OK, this is only partly a sci-fi-nerd question, but: What do Iron Man, Bobby Jindal, and I all have in common? Grappling, as conservatives, with Brown University.
•At least, one antiwar reporter character who gives Tony Stark a hard time in Iron Man is described as a Brown grad (and goes on to reveal other behavior patterns often associated with Brown alums).
•And Jindal — for whom if I remember correctly I was briefly a writing tutor, though it’s all pretty fuzzy now, I admit (so if I blog of him in the future, let this be my permanent disclaimer that I’m not saying I was some sort of mentor to him) — became Catholic and conservative while at Brown, going on to serve (with a special emphasis on health care and a fondness for free markets) in the White House, the Louisiana congressional delegation, and the Louisiana governor’s mansion, with some (like William Kristol) now saying McCain’s v.p. running mate slot might be his next move.
Intelligence is so rare among politicians that a smart guy can go far quickly — and I still won’t quite yet think of myself as truly old even if I find that in eight months, I can say “I tutored the Vice President in college.”
Ironically, though, even if McCain picks a smart, market-oriented (though still undeniably socially-conservative as well, don’t get me wrong) old acquaintance of mine as his running mate, I may end up having to vote against him, casting a protest vote for likely Libertarian candidate Bob Barr. Jindal would help McCain in my eyes, though — and by the time I get around to my week of blogging about the Libertarian Party presidential nominating convention in two weeks, it’s possible the LP will have managed to self-destruct, riven as they now are by a conflict between Barr supporters and supporters of Mary Ruwart, who (evasions aside) basically implied support for legalizing kiddie porn in a passage of her writing (and the Libertarian Party executive director who tried to fix things — or aid Barr — by announcing that the LP supports greater federal involvement in investigating such illicit materials was driven to resign by outraged LP members who, rightly or wrongly but with poor timing regardless, denounced him for violating the principle of devolving crime-fighting from the federal to state and local authorities).
If it all redounds to Barr’s benefit and helps give him the nomination, swell. If the LP — even in this year when there are many libertarian- and conservative-leaning voters willing to cast a big, powerful, quite possibly election-deciding protest vote — manages to marginalize itself by nominating someone (even) more obscure than Barr, then I may end up reluctantly voting for McCain (I think Ken Silber will be defending the McCain option in our June 4 Debate at Lolita Bar, incidentally).
If Jindal manages to put in place some free-market solutions to Louisiana’s post-Katrina woes before moving on to run with McCain, I’ll feel he’s fairly deserving of my reluctant vote.
Let us hope (for the length of this segue back to sci-fi, at least) that he leaves New Orleans in better shape than Scotland was left in the ridiculous but fun post-apocalyptic thriller Doomsday, anyway. That movie was so silly that I was inspired to check Wikipedia for director/writer Neil Marshall’s other projects (aside from The Descent, which I already knew about). I learned that Doomsday — which was basically Road Warrior plus Day of the Dead, Highlander, and Escape from New York — is not the only movie idea of his that sounds like one of those two-older-films-combined joke film pitches from The Producer. One of his ideas in development is a World War II film called Eagle’s Nest that he says would be a hybrid of Die Hard and Remains of the Day (???) — though I like the sound of his idea for a movie about zombies attacking an oil rig more (he’s waiting out the zombie glut before making that one).
And remember: some say the way to avoid barbarism and chaos on the roads is congestion pricing to thin traffic, so come see economist Charles Komanoff (pro) and writer Doug Dechert (con) debate that question tomorrow night (Wed., May 7) at 8pm at Lolita Bar. I’ll host and withhold judgment. And if I also drink, I will absolutely promise not to drive home to the Upper East Side.