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El Jefe

An observation and a thought, both directed to a known comic-book guy who calls them by their right name (Lance):

As for Downey Jr., well, that really is an awful lot like Tony Stark, isn't it? Maybe a reason why he so completely inhabits that part. Over time Stark's been written ever more clearly as a "libertarian" man of the right (as usual with libertarians, the liberties he assumes should be taken are all his own, not so much other people's.)

Given that, and your book-club plug further up the masthead, can I put in a vote for going over Civil War as one of the first attempts to deal with the last decade through Stories (riffing off your "Up" post there) ? Stark's politics are crucial to its plot development after all. I should say that's not me endorsing all or any of CW's allegories, just saying it's worth a piece of good criticism at a venue like this place. We could even get multiple Mannions on the job :-)


I think it's interesting in the photo you link to that it says he is happily married, but there he is toying with his wedding ring. Isn't that supposed to be some sort of tell?

But anyway... maybe he thinks that Conservatives would have thrown him into the bad prison right off the bat and that would have scared him straight much earlier. If he survived.


I think there is some point at which a celebrities political views are so repugnant that it becomes impossible to continue to respect their talent. I don't know where that point is, and it's probably different for different people with different celebrities, but if you look at the screen and can't see the character, but only the person with the repugnant views, the point has been crossed. The author Orson Scott Card and the Augusta National Golf Club are over the line for me; can't read Card without thinking of his bigotry, can't watch the Masters without being angry about their bigotry and hypocrisy.

Bob Westal

Well, for what it's worth that quote is at least several months old. I read it in, I think, an Esquire piece, though I didn't know about the RNC appearance which I guess got next to no publicity. Nor have I seen him hanging out at Big Hollywood or anything.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a guy like him flipping around the other way. There's something bendable about Downey.

El Jefe


You may be right about the bendiness (I can see the young Downey doing that as a physical beat.)


Some of it strikes me as an outgrowth of people who trumpet their self-recovery. Rather than living the lesson of humility about how many things -- including big chunks of ourselves -- are regularly out of our control, or how living in greater harmony with something larger (call it a God, call it a higher power, call it just noticing there's lots of not-you atoms spinning around out there with their own ideas), with greater love for yourself and appreciation for the forgiveness others show you, they become instead the heroes of their own comic book. The world's out to get us all and they turned out to be those rare souls who could stand up and hit back. Which ignores, well, everything Lance pointed out about real paths to recovery. And that's classic right-wing psychology.

Just to put in a plug for people who head the opposite way -- hats off to Kristen Chenoweth, who grew up Southern Baptist in Oklahoma, for her broadside at Newsweek. Way to grow up into an ally and a self described Christian that actually seems to have paid attention during, you know, that personally inconvenient Gospel stuff.

Mike the Mad Biologist

Shorter Robert Downey, Jr.: I couldn't handle the freedoms and opportunities given to me by liberals, so it's their fault.

Not to make light of his addiction problem, but it sounds like he hasn't really taken responsibility--he's still blaming someone else.


With any luck Downey will fall off the wagon again and his new friends will either have to a) support locking him up and throwing away the key or b) tie themselves in knots finding reasons to defend him.

Downey is good friends with Mel Gibson,which could explain a few things.

Also, although Downey looks intelligent and sounds intelligent, you never know with actors.


@Susie That's an awful thing to wish on someone, whether you like and agree with them or not.


Biased much? That's not actaually what every conservative believes in, believe it or not! Downey is just saying that he doesn't have the same touchy-feely 'The government will save us!' 'Give a terrorist a hug!' outlook anymore. Thank god too. Liberals are pansies. And by the way, he actually takes full credit for his druggie years. He's a very accountable man. So yes, he is very much like Tony Stark: Heroic, rising from the ashes, good heart, and strong minded. You said it yourself! (PS: Sure looks like you don't care about celebrities political views!)

Greg Haas

As a lifelong lefty (and more proud of it every day), it just irks the snot out of me that some of the entertainers I like the most are republicans. That's particularly true because in my private life I wouldn't have a friend whose a right winger, I would never let one in my home, and I wouldn't shed a tear if a bus full of them went over a cliff. (OK, that last bit was a little harsh, but you get my point).

So, the fact that my favorite sitcom of all time is FRASIER annoys me. As far as R.D.jr, it pretty tough not to enjoy some of his modern work (the coke scene is ZODIAC was hysterical).

How such talented actors could be so poisoned is beyond me. Usually we count on our artists to lead us with their sensibilities and their heart. But with these two gentlement, something went terrible awry.

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