Editor’s Note: Memorial Day Weekend can be tough for many of us...
BAMF of the Week: Clint Eastwood
By RU Contributor Antonio Aguilar
In the wake of R. Lee Ermey’s firing, I had to take note of another Hollywood Icon standing up anyway and expressing some political views that aren’t popular in Hollywood; Dirty Harry himself, Clint Eastwood. Now, I realize that for some people, Clint Eastwood’s views might not be popular. It’s not his views that make him Hero of the Week, it’s his willingness to express them and not care what anyone thinks.
America has become a nation of people walking on egg shells. To quote a recently passed icon, Ray Bradbury; “There is more than one way to burn a book… Every minority… [and he listed a TON, from racial to religious] feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse.” Anything that might offend (with very few exceptions) is banned, pulled from the air, and the offenders are punished.
Does that mean that something like Mein Kampf is somehow a great work that deserves to be read out loud in the public forum? Hell no! Free speech is free speech, but as the Supreme Court has found, is has to have merit and something that is patently offensive doesn’t always make the cut. You can’t stand on a street corner screaming “Fuck you!” at everyone who passes, and you can’t read that racist bag of shit to a class of school students either. But, political or moral opinion? Well, that’s different. Adults expressing their political or moral beliefs in a proper way and getting penalized for that because it might offend someone? America, grow some thicker skin for Christ-sake! If my mention of my particular deity of choice and the previous “F-bomb” offend you then you are part of the problem and need to grow some thicker skin too.
And so we come to Clint Eastwood and his speech at the Republican National Convention. Clint Eastwood is a Hollywood icon, and an anomaly. In a city that is largely liberal, he stands out as an occasional conservative voice and he doesn’t let anyone deter him from expressing his opinion. Sometimes he’s liberal, sometimes libertarian, and sometimes conservative. I might have a little bias, being somewhat Conservative myself, but I think everyone has to admit that it took some balls to go out there in probably the most visible stage of the week and express ideas that might make it hard for him to ever find work in Hollywood every again (not that I think he really cares).
It’s refreshing and encouraging to see someone who works in Hollywood to stand up and express views that are unpopular with most of that place, and not give a shit what they might think. To do so at the RNC in a very heated political climate, in front of the whole world when another famous actor just got fired for doing so in a much more private setting, took a lot of courage (when it really shouldn’t have, unfortunately).
It would be great to have more people in America with the courage to publicly say what they think, and to not care what the rest of the world might think. If we had more of that then maybe we wouldn’t have the cluster in Washington that we have right now. We might remember something that he said in his speech, “We own this country…. politicians are employees of ours.” We might not have to worry about what kind of repercussions we might face for exercising the very first of our civil rights. This is America, damn it, not a fucking gulag.