Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Canadian Actor Saves Atheists From Assassins

Though there is nothing more boring than hearing someone telling you about their dreams, I'm going to totally tell you about the dream I just had, because it was strangely awesome. Yesterday, after spending two consecutive days obsessively reading The Huffington Post, Salon, The Daily Dish, Daily Kos, and various other websites pointing out the scary facts about vice-presidential candidate and nemesis of the polar bear Sarah Palin, I had a minor panic attack while washing dishes (not the first time), and then a really scarily detailed vision of what the world would be like if Palin became Vice-President and then President (because I'm thinking worst case scenario, here). It entailed Righteousness testing for all citizens, judging Americans for their loyalty to the Judeo-Christian God, and anyone who failed would be interred in camps for retraining. If that didn't take, they'd be shot. It was seriously terrifying, so terrifying that I forgot where I was and nearly stabbed myself in the hand with a soap-coated knife.

I think I know where it comes from. Recently I read God Is Not Great by that pissy souse Christopher Hitchens (the quality of the book is inversely proportional to his likeability), and having also read The God Delusion by the man Dawkins, and Sam Harris' The End Of Faith, it's made me very jumpy when it comes to my atheism and how it is viewed by fundamentalists of all different flavours. While I obviously have nothing against religiously inclined individuals, monolithic institutions do scare me greatly, and the thought that I would be punished for not believing in God weighs heavily on me. I appreciate that the books mentioned above are the atheist equivalent of the Daily Mail's Hate Your Neighbour ranting (though much better written, obviously), and that the effect they had on me (XXXtreme ennui and terror) was my own fault for gobbling them down, but the fact remains, they put the fear of not-God into me. Yes, my mind has come to the conclusion, after reading about her vehement belief in God, that Sarah Palin (seen here with a crustacean representing her soul)... the living embodiment of Mrs. Carmody from The Mist.

Be afraid. Be really really really afraid. Another contributing factor to my upsetting vision is Ed Zwick's The Siege, which was on Sky Movies this weekend. When it came out years and years ago I thought it was passably entertaining, but then with my feeble understanding of the Middle East I didn't think it was insensitive either, especially as the real bad guys were Bruce Willis and Annette Bening (well, other than the poorly sketched Islamic terrorists who are just boogeymen with no dialogue and no inner life except "Kill Infidels!"). The thing that struck me most were the horrible scenes of New York Muslims interred in concentration camps, which were shown as an example of policy gone wrong, as a huge over-reaction and disastrous decision, and not as a possibly good idea should it ever come to that. At its best, it shows that Posse Comitatus is probably a good thing. Sadly, it's not at its best very often. For the majority of its running time, it's lunk-headed and doofy.

Of course, seeing it now with a bit more knowledge at hand, it is also prescient and uncomfortable viewing, not to mention dumb, cliched, and offensive on many levels, but if you don't focus on the ineptly presented politics, Bening and Denzel Washington have an entertaining chemistry, Tony Shalhoub is great value as ever, and OMG! Look, in the supporting cast! Lance "Intensity" Reddick (operating at minimal intensity, which is still pretty goddamn intense), and Aasif Mandvi in a depressing role as Cowardly Muslim What Gets Chased Everywhere. Seeing one of our favourite Daily Show correspondents saying little more than "Durka durka!" prior to getting roughed up by Bening's goons was a miserable experience. And what does he get out of it? Denzel feels sorry for him getting beaten up when it turns out he is a mere patsy, and then gives him a cigarette as an apology. Yay? Here he is in happier times.

So, with all of this playing on my nerves, nerves that are already shot due to frustrating economic and employment concerns, last night I dreamt that the UK had been hit by a massive influx of atheists flying over from America to avoid the pogroms against them, orchestrated by Sarah Palin-Carmody with miltary force. N.B. I'm using the word in the sense of violence against any group, and not in its (regrettably) more common anti-Semitic form. As the UK cannot cope with the effects of this huge exodus, it goes all Children of Men as camps are set up throughout the country to house the Americans. And yes, I'm aware that this is a fucked up dream. Even worse, President Palin-Carmody demands the return of all of the atheists for immediate religious retraining and righteous punishment by her Christian militia, and PM Gordon Brown, still in thrall to the American machine and concerned about the growing anger over the rise in immigration, strongly considers this. At about this point I turned up in the dream, as someone helping out at the camps, working as an liaison between the Americans and the British soldiers running the joint, but just to complicate matters I kinda woke up at about this point, and thought, as is often the case when half awake, that I was dreaming the best goddamn movie ever, and started to plot it out in my semi-conscious state. That would account for how I got replaced in my dream-movie by Nathan Fillion, someone several thousand times hotter and more charming than me.

