Joe Versus the Volcano: Joe Wilson & the Brain Cloud Disease

11 09 2009

It was spontaneous!

It was spontaneous!

“You lie!”
Joe Wilson & the Brain Cloud Disease

One of the greatly underrated movies of all time is “Joe Versus the Volcano” starring Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan. It is a classic of good vs. evil, life vs. death, truth vs. lies and clarity vs. confusion.

It is also serves as a great metaphor for my thoughts about Congressman Joe Wilson and the swarm of ridiculous lies that have been spread by his ilk.

Until Rep. Joe Wilson gained his 15 minutes of fame by calling the President of the United States a liar, he was just an “Average Joe” kind of guy. Mostly unknown outside of his district, rarely mentioned by the media, and basically ignored as a politician.

In the movie, Tom Hanks is perfectly cast as the “Average Joe” Banks, a dehumanized shell of a man who works for a “company that literally screws people” not unlike the Republican Party. Joe has nothing going for him, no original thoughts, no purpose in life, no inspiration. To make it worse, he lacks the intellectual curiosity and imagination needed to think beyond the dingy confines of the loathsome factory where he works.

Grim, ashen-faced, downtrodden and sick pretty much describes Joe (Banks as well as Wilson). To make things worse, the fictional Joe is diagnosed with a deadly disease called “Brain Cloud.” The real Joe appears to have caught the same thing. Brain Cloud disease being akin to brain dead.

With nothing really going for him in life, Joe Banks is given an opportunity to live like a king, at least for a short while. Much like selling his soul to the devil, Joe accepts an offer by a rich tycoon to live the finality of his life as a king with unimaginable wealth. The only catch being that he has to sacrifice himself to the fiery depths of a volcano.

As legend goes, the volcanic island of Waponi Woo is inhabited by a tribe of small minded superstitious nuts whose lives are dictated by unfounded beliefs and illogical myths. One of them being human sacrifice to appease the gods.

Joe, having nothing to lose and nothing else going for him, sets out on his journey to achieve his brief, momentary venture into glory.

Joe Wilson, suffering from his own misguided quest for fame and attention, traded in whatever respect and dignity he may have had, for a bit of hopeful recognition from other Republicans, right wing extremists, and fellow misinformed disruptionalists who proudly call themselves “the mob.”

Unlike our fictional Joe, Wilson was gullible enough to actually jump into the volcano. In front of both houses of Congress, banks of news cameras, America and the rest of the world, Joe succumbs to the dreaded brain cloud disease and foolishly does the bidding of his dittohead friends.

“You lie!” He heckles with all the childish bravado he can muster.

To make it worse his fellow Republicans said there completely stone faced. No one rose in support of him. No one jumped into the fiery volcano with him. No one wanted to commit suicide by stupidity with him. Instead, they all just sat there text messaging away and staring blankly into the void of their own variation of brain cloud disease.

On the other hand, the heroic Joe Banks meets a variety of characters along the way including Meg Ryan who joins him on his journey. She helps to bring about some insight and common sense that results in a remarkable display of courage and determination.

Unlike the cowardly Joe Wilson, Banks doesn’t jump and doesn’t sell his soul to the devil. The heroic Joe Banks gains enough clarity to pierce through the dreaded brain cloud disease and see his way to the truth.

Joe’s victory over the volcano and the clouded brain is freedom.

Unfortunately for Joe Wilson, his decision to jump into his ritualistic suicide will leave him in a life of hell. His brief 15 minutes of fame is captured on film and will be replayed throughout his natural life. He will forever be known as the man who embarrassed himself by not having his facts straight before heckling the President and calling him a liar.

And it will always be known that the Republican leadership called on him to apologize immediately, which he did in a half-assed way. And it will also be known that President Obama, being a pillar of clarity and determination, took the high road and graciously accepted, leaving poor Joe Wilson to look even more pitiful and petty than he already appeared.

Granted, there are plenty of right wing nut jobs (RWNJ) and fellow “mobsters” out there calling Wilson a hero. Talk show hosts and neocons are singing his praises and encouraging him on. But they all suffer from the same delusional brain cloud disease and lack any real credibility. Deep inside Joe Wilson knows it, but until he garners enough courage to face the truth, he will live in a prison of his own making. Too scared to lose face, and too cowardly to seek the truth, he’s forever doomed to the hellish nightmare of his self-imposed brain cloud disease.

In the end, Obama will emerge victorious and Joe will be a footnote of history gathering dust on the mantle of nut job novelties along with Joe the Plumber.

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