Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Ah ... trapped in transit. Time for a quick note.

I watched a riveting, reflective (for me) film called The Contender. The premise of the film is that the Vice-president of the United States dies and the president has to choose a successor for him. The person he chooses is a good candidate, but for reasons other than her character is targeted to be discredited by the chairman of the approval committee. In the film, you get a strong sense that politics is not a profession for the weak of spirit. You are shown strong egos flexing their power and come to understand that in a political situation, that using power for intimidation is an accepted, and even expected, practice. The president takes pride in his ability to call his kitchen staff, any time of the day or night and order anything he can think of. On the instance that they do not have one of the items that he asks for, you see him make a veiled threat to the servant. It was chilling. As the movie wears on, you realize that the president's abuse of power is the more benign of the examples.

Anyone who has ever thought politicians get off easy with earning their pension after only two terms in office should watch this show. The show would also put off anyone wanting to advance into the upper echelons of a big organization, where "politics" could play a big part of someone's advancement or stagnation.

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