Vice

The prophecy is fulfilled, but then again, revisiting Talladega Nights taught me that McKay might have always been like this. He has almost certainly, and with infinite contempt, used the phrase "bread and circus" to describe his approach to entertainment and history and getting people to pay attention. I am fascinated by his presentation of Cheney as a man who stole life, cycling through all meanings of that before finally landing on flesh and viscera. But he has no faith in our ability to detect the banality of evil--he seems to know Cheney and company as a pack of sociopathic pragmatists, but they also dip into villainous laughter and an earnest belief that they served the public good. And I can't help but notice that McKay ignores the contemporary depictions of Cheney as Darth Vader or Burgess Meredith's Penguin--so a lot of these revelations ain't exactly new, but given the state of the union and the electorate, maybe he's right to be as cynical as he is. I don't know, when I think about how to incorporate Trump into my own work (including this diary)--whatever I can say about his iconic value being of equal stature/importance to Nixon's, or how his election was a matter of our collective incomprehension of media--there's always the possibility that it will melt into Vice's incoherent paroxysms of anger and blame. I feel it every time I see that stupid motherfucker. What I'm saying is that Cheney is just as responsible for McKay's condescension as he is for Trump, and maybe there needs to be some consideration of where those two overlap. The mid-credits sequence seems close to comprehending this. It doesn't get there because it's too snide--but whatever Vice is, maybe it was just an inevitability, and the only biopic that could be made about this man: a contradictory broadside where the only conclusion is a black and useless heart, that familiar "go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney" in a landscape where nobody fucking wins.