeads' hero are like super-colossal integral calculus designed by Mr. Spock. But Dubya has the math in his head, and we DickHeads know what Cheney can do, and Condy, and a potful of other "booster engines" which keep this administration going, amidst many bad weather reports and periodic assaults on the White House.

Supernation Returns

'Fortuitous' is not suitable enough, but it will have to do, to describe the confluence of Dubya at Ft. Bragg, Superman returning to the national trophy case of heroic icons, more GIs dying for liberty in a distant timezone, and the shuttle's SRBs taking her up until she can then proceed on her main engines, into planned orbit. That spacestation eagerly awaits Discovery's return to low-Earth orbit; audiences eagerly awaited Superman's return; and such liberty experiments as Iraq await the day our SRBs -- Marines, airmen, sailors, and soldiers -- can break away, and 'recovered' to return to home and hearth. And of course, they will be refitted for future duty, the difference that launches experimental craft of democracy. More will die, as more will live the result of Dubya's mathematical foresight.

While a ship anchored in harbor is safe, that is not what ships are for. Nor space shuttles -- Challenger and Columbia demise remind us of the danger when leaving safe harbor of the launch pad -- and neither are Marines. Among many cinematic gifts, in addition to the mixed-reviewed Superman Returns, are cable-TV broadcast of "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" [Capra-corn nutrition for the naive and hopeful] and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" [reminding some of us that Joan Leslie is yet to be equaled among today's demi-dames] and "Tora, Tora, Tora" [vastly superior to Affleck's mini-manhood]. Each giving us a vision of our national trophy case when the trophy-case designers in H'Wood were a bit more in step with the rest of the nation, located a mere "45 minutes from Broadway" in Cohan's words.

Achieving Orbital Velocity

Heroism is for heroes. Booster engines burn fuel, and Marines burn lives. Ships are built to go "In Harm's Way" for the good of The Good in the world. We are Superman. We have been away a long time -- eight years of Boy President pretension to adulthood -- and our return does ruffle some feathers. And scares the math-anxious haters of DickHeads' hero into pretending they are patriots. Who would cut off the fuel to those booster engines struggling already for power and focus in that distant timezone.

'Twas a fine trifecta this Fourth of July. A symbolic reminder that we have much work to be done, and when we are wounded, we sometimes have to lie down and rest a while. Superman reassured the world at film's end, I'll be around. That's Hollywood's pretension. Dubya and Cheney and Condy and the Marines make that promise for real. Our SRBs are promised to Iraq until she can sustain momentum for orbital velocity on her own fuel. Anything short of that would let that shuttle settle back and crash into the ocean.

If that happens, it was not the SRBs that failed, but democrats in Congress, who can't do the integral calculus that is the every day task of Dubya, and Dick & Co. That's a "Discovery" which the liberals can never achieve. For now, adults are in charge.

We have ignition, and liftoff, and ultimately SRB separation and Iraq's independent ascent into that space no Arab nation has ever visited. Unless the left wins in November. Then, fasten your seatbelts, for the shuttle's certain crash into the sea.

copyright 2006 Steve Finefrock





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