Monday, July 18, 2011

Harry Potter and Order of the Oscar Gold

I think that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II deserves an Oscar.  And not just some little tiny award that nobody cares about.  Harry Potter has produced some of the best acting I’ve seen.  The main trio gave great performances, not Oscar-worthy, but great nonetheless.  The adult actors, however, acted their characters right off the pages of the J.K. Rowling novel.  Voldemort, Lucius Malfoy and most especially Bellatrix Lestrange consumed their respective actors; I picture their portrayal when I read the books now.  Obviously, I’m biased towards the bad guys of the movies, but if anyone can watch Helena Bonham Carter’s portrayal of Bellatrix Lestrange and not be convinced of her insanity, cruelty, devotion to Voldemort and innate evilness then go ahead and say she doesn’t deserve an Oscar.  She has been the ruthless right hand woman of Voldemort since his return to his corporeal body, killing off the “blood traitor” members of her own family to please him.  She’s destroyed countless families, killed anyone who stood in the Dark Lord’s way, tortured people until they’re brain dead and left children as orphans.  Helena Carter brilliantly portrayed this character with a ferocity that can only come from having one of the best actresses of our generation portray a role with which you can obviously tell she’s having fun.  Her drawback can be seen as a reduced amount of screen time.  Yet in my opinion, the amount she managed to develop the character in the short amount of time on screen is a testament to her pedigree as an actress and another reason why this she deserves the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Ambitious Eric Cantor’s Risky Game

Eric Cantor is making a bold move for a higher office.  Everybody says that Eric Cantor wants to be Speaker of the House.  People underestimate the ambition of this young politician.  On his current path, Eric Cantor will undoubtedly be Speaker of the House someday; but he isn’t the kind of man to wait his turn and he isn’t the kind of politician to climb the ladder one rung at a time.  Eric Cantor wants what he wants, when he wants it.  And right now, he’s settled on looking at the White House.  It has been rumored since the 2008 election that he’s been eyeing the Oval Office.  As the 2012 election approached, Cantor saw himself with no chance to capture the coveted job; Eric Cantor, did however, see the opportunity of a lifetime.  He saw that the leaders of the republican party turning to Obama, willing to compromise and make deals.  This has been against the Republican Party’s strategy when the democrats controlled both chambers of congress.  

            Eric Cantor has stepped up as the leader of the silent majority of the republican caucus.  He is the only person in leadership that has characteristically refused to compromise on conservative ideals, and yet, he has large support from his party’s rank and file.  Don’t expect to hear him be silent anytime soon.

            As I said, Eric Cantor is playing a risky game.  He’s basically sticking to republican ideologies, while at the same time, hoping these ideologies fail in the 2012 elections.  Following Cantor’s current strategy, the Republican won the house and very nearly the Senate as well in the midterm elections.  If the new party leadership strategy of compromise fails, if a republican fails to defeat Obama in 2012, if the Republicans fail to capture the majority on the Senate, if the republican fail to increase their majority in the house, the rank and file are going to turn to the man that’s been preaching against leadership since the beginning.  Cantor will be seen as the man who stuck to his principles when the going got rough. 

As for the national media portraying him as going rogue? I’d like to remind you of Sarah Palin and John McCain, they may not be President, but nobody can deny their influence on the national scene of politics or the fact that they most clearly play in the most upper of political echelons.  Republican rank and file, republican voters and independent voters will clamor to vote for the rogue.

As for the democrats painting him as undeserving of playing a part in the national debt ceiling negotiations?  Let’s be honest, it’s a miracle that Harry Reid won re-election, he only did so by pitting the republicans against the tea party.  There’s no denying his skills when it comes to elections and there’s no denying his behind the scenes ability to make the impossible happen.  But honestly, Reid can’t motivate voters on a national level (we saw this in his failed presidential campaign) and nobody is going to care if his congressional leadership team is the one criticizing any candidate.

Ladies and Gentleman, you heard it here first.  Eric Cantor will continue to show himself as the man unafraid to stand up to Obama, and he sincerely hopes he gets to keep doing that for four more years.  Eric Cantor will continue to support harshly conservative plans brought forth by is colleagues, while criticizing anything done by democrats and never actually bringing forth a plan of his own.  And if Obama should win in 2012, Eric Cantor has a clear shot, and a seeming mandate, to battle for his parties 2016 nomination.  But on his path to the White House Eric Cantor might well find that Virginia, his home state, isn’t known as the Mother of Presidents for no reason; he may well find that his fiercest rival will be someone from this very same state.