I think I am still a little stunned about Eastwood’s performance at the republican convention.
“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.”
Ralph Ellison, "Invisible Man."
I forgive Clint Eastwood, thought it’s not really my place to do so. I forgive Clint only because I need forgiveness myself. For too many republicans (and some democrats too) president Obama has always been the “Invisible Man,” that is, Obama has not been seen for who he or what he has actually done, but rather what has been envisioned and engaged has been a phantasmagoric projection of white america’s distorted fears, prejudices, and hate. Eastwood’s pantomime with his ‘invisible man’ demonstrated the pathology of Obama’s enemies more than any burning cross could, because virtually everyone would condemn a white-hooded Klansman ranting about the “master race,” but it’s harder (especially for this white privileged man) to be angry at a mentally crippled old man, to condemn an old fool talking to an empty chair and yelling “You’re crazy, you’re absolutely crazy” at his own illusion; and then watching a coliseum full of privileged white ‘christians’ applaud and cheer. But hasn’t most of the republican convention been merely a variation of Eastwood’s performance, even when the producers supplied more articulate ‘ethnic’ props for the stage?
After watching most of this convention I guess I can agree with what the narrator later says in Ellisons “Invisible Man,” “The world is just as concrete, ornery, vile, and sublimely wonderful as before, only now I better understand my relation to it and it to me.” But the more I understand the more ashamed and in need of forgiveness I am. obliged