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Same as the old boss

DreamWorks Animation
The Boss Baby "plays" with characters from "Beauty and the Beast" in a promotional ad for the 2017 DreamWorks Animation film.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Back in April, Disney’s live version of Beauty and the Beast went up against DreamWorks’ animated film The Boss Baby, and, as The New York Times told readers at the time, “Never underestimate a tough-talking tot,” indicating that The Boss Baby, starring Alec Baldwin as the voice of the all-business baby who comes into the life of confused 7-year old Timothy Templeton.

One line that the kids love is when the Boss Baby is having a secret meeting with some other babies about the dangers posed by puppies is “Put that cookie down. Cookies are for closers.”

Of course that is a play on Baldwin’s line in 1992’s Glengarry Glen Ross, based on David Mamet’s play, where his bullying and verbally abusive character “Blake” is meant to “motivate” four real-estate salesmen in New York. When Jack Lemmon’s character Shelley “The Machine” Levene gets up to get some coffee, Blake demonically barks: “Put that coffee down! Coffee’s for closers only …

Alec Baldwin as "Blake" in 1992's Glengarry Glen Ross. (New Line Cinema)

The website Sparknotes gives a summary about the meaning behind Glengarry Glen Ross, which was written by Mamet in the midst of the “greed is good” 1980’s …

Sparknotes writes: "Glengarry Glen Ross is a scathing attack on American business practices. The only characters in the play whom we do not witness in some attempt to steal from, cheat, or trick one of the others are Aaronow and Lingk both extremely meek men who, it is implied, do not have much chance at great success. The sales office of the play serves as a microcosm of capitalist culture: as the top man gets a Cadillac and the bottom man gets fired, every man must not only work for his own success but also hope for—or actively engineer—his coworkers' failure."

Sounds like it could very well be today - in 2018! A year in which purportedly honorable and God-fearing men and women are quick to come to the defense of President Donald Trump, a reprehensible and diabollically sinister and evil man who appears to be doing everything he can to tear this country apart. Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross would have been a Trump guy. After all, he's in real estate in New York, right?

What you see in the play/film, as it goes along, those at that top are rewarded, while those who are struggling are torn down and reviled, forced to make destructive decisions. This is a perfect example of Trump World. He is the "boss" and you are just a cog - kind of like "Cogsworth," the mantle clock character in Beauty and the Beast, a "toy" the Boss Baby plays with (along with Lumière, the candelabra), these entities having been changed from humans into anthropomorphic household objects by an enchantress.

Having seen the live-action Beauty and the Beast, I'm not surprised it didn't do all that well. Emma Watson's Belle is somewhat lifeless and not believable. 

Alec Baldwin's name as featured in Glengarry Glen Ross (top) and in trailer for The Boss Baby (below).

Still, we get, in The Boss Baby, an almost Trumpian portrayal of a greedy, corporate climbing tot and Baldwin is the perfect man to play that role. After all, he has been Saturday Night Live's go-to guy to portray Trump in recent months. The filmmakers deny any link between the movie and Trump, saying the film was first thought-of back in 2012, before Trump had announced he was running for president.

Alec Baldwin as President Trump on Saturday Night Live. (Lorne Michaels Productions)

Still, it is a bit strange. Perhaps it's that New York thing Baldwin has - a gruff, winner-take-all attitude, even though in real life Baldwin is not really like that, or so I am told.

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(Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

So, here we are, in 2018, and despite the joke-making and silliness that this sideshow creates, little has changed for the better, for anyone except for Trump, his family and those at the very top (defense contractors, military hardware builders and so forth). Trump is the "boss baby" all right. Except I don't see him ever learning anything from the error of his ways. He revels in them. In his diseased mind he thinks he has everybody fooled. Well, he has a lot of people fooled - crypto-fascists, alt-right dingbats and the Bircher/racist wing of GOP, for starters - but he's just the "latest boss," the same as the "old boss." For all of the hoopla about how great President Obama was, in retrospect, his record is pretty patchy. We may not have gone to war, but the wars continued on his watch.

People easily forget what came before, even if it was only a few years ago. The hatred of Obama was clearly rooted in his race. The Upright Citizens Brigade wing of the reactionary Republicans loathed Obama, but it's true that he wasn't an openly vile, repulsive bigot and misogynist. Obama was a classy president, for the most part. But the strings were still pulled, as they were with George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and on and on.

I really do not understand why so many people I love and care about support Trump. It's utterly insane. What are they actually getting out of supporting him? What about the Republicans? Is it for short-term gain, knowing that demographic changes are going to make the GOP irrelevant in a matter of a few decades, if not sooner? 

ONE STEP CLOSER TO DOOMSDAY

Saying all that, I could not help but notice that the Doomsday Clock moved up 30 seconds, from two-and-a-half minutes to midnight to just two minutes to midnight. The closest we have been to nuclear armageddon since the early 1950's. I noted this in 2017 in my Dust Devil Dreams post "Ball of confusion."

America's "Boss Baby" likes to taunt North Korea's dictator by saying his ... umm ... "button" is bigger - and that it works. Sounds like someone's overcompensating for something. All joking aside, Beatrice Fihn of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons said recently, in all seriousness, “Our extinction could be one insult away.”

Reported The Washington Post today: "The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists advanced the symbolic Doomsday Clock a notch closer to the end of humanity Thursday, moving it ahead by 30 seconds after what the organization called a “grim assessment” of the state of geopolitical affairs.

“As of today,” Bulletin president Rachel Bronson told reporters, “it is two minutes to midnight.”

In moving the clock 30 seconds closer to the hour of the apocalypse, the group cited “the failure of President Trump and other world leaders to deal with looming threats of nuclear war and climate change.

It's looking grim out there. Trump is the sort of "boss baby" who would do just about anything to save his own skin, screw everybody else. The old saying about cornered rats is seemingly coming to pass. We just hope it doesn't end in a mushroom cloud.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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