Thursday, August 26, 2010


I wanted to interrupt my vacation to speak to the Dayton Kiwanis Club for a few moments this afternoon, starting with a couple of remarks about the vicious attack that the Vice President launched against me this past Tuesday. It's no problem being here today, because for me, this is a recess in name only. Since the House adjourned, I've been busy toiling away for you, the American people. As they say, a future Speaker's work is never done, although I did see that video yesterday of Nancy Pelosi on a jet ski. Heh heh heh. That's okay, because the future former Speaker's work is so done that you might as well go ahead and stick a fork in it.

Vice President Biden accused me of being nostalgic for the good old days when millions of Americans saw their paychecks shrink or their jobs, houses, and savings vanish. I would respond to him by saying that one cannot be nostalgic about the present. Unless, of course, you're like the guy in that classic movie I once saw called 'Memento'. I believe the lead character was named Leonard, and he had a condition that had destroyed his short term memory. The point is that the only thing he could remember was the past, so he was in fact quite nostalgic for the present.

I believe that we are currently being governed by an administration of Leonards, and let me tell you, that movie does not end well.

Now if I may continue with my analogy, there is another character in Memento named Teddy, played by Joe Pantolino. You may remember him as the character Ralph Cifaretto in 'The Sopranos'. Now Teddy, you're not sure exactly who he is. He may be an undercover cop or he may be someone who's a little bit on the shady side, but I like to think of him as the leadership of the modern Republican party. Teddy is trying to get Leonard to understand what's happening in the present, but because of Leonard's condition that's a Sisyphean challenge. You see, Leonard doesn't just forget what happened to him yesterday, if he gets distracted, he can forget what happened to him five minutes ago. And like this administration, Leonard gets distracted a lot.

Why is Teddy trying to help Leonard? The truth is, he's trying to help the American people, because Leonard is on a very dangerous mission and he's probably going to do something crazy. In fact, his entire mission is insane. He's trying to find the man that he believes murdered his wife, which for purposes of this analogy symbolizes the American economy. That's the last thing Leonard can remember, someone raping and strangling his wife. Everything after that is a cipher.

I hope you're not having trouble following me, but this movie is such an amazing parallel that it would be well worth your time to check it out so that you can fully understand what is happening in America today. Again, it's called Memento, it's directed by Christopher Nolan, and when you understand what it's really all about, it will chill you to the core.

Now like I said, the last thing Leonard/Obama can remember is his economy/wife being near death, but being unable to make new memories, he has a hell of a time investigating it. His solution is to take Polaroids of everything and to label them. If he thinks he has a really important clue, he tattoos it on his body. That way, when he gets up in the morning, he can look in the mirror and try to piece together what is going on. If he remembers to look in the mirror, that is. Needless to say, a lot of these tattoos are backwards so that he can read them. That's a metaphor I'm sure I don't need to explain.

What the hell sort of evidence is that, you're probably thinking, it can't be very reliable. Indeed it is not. There comes a day when Teddy is trying to break through to Leonard and the truth is so disturbing to him that he writes 'Don't believe his lies' on the back of Teddy's photograph. So the next morning when he wakes up and reviews his Polaroids, all he thinks he knows is that there is a man named Teddy that he should not trust. You see what's happening? This is now part of Leonard's 'evidence'.

For the sake of brevity, I'm leaving a lot out, here. There's a whole back story of what Leonard's life used to be in the days leading up to his accident, an accident which in this case symbolizes Obama's election. Needless to say, Leonard's pre-accident memory isn't any more reliable than his post-accident memory. This way lies madness.

Yes, this way lies madness, because now his distrust of Teddy is part of Leonard's 'evidence', and it doesn't take long before he 'knows' that Teddy is the one who killed his wife, so he lures him to a warehouse and shoots him in the head. And that, my friends, is the end.

Quite depressing, I know. But because I wanted to leave you with a message of hope, I neglected to tell you something very significant about this fine motion picture. Chronologically, this movie runs backwards, so the splattering of Teddy's brains is the very first scene. The final scene is the first chronologically, so you really need to go home and piece the whole thing together in your head, which I hope that all of you will try to do. I guarantee that with a few mental gymnastics you'll be able to understand what I'm saying to you today.

The final scene? It's quite a shocker, although in retrospect, it shouldn't be. Remember I told you that Leonard wrote 'Don't believe his lies' in response to a disturbing truth that Teddy revealed. That truth was the fact that Leonard himself was responsible for his wife's death, and that his entire search for the killer was a way for him to deny reality, much the way that Obama is trying to evade responsibility for his destruction of the American economy by blaming the Republican party.

It's not too late for us as a nation to rewind. There will be a 'Memento 2' and it will be premiering November the second. This time Teddy will be the one searching for the real killer, and it will be a very short film because Teddy has a long memory.

Thank you and remember, don't believe his lies.


  1. If you add Memento to a bottle of Coke, there's an eruption in Boner's pants.

  2. One word, Mark.


  3. Pelosi wasn't wearing a bikini was she? That would be like a dream.

  4. There seems to be a thread here...

  5. Thanks, sweetheart.

    After seeing the movie, I awaited its release on video, rented it, and watched it more times than I can remember. It was mesmerizing - that Nolan is a favorite now.

    I'm not sure that Obama is Leonard.

    Seems to me that Leonard symbolized us/US and that Teddy was the all-powerful other who was constantly trying to make us think we weren't supposed to be actually trying to figure out or rectify the past.

    That it was beyond our power to know (remember, fathom, dissect, etc.), and therefore we should just stop trying.

    When Teddy was shot (at the first of the film) - and it's been a while so please forgive my dim memory - I thought I saw a Leonard who felt triumphant initially although immediately worried/regretful almost as his awareness of what he thought he knew came back to haunt him.


    Now that's a great comment on our present.

    Thanks again for the memory!

    I'll probably have get it from the library now - just to see how far off my present memory is from reality.

    Love ya,


    P.S. Oh, I also thought that Teddy was following him long after the murders because there was some payoff (money? drugs?) involved that he hoped befriending Leonard would bring him as after Leonard was reminded of the event enough to remember all the surrounding facts, he would soon forget that Teddy would also know.

    Yes. I've got to see it again now.

    P.P.S. Shucks. One more desultory thought: the tattooing was just too perfect a reflection of how many of us write down things we read or hear and then much later come across and think "WTF - where did this come from?"

  6. Hi Suzan, I think the best directors are able to make movies that are like drugs, where you might see anything in them, and nobody experiences them in the same way.

    A thought: if John Boehner took acid, would anyone be able to tell?