Non Sequitur: Toys and Politics

There is a moment in Toy Story when Sheriff Woody realizes that Buzz Lightyear is really, truly delusional; Buzz is not merely acting the part of a Space Ranger, Buzz honestly believes that he is from the Gamma Quadrant and must return there to continue the fight against the evil Emperor Zurg. Woody, at this point, has reached the end of his rope: he has been effectively replaced as Andy’s favorite toy by a state-of-the-art plastic man with absolutely no concept of reality whatsoever. In a moment of pure, unadulterated frustration, Woody shouts, “You are a child’s plaything!”

This, of course, does nothing to convince Buzz. Woody’s outrage might as well have been directed to the spaceship-shaped box in which Buzz arrived in Andy’s room; the result is the same: Buzz continues to live his delusion.

Woody’s frustration and rage are compounded by the fact that he and Buzz are lost; far away from Andy’s room with little hope of ever returning. Yet Buzz presses ever onward, driven further away from his true home by a delusion, completely divorced from reality.

If the precise sentiment Woody expressed to Buzz doesn’t apply to the men and women who govern the United States of America, ((I’m more inclined to think of our representatives in the legislative branch as sullen, recalcitrant children than toys, but at least we’re dealing with approximately the same level of maturity.)) the degree of frustration I feel certainly does. This body purports to be, among the entire population of the country, the most suited to create the rules by which we must all live, yet they cannot put aside their bickering and backstabbing, their snide remarks and open hostility toward one another to pass a single piece of legislature in time of crisis.

I don’t know if the $700 billion “bailout” is a good idea or not.  It’s not my job to understand the intricacies of the plan; my taxes pay the salaries of people who are ostensibly sworn to do that for me. My frustration is not derived from the fact that the bill was not passed yesterday, but rather from the fact that the only thing the past week has accomplished is to elevate the rhetoric to altitudes approaching Low Earth orbit. After risking the largest single instance of collectively-strained trapezius muscles in history by calling a press conference ((News Flash: the “Main Street/Wall Street” contrast was tired and trite already last week; it’s even more so today. Please, find something original to say about this financial apocalypse or don’t say anything. Better yet, stop talking about it and start doing something about it.)) on Saturday to congratulate themselves for working on the weekend (all for the good of their country), this most august of bodies proceeded, two days later, to accomplish absolutely nothing. ((The concept of playing well with others is apparently isolated to kindergarten; it is certainly not embraced in Washington, D.C.))

I can yell all I want, but the simple, sad fact of the matter is that, like Woody, I am effectively impotent. My words will fall on deaf (or worse, deluded) ears and I will achieve the same result as if I, too, were talking to a plastic toy. The biggest difference here is that Buzz Lightyear eventually comes to grips with reality and works with Woody to find a solution to their dilemma.

That’s where Woody’s main advantage over me comes into play: he lives in a Disney movie. Just once, it would be nice if I did, too. Just once, it would be nice if the people who govern this country came together and accomplished something for the sake of something larger than themselves, and did it a measure of dignity and camaraderie.

I wouldn’t be even the slightest bit annoyed by the Randy Newman music.

11 thoughts on “Non Sequitur: Toys and Politics”

  1. Here, here! I concur.

    Except for toleration of the Randy Newman music — how unAmerican of you to allow such a suggestion. You are obviously not aware that Jesus doesn’t listen to Randy Newman music. I will pray for your immortal soul. Jerk.

  2. yes, those people who are supposedly representing us and OUR wants wishes and desires have once again screwed things up so badly that we will be feeling the effects of it for decades, if not a century or more. OUR government has never been very responsible with OUR money, why should now be any different? OUR representatives have always had plenty of money to play with and have never seen that there are consequences for bad fiscal decisions and policies. Most republicans see no need for regulation until the sh*t hits the fan and most democrats seen no need to curb spending until the well runs dry. everyone wants what THEY want and refuse to talk with each other and find solutions and make real plans for keeping things like this happening again. too much pettiness, too much drama, too many diva’s (Bush and his gang are the worst in this department, but they are not the only ones). too many saying “my way or no way” instead of ASKING, “what do you think?” and “How can we work together on this?” It’s like dealing with a bunch of pre-schoolers who do not want to learn to how to play with others AND refuse to share.

  3. @Greg — Are you kidding? When I asked Buzz Lightyear how long we’d be feeling the repercussions from yesterday’s 777-point drop on the Dow, he said “To infinity…and beyond!” I don’t think he’s got the right mindset to be President.

    And to have Randy Newman the proverbial heartbeat away from being the most powerful man in these here United States…well, I quail at the very thought. His first act as President (should Lightyear be unable to carry out the duties) would be to place anyone less than 5’6″ tall into detainment camps!

    Oh, and just one more thing: Buzz Lightyear can’t run for President; he wasn’t even born on this planet, much less in the United States. In fact, I’m almost positive he’s here illegally. Why, when Lou Dobbs hears about this, he’ll want to organize protests outside of Pixar headquarters!

  4. Often considering myself to be a sophisticate, I am ashamed to know such an erudite person as yourself. I shall resign myself to being average human cattle and watching Toy Story repeatedly with my son, which in retrospect may not be so bad. Honestly, I find the Randy Newman music kind of catchy.

  5. @Kingfish — We’re not altogether fond of sophisticates here (though it should be pointed out that the author is most definitely a sophist), but we’ll make an exception in your case. Toy Story and its sequel are both excellent movies, marred only by the vocal stylings of Mr. Newman, whose lyrics and music are indeed catchy. Rather like smallpox.

  6. I think the “You’ve Got a Friend In Me” song is okay, but I’m not a fan of the rest of Mr. Newman’s contribution.

    I don’t know if he’s responsible for the music to Woody’s Roundup in the sequel, but if he is, then all is forgiven.

  7. @Miscellaneous G — You know, until very recently (let’s say until the moment I read your comment) you were like a brother to me. Now…I don’t know. There are just no words to express how betrayed and broken I feel. Not even in a damned Randy Newman song about two guys who were like brothers until one of them admitted that a Randy Newman song was “okay”. It goes something like this…

    “You had a friend in me.
    You had a friend in me.
    But then you went and said
    That a Newman song
    Well, it wasn’t bad
    Now I can’t stand your fat, poopy head
    Yeah, you had a friend in me.”

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