Watching cable TV can be kind of a vortex for me. Once I land on a particular show or movie, I start making connections from one film to another, one star to another, one director to the next, making a latticework of everything I have seen in the past week. Or more. For instance, the other night I was checking in on the movie channels and saw that the last hour of Schindler's List was unspooling just a few notches down the dial from Jaws. Steven Spielberg, director. Shortly thereafter, American Graffiti started up, linking me to the Richard Dreyfuss vein. And there was Harrison Ford, before he was Han Solo, when he was Bob Falfa. He was driving a hot rod on the same streets as Terry the Toad and Debbie. Debbie had last been seen at our house in the form of Mary Lou in The Man Who Fell To Earth. That was Candy Clark cruising with Charles Martin Smith, who we had just seen chasing Jeff Bridges' Starman across the desert southwest. Which bounced me over to the Karen Allen column, which made me think of Harrison Ford again, this time as Indiana Jones. Directed by Steven Spielberg.
I know. It's a tight little group, not because of some bizarre conspiracy or coincidence, but because of the pretty closed group of pop culture that I allow to come streaming into my living room. Kind of like that tight knit circle of friends that make up the conservative wacko nation. You've got your Donald J. Trumplestiltskin. You've got your Sarah "Never Met A Job I Couldn't Quit" Palin, And now you've got your Sheriff Joe Arpaio circling the drain right along with them. Again: not a conspiracy or coincidence, just a group of like-minded folks getting together in attempts to make America what it once was: A vast arctic region covered with ice and snow. Sheriff Joe is certainly not the last to jump on the scary bandwagon that is the Trump machine. His appearance does sound an alarm in my head that says, "Wait a minute. Haven't we already established that these people are a danger to themselves and others?" I've been writing blogs about these characters for years now, and somehow they can still raise a crowd. A crowd of excited conservative types who like their talk as tough as it is nonsensical. Sheriff Joe showed up on Iowa to toss some of this verbiage around about illegal immigration, and how he thinks that Trumplywinks will bring about a restoration of the order that preceded the current chaos down on that southern border. Never mind that those Hawkeyes probably don't get too up in arms about the flood of bad guys coming in from the Show-Me-State, but every little bit of paranoia helps when it comes time to rally the troops.
The difference between these associations? One is make believe. One is a fantasy land. You figure it out.