This man must be elected!

>> Thursday, July 10, 2008

How did I miss this? This is why that lying, horrible geek quiz that said I was only 79% geek is right after all. I'm mortified.

Sonny Landham is running for the United States Senate against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky. Landham is running as a Libertarian, on a platform that (per his blog) is based on his being:

...a born again Southern Baptist Christian, pro-life, a textualist to the United States Constitution, pro-union member....

Not a lot there that I agree with, frankly, though Landham is against the Iraq war and refers to President Bush as a "traitor" on his website (I'm not sure I'd go quite that far, preferring to stop at "criminal," but I appreciate the sentiment). And Landham himself seems to be a bit of a piece of work--here's an especially revealing chunk of his bio from, which appears to be an official Landham site (all punctuation and spelling as in the original, including bracketed text):

Sonny's life was a fairytail until his wife developed serious mental problems, and refused any treatment. During divorce proceedings in 1998, Sonny's wife Belita ran to a women's abuse center, due to her fear of losing money and custody of their daughter, Priscilla. Even though Sonny had never struck his wife or children (Rachel Landham is a step-daughter) [the foregoing statement was made by Belita and Rachel], the fascist women's abuse groups of Kentucky and the federal government through judicial terrorism framed Sonny, and he did thirty-one (31) months in federal prison, before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Acquitted Sonny and ordered his immediate release from federal prison saying " Landham committed no crime…..This case should never have been brought to trial." Sonny now lives in Ashland, Kentucky, where he is fighting many legal battles to get back his children, his reputation, and compensation for the agonizing hell, that he was put through. hopes that "fairytail" is a typo and not an allusion to Landham's earlier career as a porn star, tho' I suppose one never knows. And I suppose one might come off as a little paranoid and bitter in describing a period of one's life in which he spent nearly three years on charges that were apparently overturned. But all of that is irrelevant. Because Sonny Landham is a man who transcends politics, a man who has the ultimate qualification to be elected to political office.

That's right, Sonny Landham was in Predator.

Predator! The film that launched the political careers of Jesse Ventura and (drumroll) Arnold Schwarzenegger! Predator! The film that launched a thousand "Get to the choppa!" jokes! Predator! The starting point of not one but two successful movie/game/comic book/toy/whatever the fuck they'll sell next franchises! Predator!

Alright. Alright, already. I know. Predator is one of those films that straddles the "truly classic"/"alternative classic" line that all-too-many science fiction films (and books, for that matter) land on: a lot of inspired cleverness mangled in the overall execution. A script about mercenaries behind enemy lines who find themselves hunted by an alien--a nice, respectable SF twist on "The Most Dangerous Game"--made into a bit of a joke by wooden acting, studio meddling, and script revisions to give "business" to an overbearing leading man. ("Stick around," Schwarzenegger's character says after he drives a machete through someone, pinning him to a door. Get it? Because the guy is stuck to the door! By a machete! It's a pun!) Oh, and then there's that bit where Our Hero outruns a nuclear explosion. (If that spoiled anything for you, you weren't going to see the movie anyway, so stop whining.)

It's one of those movies that, especially if you're a science fiction fan, you love even while you're laughing at (not with) it. It's awesome. It's stupid. We--the people who love SF--we do it to ourselves, you know. Like we can't help it. We emblazon our classic texts with tri-breasted green nymphomaniacs and hand our serious (and pointed) cultural messages to actors like William Shatner for delivery. Oh, I know, we don't do it all the time, and we're getting better (no nipple-ey ETs on a Vintage Classics PKD edition, for example), and we're finally getting a certain amount of respectability (for mostly the wrong reasons, but there's another post). But, you know, Predator. I went out and bought it on DVD and then I go and make fun of it, which it deserves but some boring evening I'll pop some popcorn and pour a giant soda and huddle in front of it again and treat it with all the seriousness it doesn't quite earn.

Of all the movies that Hollywood might remake or reboot, wouldn't you love to see a tense, boiled-down version of Predator? Set it in Vietnam, during an earlier war (one suspects that's where the movie was meant to take place all along). Make Schwarzenegger's character, Dutch, the laconic, cold-blooded hunter he was probably supposed to be; get rid of all the sub-Roger Moore-as-Bond "witticisms" and the ridiculous notion mentioned early in the movie (and quickly forgotten) that Dutch's squad is carrying all that heavy artillery because they don't like killing anyone on their missions (one suspects that was another sop to Schwarzenegger, to make his character more likable or heroic). Take away the token female character who mainly provides unnecessary exposition (or, if you set the film closer to the present, give her something legitimate to do). The Predator itself--don't change a damn thing. Oh, and the ending: sure, Dutch gets the monster... but nobody outruns a nuclear blast.

But meanwhile (and back on topic!), if you live in Kentucky: vote for Sonny Landham! Sure, the guy kind of comes off as... well... an asshole. But he also managed to live slightly longer than most of the other guys in his squad--I mean, Jesse Ventura was one of the first guys to be wasted and he got to be a governor just like The Ah-nold. I think a man who ritualistically slices his chest open and attacks an invisible extraterrestrial with what's basically a giant cannon deserves to be a U.S. Senator, don't you? Don't you?

(If you answered, "Yes," then you're awesome. High-five. If you answered, "No," then fuck you. What's the matter with you? Go back and answer, "Yes." Damn straight. You're awesome. High five.)

Carl Weathers, where are you now? Your time is nigh.


John the Scientist Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 2:26:00 PM EDT  

Dang it, you remind me why I can't seriously call myself a Libertarian.

Libertines and whackjobs is more like it.

Now I have to go punch something. Repeatedly.

Fortunately, I had laready planned a heavy bag workout for tonight.

Jeri Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 2:30:00 PM EDT  

Wow. You can't make stuff up that's nearly as much fun, because people would say you're creating unrealistic and unbelievable characters.

Janiece Murphy Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 3:13:00 PM EDT  

You make me laugh.

That's a good thing.

Nathan Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 4:43:00 PM EDT  

I think this election will tell us a lot about the folks from Kentucky. Maybe even enough to make us stop joking at Michelle's expense.

Random Michelle K Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 7:54:00 PM EDT  

I seriously doubt I'll be that lucky Nathan.

After all, for John the Scientist who was unfortunate enough to go to Pitt it's personal.


Jim Wright Friday, July 11, 2008 at 12:36:00 AM EDT  

Rumor was that the studio had to hire a guard to protect the other actors from Sonny, who liked to get drunk and beat the hell out of people.

He's supposed to be one mean, nasty son of a bitch, Sonny Landham is.

Think of how dammed entertaining it would be if Kentucky actually did elect him to the Senate. Seriously, I'd love to see a few senators get a good Sonny Landham ass whooping.

Eric Friday, July 11, 2008 at 11:35:00 AM EDT  

Jim, thank you for the mental picture of Messrs. Schwarzenegger and Ventura (and the rest of that burly cast of weightlifters and fighters) scurrying between their trailers and the set, heads down, scoping frantically for Sonny Landham coming in from the flank with a red face, shot eyes, clenched fists, and ill-intent. It's a pretty damn funny picture.

A shame, isn't it, that if he does win, it'll be too late to give Dick Cheney an appropriate response to a "fuck you" on the Senate floor? I have to admit: there's a part of me that wouldn't mind a return of the kind of political passion that led to Senator Sumner of Massachusetts being beated nearly to death on the Senate floor. And just to be clear it's not a partisan thing: I agree with the position Senator Sumner took and think Representative Brooks was a bit of a bastard. But you knew where those guys stood, no triangulation or calculation.

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