Yes, the hero of this movie, played by Nathan Fillion, hears that the government is thinking of shipping the Americans back to the States, and helps lead a rebellion against this. The Americans, in horror, decide to stay within the camps, which in turn causes more trouble for the government. Unable to remove the Americans without terrible consequences, and with the British troops unwilling to act against them out of sympathy, the government allows fundamentalist black ops assassins to infiltrate the camp containing our hero, which is where the dream got a bit stupid. For a start, they were stealthily disguised as black leather-clad ninja-bikers with machine guns, and as they try to mow down the defenseless atheists, the hero takes them down, yanking one ninja-biker off his bike, snapping his neck with the machine gun strap, and turning the gun on the other assassins. Awesome violence ensues as he saves the atheists! Then, however, he starts to suspect that someone in the camp is not who they seem. And that someone is played by Sean Connery.

I know, I didn't get that either. Sean Connery tells Nathan Fillion that there is evil afoot, and while they sit around a camp fire eating marshmallows, Connery reveals that Gordon Brown has allowed the assassins free run at the camps, and thinks the slaughter of the atheists would get a sticky political situation off his back. Our hero is rightly disgusted by this, and storms into the visitors gallery in the House of Commons. Mid-debate, our hero reveals the dastardly plot to let the White House fundamentalists send their ninja-bikers into the concentration camps to kill the atheists, and there is uproar among the MPs as Gordon Brown slumps down onto his bench, shredded copies of Hansard fluttering around him, his sneaky and cowardly plans responsible for his downfall. I also remember thinking, while half-asleep, that that would be awesome.

Sadly my subconscious wasn't done yet. Upon returning to the camp to tell everyone the good news, a random American informs our hero that he has found out that Sean Connery is not who he seems to be. He is actually Allan Quatermain, as played by Sean Connery in The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen! (That must be because I've been thinking about Colonel Gentleman from The Venture Brothers recently.) Realising this, our hero chases Quatermain down to his ramshackle house in North London, where he lives alone with his enormous collection of goth porn. Quatermain insists that he regrets nothing, and that he is happy with his life as a collector of depressing pornography. However, our hero cannot escape with the knowledge of his true identity and depraved hobby, and so Quatermain pulls out a toy laser gun, modelled after something from an old Flash Gordon serial, and fires it! Except it doesn't go off as expected. In a weirdly elaborate effects sequence that played out in scarily vivid detail in my brain, a super-close-up of the gun shows electricity running through it, vaporising the plastic, causing it to explode. Quatermain doesn't die, but the words, "Don't let her down!" are splattered across the wall in hot plastic. The End!

Well, the end of the dream-movie, which wraps up with a title card and the frozen image of the plastic message, leaving me, Canyon, and Jaredan from World of Wahhhcraft sitting in a cinema, surrounded by geeks in Watchmen t-shirts. Yes! It was not my movie we saw, it was Zack Snyder's Watchmen, transformed from a deconstruction of the superhero genre into a cross between The Siege, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, and some bad Mark Wahlberg action movie starring an undervalued Canadian acting genius. As we spilled out into the street, the nerds and fanboys rejoiced at this version of Watchmen, proclaiming it an enormous success (though I remember bitching that Moloch had been written out), and then all began cheering, "Fuck you Fox! Fuck you Fox! Fuck you Fox!" At that point, one of our cats put her paw squarely on my trachea, and I woke up.

I reckon, as long as I take out the Allan Quatermain references but keep the goth porn and ninja-bikers, and maybe add some transforming robots, I've got a hit on my hands. Watch this space!!!


Santanico said...

Quatermain insists that he regrets nothing, and that he is happy with his life as a collector of depressing pornography.

And this, right here, was the point where I completely and utterly lost it. Tears of laughter, Neck. Actual tears.

Why can't I have awesome dreams/watch awesome movies like this? If Zack Snyder is smart, he'll give up on trying to rescue Watchmen from FOX's evil clutches and just buy the rights to this instead.

decca said...

HOLY SHIT that is the best dream ever dreamed on EARTH. Why can't this be real? I want this movie to be real more than I want a unicorn.