Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Why Clint's in my line of fire for backing Mitt

Just when you thought the sectarian squabbling over loyalist band marches in Belfast was the most depressing thing you'd see in the news all week, along came Clint Eastwood: The Man With No Shame.

At the advanced age of 82, when you'd think a person's personality was pretty much established, Clint has gone and re-invented himself in such a radical way it makes Madonna's forays into image-transformation look like amateurish dabbling.

When The Outlaw Clint Eastwood walked on stage to introduce Mitt Romney at the Republican Party Convention last week, he went from being the lone stranger, riding into town to save the little people, to Unforgiven, in one short stroll.

How disillusioning. The coolest dude in the West has turned out to be the biggest dork in the East.

Apparently Barack Obama is a failure because the American economy is in tatters and the only way it'll be saved is if the American people vote for a multi-millionaire who has never shown one shred of interest in looking after ordinary people.

Maybe it's all those beans and bacon Clint ate on set, but something's got to his brain and turned him from the glorious maverick you may have fancied him being (if you were a boy) or just fancied (if you were a girl) to a cringeworthy embarrassment.

Has old age finally caught up with him? Has he lost his marbles? Has he succumbed to that old-person phenomenon of thinking that anything he says is acceptable just because he's been around a long time?

Whatever motivated him, I doubt he can have given any serious consideration to how his appearance and his "humorous" slagging off of Obama, will have affected millions of his fans.

Suddenly, in one fell swoop of his tongue, Clint has wiped out a big chunk of our pasts. How can anyone with half a brain watch his films now without wanting to cry at the sorry spectacle he's become?

Dirty Harry supports Rotten Romney. He's not a hero, he's gone over to the baddies and it's unbearable. He's now riding with the guys who he used to drive out of town. And what for? A fistful of dollars?

Maybe money's where it's at. In February this year Clint voiced an ad for Chrysler cars in the middle of the Super Bowl coverage. In it he praised the resurgence of the Detroit motor industry - a resurgance fuelled by Obama's economic bailout, which Romney opposed. So Clint was pro-Obama in February and pro-Romney in August. Did he get saddle-sore, changing horses in mid-stream like that?

Perhaps the danger lies in projecting your own views onto your celluloid heroes. After all he's just an actor when he plays a role. Just because he plays the good guy, doesn't mean he IS the good guy. But still. It's hard to take when any giant steps out from behind the curtain and reveals himself to be just a flawed, slightly pathetic, little man.

How can I ever lose myself in The Bridges Of Madison County again, knowing that as Clint drives away, heartbroken, he's off to ease his pain by writing a pile of God-awful, right-wing drivel that any one of his characters would be ashamed to be heard spouting?

I'm sorry Clint, but the love affair is over.

Sadly, you DID make my day. Horrendous.

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