|Eastwood is justifiably angry.|
Because he's old.
After Clint Eastwood's appearance at the RNC to support Mitt Romney, his empty chair routine thrilled delegates but lost the rest of us. This peculiar performance has had critics doing cartwheels. I'm not quite sure why this was so shocking or funny to some people. It's not like we haven't, or won't experience at some point the effects of aging on those near and dear to ourselves. Here is my reasoning behind Eastwood's behavior in a piece I'd like to call "Empty Chair, Empty Minds, Empty Hearts".
First of all, even though I am considerably less senile than Eastwood and most old people I still tend to talk to myself. I like to play Bingo. I nap off and on all day. I wear my pants up to my nipples. I have urinary incontinence. I tend to feel cranky most of the time. I drive at walking speed. I usually have pocketfuls of yummy candy on hand. I definitely like to beat people with my cane. I occasionally show up at conventions rambling about spilled Maalox, and complain about how I shit my pants on the way there.
This will usually be followed up by another rambling story about some unemployed ruffians on the corner that were bugging me for spare change and something about hope and fuck knows what. Sheesh. Just get me a date with Kevorkian already you're thinking, right?
No. No. No. You're thinking is defective. He's an 82-year-old man fercrissakes. Don't act like you didn't see this coming. "Eastwooding" is not fair. You cannot justify mocking someone like him and place blame on senility. Not all old people are senile. Just because one old person who happens to be a famous Oscar-winning celebrity gives a bizarre, rambling endorsement of their chosen political candidate doesn't mean age is to blame. That is not funny. That is ageist!
Your behavior is inexcusable, Internets. Eastwood's conversation with an invisible President Obama may go down in history as the beginning of his downward spiral into dementia, but I don't believe that. I think it could be his way of working out his troubles. A very productive position that would make anyone who isn't emotionally healthy -- jealous. That's what this is all about, isn't it? You people are jealous.
|"Yeah. No. WTF? That can't be it. Can it?|
If a man like Clint Eastwood can admit to crying when Obama was elected and that he cried even harder when he finally learned that thousands of his fellow Americans were without jobs, than it's obvious he has some things he wants to get off his chest and needs to work them out. If he chose to do that in public then he has given us the opportunity to watch him heal. How can you people make fun of somebody in such a mental health crisis? You people make me sick. What will you do next, make fun of some homeless guy shouting at an invisible person on the street?
Second, do you people have no imagination? You might think Eastwood's skit is no different than talking to yourself. But maybe he was using a technique many actors find useful, such as rehearsing lines for a film or a play. Duh. Bet you feel stupid now. At least Clint made it appear as if he was talking to a chair instead of thin air... because that would have just been weird.
I attribute this magnificent example of empty chair dialogue to his great acting skills. Truly an Oscar worthy moment -- partly being that this was also Clint's way of working out his psychological troubles. Oh, yeah about that. FYI: The "Empty Chair" technique (a.k.a. Gestalt therapy) is used by therapists and clinicians worldwide!
This was brilliant on his part. By talking to an invisible President Obama, Eastwood is taking back his feeling of powerlessness against a person that would otherwise never give him the time of day to express his feelings face-to-face.
I admit at first I was a bit shocked to learn that even Eastwood is not above all this human stuff. He's a legend. He's such a bad ass and as cool as a cucumber that you'd never think about him having any kind of weakness. The only person more awesome than Clint Eastwood is Chuck Norris, amirite? But I guess if you're getting too old for this shit -- you're getting too old. Seriously don't hold back. Fuck it. You've had enough of your bile supplements and bedpans. I get it. You're mad as hell and you're not gonna take it anymore. So rip somebody a new one.
Furthermore the best part of this is that Clint's acting was UNREHEARSED. Make no mistake, this kind of entertainment cannot be duplicated. It can be dramatically reenacted. It can be spoofed. But it will never have the same effect as the improvisational genius of one man and an empty chair having an imaginary conversation on stage.
Kind of like Piers Morgan’s interview with an invisible Rep. Todd Akin. To refresh your failing memory: Akin bailed on his guest appearance on Morgan's show and so Piers continued without him, talking to an an empty chair where Akin should have been sitting, and called him a "gutless, little twerp." But why bring that up now. It wasn't important. Maybe Akin was tied up in a legitimate rape or something. One can only hope the offspring of such a union does not look like this:
Next time I hope Clint breaks a leg or a hip. Like lots of them. Literally. There are plenty of people in the world who need a good beat down by an extraordinarily pissed off octogenarian. Eastwood's critics might also be interested to know that Broadway is already looking to fill seats for a play based on his all-original interaction with the now famous chair. Naturally it's a work of fiction, y'know... kind of like our two-party system's entire platforms?
Speaking of invisible, has anyone seen George W. Bush lately? The man who created most of the financial crisis that our country is in seems to be "conveniently unavailable" these days doesn't he?
All in all Eastwood's sketch was a refreshing look at the well-scripted delusional outlook that only old people could have. A vision of an America that never existed with one-sided viewpoints and opinions that cannot be refuted by science or history. This has nothing to do with Alzheimer's. And really, it has nothing to do with old people. It can happen to you young whippersnappers too. Because it's a fantasy created by the same committee and group of fiction writers that created the American Dream.
So the next time you make fun of somebody for talking to an empty chair just remember that there is an imaginary person sitting there, and this is their way of working out their troubles. Troubles that were created by their own beliefs in an imaginary enemy that only they can see.
Thank you Clint Eastwood for this grim reminder.
listening to: "Clint Eastwood" by Gorillaz