The South-by-Southwest (better known as the SXSW) Film Festival is featuring in its line-up a documentary that, sooner or later, had to be made. That’s right, Bush’s Brain, based on the best-selling book about Karl Rove’s role in the Rise (and hopefully Fall) of the Junior Bush, is now a movie. According to the “Bob Dole Rule”, the fact that I haven’t seen it makes me uniquely suited to review it. So I will.The most surprising part of Karl Rove’s ascendancy was not that he found a way to manipulate Texans. As virtually everyone knows, there’s no particular trick to that. A cowboy hat, a “ranch”, a pronounced if phony affection for baby-back ribs and country songs about runaway adulterers on a tractor in a trailer park, and a love affair with all assault weapons will usually get you the best seat in the house. What’s weird, really weird, was the ease with which Karl made the switch from phooling Texas numb-nuts (as Kinky Friedman once said of his native state, “Yup, there’s a lot of wide open spaces down here…. Between people’s ears.”) to flummoxing Miami Beach sharpies and Oklahoma City slickers. Seems like it shouldn’t have been that easy, doesn’t it? I mean, shouldn’t he have at least had to change gears? I’m sure the movie explains that.
Just as I’m sure it must catch Karl in Godzilla-mode, frightening the bejeezus out of some poor WH secretary–Christie Whitman, say, or Tommy Thompson–who dared suggest a policy for the good of the country without checking the polls first to see if it was good for the Bush. The key scene, though, is sure to be the nightly hypnosis session: the swinging watch dangling from Karl’s fingers, the long slow close-up as Junior’s eyes slowly glaze over and his usual blank look is replaced by one that’s even blanker. You’ve suspected it, you’ve known it. Now see it for yourself in Widescreen Vidiotscope–The Rove Rave! We Dare You To Watch! Bring a doctor with you…. This is cinematic history.
Will we see Karl operate the gizmo in Junior’s back that controls his mouth? Will we see Karl drink a glass of water while Junior recites the SOTU? Will the camera show us the strings disappearing into the fly-space above?
“Amazing. I say it here and it comes out there.”–Aaron in Broadcast News? Or Karl Rove in Bush’s Brain?
I won’t say any more because I don’t want to give it away. But it’s coming soon to a multiplex near you!