Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Meet Middle America


So this weekend, not by my own choice, i watched Meet the Fockers.
Now, i publically and openly HATED Meet the Parents, and had no desire to see this film, despite the presence of some fine actors (Dustin Hoffmann, Robert De Niro). However, i was in good company with friends and decided, what the fuck, i'll sit through it. And i am glad i did.

Oh, don't get me wrong, i didn't enjoy it. Not in the slightest. But, the film did give me an insight into something that i don't often get...the Middle America side of the coin.

Now, in this hopelssly predictable film, Ben Stiller and his ugly-bangs wearing finace bring her parnets (De Niro and Blythe Danner) to meet his parents (Hoffman and Barbra Streisand). Now, in the O.G. Meet the Parents, Stiller's normal guy was rendered intimidated by De Niro's ex-C.I.A., human lie-detecting, teaching a cat to use the toilet-self. The joke was that "here is this normal guy, in a proto-military household, awkwardness and, therefore, hillarity ensues." Ok, as cheap as the laughs were, i can buy that theory.

But in Fockers, this theory is turned on its head: the ultra-Conservative De Niro meets the ultra-Liberal couple of Hoffman (who was a Mr. Mom) and Streisand (a sex therapist). As you can see, this will present more awkward, cringeworthy material. However, herein lies the part that interests me.

Throughout the film, we see Hoffman and Streisband being quirky, but generally nice and always well-wishing. We also see De Niro as distrusting, frightened of intimacy, a spy, a smothering grandfather, a cold husband, and a cynical and horrible father.

HOWEVER, at the end of this film, there is a sequence set up to show the two fathers (De Niro and Hoffman) BOTH apologizing. Hoffman apologizes for being 'smothering,' when all he has done is loved his child for who he is and expects nothing of him. If this is a crime worth apologizing for, then i suspect most parents should be going to confession tonight (well, the Catholic ones...the rest just go straight to hell).

What this shows me is that to Middle America, being a liberal, perhaps OVER-caring person is on par with someone who lies, cheats, spies, and generally conspires against everyone within sight. Is this how Red States see me? Because i voted for John Kerry, am i comparable with a moster?

If this is the case, if there are a good number of people who really think this way in America, then the last presidential election makes a lot more sense to me.