Friday, May 19, 2017

"Losing the Cold Peace" a Movie Idea

            “I have an idea for a political intrigue movie,” I said.  Maybe it will just be a series, or a book.  Maybe it is too long for just one movie.”
            “Let me hear your pitch.”
            “Okay,” I said.  “But this might seem a little unbelievable.”
            “I’ll keep an open mind.”

            “It starts with a sitting President at a banquet making fun of a prominent businessman who has been critical of him in the press.  And you can see the fuming of the businessman as he listens to the jokes but you can just tell he has the biggest inferiority complex in the world and wants to get back at being made to feel foolish by someone he has been so critical of.  So, he decides to run for President.”
            “Okay, sounds like a good premise.  So, is he a Gordon Gekko type?  Real sleazy?”
            “No, I thought the character would be more like a modern Caligula,” I said.  “Garish, loud, and kind of dumb.  He inherited all his money and has nearly run his business into the ground more than once, hence his inferiority complex.  He just keeps acting like he is the big man on campus and thinks that is all he needs.”
            “Is this a comedy?”
            “Thriller,” I said.
            “Okay.  How is a rich insecure doofus running for President a thriller?”
            “That is the twist,” I said.  “He has the name recognition as a businessman, and he does have the money, but he’s an idiot, so what happens is he is made the patsy of a conspiracy that has been under the surface for a long time.”
            “That is clever.  Illuminati?  Lizardmen?  Drug Cartels?  I threw the lizard men in there because sci-fi is big right now.”

            “I figure we just go with a classic Tom Clancy set up,” I said.  “The Russians might have been done to death back in the Cold War, but I think they are due for a comeback.  So, we have this older retired spymaster running the Russian government and he has retooled the whole operation as a propaganda machine.  He wants to break up all of the big alliances that have flourished since the end of the Cold War, like the EU and NATO by making all of the countries that make up those alliances super narcissistic.”
            “Ha!  And he backs the big business narcissist who is running for President.  I thought you said this wasn’t a comedy?  I can see it now; we can make the businessman transparently evil.  Racist, sexist, generally creepy, we could even give him a mail order bride from Russia that is actually a spy contact.”
            “You know it is starting to sound like a black comedy the more I talk about it,” I said.  “Let me start to unroll more of the plot.”
            “Yeah, sure, I am liking it.”

            “So, the Russian spy master starts cranking out fake news story after fake news story to make the sitting President look bad and to make the other candidate look bad,” I said.  “Meanwhile, the Businessman is transparently evil and he is so clumsy setting up contacts with the Russian spymaster he just starts loading his whole Presidential campaign with spies and traitors, and they are the last sort of people you might expect.  One is an ex-general who always looks like he just ate a bug, another is the dopey looking southern attorney who has been working in the Federal government for years.  Honestly, now we have to make this a comedy.”
            “Oh, yeah, this has comedy written all over it.”
            “So we just surround the ego maniac businessman with a growing collection of goofy spy characters who are running on a platform of racism and sexism and it looks like they are going to lose,” I said.  “The Russian spymaster is flipping his lid, turns out the President knows that something is up with the campaign, but Congress and the Senate are so mad at the President that they will call him a liar if he tries to expose the conspiracy.”
            “Because they are thinking that the racist Russian puppet is going to lose anyway, why lose senate and house seats by pointing out him being a spy?”
            “Exactly,” I said.  “They are short sighted and then the unthinkable happens.  Whoops!”
            “Turns out the voters are more racist than everyone thought?”
            “Yeah,” I said.  “But I wanted it to be an Electoral College thing.  He should win because of a bad system set up by slave holders and tax dodgers.  I think it is symbolically important.”
            “So now the President is a Russian Spy?”

            “I think it is a cool idea,” I said.  “I think the next part will be what I call ‘The Scramble’.  The Congress and Senate know President Business is a security risk and they will have to handle the situation before Russia takes over the world, but…”
            “But, they still want to push thru a lot of their legislature before they have to kick him out.  Whichever party you pick for those guys is going to hate you.  They would not like to be known as the party that put their bullshit ahead of national security.”
            “Yeah, but I can take the heat,” I said.  “What I am more interested in is how fast and furious I want things to tick down.  Maybe show the media going out of its head.  One minute just hoping President Business will stop being a loon, the next thinking maybe he’s turning a new leaf, and then slowly realizing that he really is as terrible as they seem to think he is because he just won’t shut up about every stupid thing he does and he can’t figure out why everyone is mad at him.”
            “We should have his inauguration be humiliating.  No bands want to play, nobody shows up to be in the audience, but he just keeps bragging about it being the best thing ever.  He could get super paranoid and petty about it and print up his own fliers about how big the cheering crowd was, or how many counties voted for him.”

            “That might take it too far,” I said.
            “Maybe.  This is just spitballing ideas.  It is hard to create a convincingly stupid and egotistical person.”
            “I think the conspiracy has to start to come apart faster than anyone anticipated,” I said.  “He’ll leak something important, one or more of the goofy spy characters in his cabinet will screw up, or maybe he will just let something slip.  Either way he will be considered all at once incompetent, lazy, and dangerous.”
            “Then what?  He gets impeached?”
            “I think I want to have it be kind of more bleak,” I said.
            “The ending is what made you think this couldn’t be a comedy?”
            “Yeah,” I said.  “I think what will happen is he will feel the noose closing and he will start up a diplomatic travel tour around Europe.  And then on one of the stops he walks out to play golf, a helicopter lands and he flies away, inside his gold bag is a dozen hard drives full of state secrets and computerized hacking tools he will give to the Russians.”
            “Yeah, that is bleak.”

            “I wonder if I want the ending that gives him his just deserts though,” I said.  “Have the twist be that the hard drives are full of junk, that civil servants knew he was a spy and have been snowballing him for weeks, and when President Business meets with the Russian spymaster he gets throw in a gulag.”
            “It is a strange show when the happy ending has a gulag.”
            “Leaves it open for a sequel though,” I said.  “There is still all of the Congress and Senate people who let this happen.  There are still the idiot voters who have too much power because of the Electoral College.  And there is of course the Vice President, soon to be President who, TWIST, is a super competent Russian Spy.”
            “And now that President Business Moron is gone he can really hunker down and start ruining things?”
            “Sequels,” I said.  “What do you think?”
            “It is funny.  But I am worried that it is a little to unbelievable.  And kind of mean spirited, you are basically saying that millions of people would vote for an unrepentant asshole and jeopardize the whole world in doing so because of their bigotry.  Actually, when I say it out loud it sounds a lot less hard to believe.  What is the working title?”
            “Losing the Cold Peace,” I said.

            If you like or hate this please take the time to comment, +1, share on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook, and otherwise distribute my opinion to the world.  I would appreciate it.

1 comment: