There's a quote going 'round the web today by Slate's Dana Stevens. It's from his review of the new Star Trek movie, and it goes like this:
“Yet in a weird way, Star Trek’s cheerfully square naiveté makes it the perfect film for our first summer of (slimly) renewed hope. It’s a blockbuster for the Obama age, when smarts and idealism are cool again. In fact, can’t you picture our president—levelheaded, biracial, implacably smart—on the bridge in a blue shirt and pointy ears?”
I haven't seen Star Trek yet, and I have no beef with reviewers tying films in with a current zeitgeist (I enjoy doing it as well), nor do I fault President Obama for the way certain media figures choose to slobber over him, but a few things bug me about Stevens' quote.
1.) "our first summer of (slimly) renewed hope"-
I'm guessing many of you will disagree with me here, but if you're looking to a politician for any kind of emotional renewal then there is something in you that I just can't relate to. Sorry, but I don't want politicians to influence or inspire me, I want them to shut up and get to work.
2.) "It's a blockbuster for the Obama age, when smarts and idealism are cool again" -
Oh boy. Now this is something that really irritates me, this idea that people suddenly aspire to be "smart" now that we've elected a politician that's popular with the public. Was "being dumb" fashionable during the Bush years?
This has nothing to do with whether you thought Bush was dumb, or whether you find Obama to be intelligent... I don't care about that. This is about Stevens' thinking that the election of one man could signal an age where people start kickin' philosophy in the office breakroom once again. Plus, if our culture's so newly "smart", then how does Stevens account for last week's X-Men Origins : Wolverine?
As for "idealism" being cool, well, I've never thought idealism was cool. Cute and admirable, yes... but not cool.