Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Not Exactly A Movie Review: "Get Me Roger Stone"

As with my not exactly book reviews, my not exactly movie reviews tend to ramble a bit. No particular format. Just random observations tossed to the wind.

I wonder if the Roger Sterling character on "Mad Men" was based on Roger Stone. John Slattery, the actor who portrays Sterling physically resembles Roger Stone. Both the character and the person have that "The world is my hot tub" quality to them. Roger Stone would fit in well on the cast of that great TV show. Fine threads, cold drinks, good cigars, lots of action between the sheets.

We see Stone at his most dapper. Pinstripe suits and fancy limousines. If the director was trying to hammer home the point that Stone has expensive tastes, is motivated by dollars and gilded opulence, and that he can be boldly superficial, the documentarian probably made his points. There are a lot of parallels between Roger Stone and his friend, Donald Trump.

I came to familiarize myself with Roger Stone about three years ago when I read "The Man Who Killed Kennedy." Stone makes a good circumstantial case against LBJ but as with every other JFK book, it does not take us beyond the shadow of doubt standard. I thought of Stone as a writer of popular history. I was not aware of his colorful biography.

In 2016 I started watching Alex Jones' Infowars on Youtube. I am not a 9/11 "Truther" and I always considered Jones to be an amusing sideshow act that was not always so amusing. In recalling 2016, you might remember that the MSM dropped all pretense of honesty and served up a barnyard of Hillary Cannot Lose nonsense. Jones kept it real. To his harshest critics I will say that Jones was more accurate than Phil N. DeBlanc MSM pundit. Right, Nate Silver? Right, Larry Sabato? Right, Rachel Maddow?

I digress. I mention Jones because Roger Stone was featured regularly on his network. It seemed like an odd fit. I have affection for both Stone and Jones but they are both weirdly eccentric. Gracie needed a George for a counterbalance. You can't have two Lucys on the set. Yet, somehow Stone and Jones worked like Rogers and Astaire. (Well not really but the analogy machine is already working overtime and that one will have to suffice.)

"Get Me Roger Stone" is reminiscent of "Bush's Brain", a documentary about Karl Rove, a man once thought to be an evil genius. Rove would lose some zip off the old fastball starting in 2012. In the Trump era, he would join the chorus of fools who predicted and repredicted Donald's Demise. It's a wonder that he is still employed but 10 years ago "The Architect" was on top of the world. Unable to acknowledge that George W. Bush had a working brain, his two victories were explained away by the influence of the vile Karl Rove. "Get Me Roger Stone" takes a similar tack to explain how the idiot Donald Trump defeated the high-minded and brilliant Hillary Clinton.

"Get Me Roger Stone" was meant to be a hit piece on Stone and ultimately Trump but it just does not turn out that way. Stone has a Bugs Bunny quality that makes him hard to dislike. Parts of the vid are laugh out loud funny. The talking heads trucked in to assert a tone of moral superiority fail in their endeavor, Just more fake news icons coming across as fake. It is the trickster Roger Stone and his presidential counterpart who seem more genuine, despite the editor's obvious intentions.

Roger Stone has lead an interesting life even without his public outing as a "swinger". You know anyone else who has a Nixon tattoo? Me neither. Know anyone else who collects Nixon bongs? Me neither? Know anyone else who was put in charge of a presidential campaign in three states at the ripe age of 20? Me neither.

Netflix has hit a grand slam with "Get Me Roger Stone". Highest recommendation.

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