John McCain’s acceptance speech was to be a highlight of the Republican National Convention. Let’s face it, the man has experience to draw from: Five years in a Vietmanese prison camp to the Keating Five to his 2000 campaign being sunk by a Bush-Rove dirty torpedo to not knowing how many houses he owns. But he finally got what he wanted, a chance to be President. One would figure he’d have a lot to say, but it wouldn’t necessarily be easy.
He had to follow Sarah Palin. The pundits were thrilled by her preformance Wednesday night when she gave a riveting and engaging speech. Hopefully, the folks at Fox were able to save their wool suits by borrowing the druel buckets the talking heads at MSNBC used during Obama’s acceptance at the DNC. That people were surprised by Palin strikes the Hangover as being foolish, if not sexist. Just because the woman is attractive, Americans shouldn’t assume she is incapable of stringing together a few sentences. After all, she is a former sportscaster and current governor. Did they expect her to sound like a go-go dancer after one too many midnight happy hours? But I digress.
While waiting for McCain’s speech, I happened to catch the beginning of Almost Famous on one of the numerous HBO stations populating Time Warner cable. After five minutes, there wasn’t even a decision to be made. I could watch a four-star depiction of a budding journalist in a rock and roll setting with numerous three-dimensional characters, or I could listen to a politician spouting the same lines he’s been treading out since this campaign really started back in, what, 1988? If one doesn’t know who John McCain is and what he stands for by now, those are the people who shouldn’t be allowed a vote.
The Hangover didn’t need to hear that speech, not when presented with such an alternative. The characters in the film, William Miller, the members of the fictional Stillwater, Penny Lane, Elaine Miller, etc.., were more real than anyone speaking at or covering the convention–which when you boil it down, is nothing more than a week long political advertisement.
There’s a scene in the movie when guitar hero Russell Hammond (Billy Cruddup) is tripping on acid, standing on the roof of a garage, proclaiming, “I am a Golden God.” The moment offers a profound lack of false modesty, which surely fouled the air in Minneapolis. As Hammond then contemplates jumping and his possible last words, he settles on “I’m on Drugs.” Fitting, again. One, because in the world of the film, it is true, and two, because you’d have to be on drugs to believe that anyone you’ve seen at either of these conventions was as truthfuly portrayed as the characters in Almost Famous. Judge for yourself: