Sept. 5, 2006

ARGUMENT #5 of 30 for you to sign SB 840

Hello again, Governor:

In your best movie, Total Recall (1990), you played a powerful man whose mind and body were inhabited by two completely different people: the cynical bon-vivant gangster Hauser; and the idealistic, altruistic rebel Quaid.

Hauser, puffing on cigars with his best friend Cohaagen, the greedy, sadistic "administrator" of Mars, has come up with a plan to infiltrate the burgeoning rebel movement that has taken hold among the "Martian" working class. These rebel miners, whose demands are lampooned as "same old stuff, more oxygen, better domes…" have become mutated because of low-quality domes (some, admittedly, mutated in quite spectacular ways) and whenever they act up Cohaagen switches off their oxygen to suffocate them. The plan Hauser and Cohaagen hatch is to implant the innocent Quaid personality into Hauser's brain, and have him pretend to join the insurgency---basically to re-invent himself as a friend of the people to dishonestly gain their trust  (as some politicians do around election season.)

But their plans go awry, as the good Quaid has evidently taken much deeper root in your psyche than the evil Hauser had expected, and after much confusion, introspection and superhuman struggle, Quaid completely overcomes Hauser, and, with a strong liberal woman ("Melina") at his side, commences to opening up many cans of whoop-ass on the bad guys; discovers and uses ancient but simple alien mechanisms to re-create a breathable atmosphere on Mars, restoring oxygen and good health to the suffering working classes; but NOT BEFORE blowing the greedy plutocrats out onto the airless surface of Mars, where they die horrible deaths with their eyes and skin exploding, tongues lolling out, etc:


SIXTEEN YEARS LATER, it is impossible not to suspect that the visionary director Paul Verhoeven (riffing off the scriptures of Philip K. Dick) was foretelling this exact moment in history, as you confront the Quaid-Hauser decision of whether to sign or veto SB840. His first clue is obviously the title itself, Total RECALL, which predicts how you were to attain the governorship; from there on the parallels are unmistakeable. We working people of California want to say, just before you pick up your pen to sign the bill, you should re-watch the scene where the ostensible mutant whorehouse reveals itself to be the rebel headquarters, and remember this---We've got your back, Mr. Schwarzenegger!


Insurance-Company Girly-Man:


Not a look that becomes you, Governor.


Vern Nelson, (714) 235-VERN

P.S. If, as many have suggested, MELINA was intended as a thinly-veiled version of your wife MARIA (note similarities of name and ideology), is it too much of a stretch to think that the suddenly ubiquitous WANDA JONES of the "New Century Healthcare Institute" is depicted in the evil SHARON STONE character? Just a thought… but one I think I will pursue in future essays. - V.N.

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Argument #25, Sept. 25, 2006
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Argument #27, Sept. 27, 2006
Argument #28, Sept. 28, 2006
Argument #29, Sept. 21, 2006
Argument #30, Sept. 30, 2006

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