From the first time ever I saw his face, Arnold Schwarzenegger has annoyed me.
Almost as much as the song “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”
But never mind that now.
Schwarzenegger first inflicted himself upon me more than 35 years ago, when he was an arrogant dumbcluck dope-smoking bobybuilder, and as such somehow invaded the pages of my Rolling Stone.
“What a nimrod,” I thought. “Here’s a goofy gap-toothed guy whose last name translates as ‘Blackblack.’ His name is redundant, and so is he.”
Humans engage in many pursuits that may be fairly described as imbecilic. “Bodybuilding” surely is one of these. I have long believed that such people should be confined to zoos. For the poses they strike, the spectacle they make of their tortured and contorted near-naked bodies—these may be likened only to baboons shimmy-shaking their bright-pink asses, giraffes blithely running fourteen feet of tongue in and out of their nostrils, pint-sized hippos waddling about with their penises on backwards, terminally nearsighted rhinos suddenly gone mad racing across the dirt to plunge their horns into shivering two-by-fours.
“Martial artists”—they can occupy the next cage over.
It was during this “bodybuilding” period that Schwarzenegger personally consumed most of the steroids annually imported into the state of California. Indeed, so extreme was his consumption, that by the age of 30 his testicles had negative mass. They could not be detected even through an electron microscope.
Schwarzenegger next decided he would defile the movies.
Director and self-described Cro-Magnon Man John Milius must be blamed for this: he cast Schwarzenegger as the ur-human protagonist in Conan the Barbarian.
Schwarzenegger’s film career, combined with Milius’ literally unbelievable Red Dawn, recently resulted in a United Nations declaration that, as Punishment for his Sins against Mankind, Milius must be placed in a see-through bamboo cage and run through the streets of Hong Kong, followed by a million Chinese loudly banging gongs.
From time to time I have earned my crust as a film critic. For many years, it seemed like whenever some new Schwarzenegger vomit hurled itself upon the screen, I was ordered to review it. Once I thought seriously of shooting myself in the arm, to avoid a Schwarzenegger assignment, one that I knew would result in a lifetime of PTSD. I refrained only because my then-editor was such a Walter Burns that he would have ordered me to do The Job anyway, insisting I could dictate the piece into a handheld tape recorder, using my one good arm.
I remember leaving the Schwarzenegger monstrosity End of Days convinced that motion pictures should just be abolished. Better that no film, ever, anywhere, ever again be screened, than that something like that End of Days atrocity be allowed to slouch out of Schwarzenegger to be borne.
Somewhere along the line, Schwarzenegger married a Kennedy.
For a long time this pissed me off. Until I realized that, because of completely out-of-control Catholic breeding practices, there are now so many Kennedys in America, that the chances of a person entering matrimony finding his- or herself marrying a Kennedy, these are about equivalent to getting “heads” on a coin-toss. In fact, odds are good that I myself may marry a Kennedy, before my day is done.
Not that Schwarzenegger should be marrying anyone. He is the sort of man for whom Science Men should construct a cunning device that would be implanted under the skin in order to deliver a powerful and incapacitating jolt of electricity, whenever he comes within five feet of a woman.
This is because Schwarzenegger is the sort of “man” who, when he comes within five feet of a woman, thinks it a hoot to reach out and twist her nipple, then giggle like a monkey.
We now know that, during his marriage, whenever Schwarzenegger was puttering around the house, and would grow bored, he would wander down the hall and impregnate the maid.
After so befouling the movies that extraterrestrials have blocked off-world transmission of Terran films for a thousand years, Schwarzenegger next decided to invade politics.
When Karl Rove and Enron deliberately shot in the stomach California Governor Gray Davis with that phony 2000-2001 California “electricity crisis,” Schwarzenegger announced as one of about 465 humans, semi-humans, and flaming freakazoids of no known origin, seeking to replace Davis in a special recall election.
Listening to debates featuring the duelling accents of Schwarzenegger and that shameless freak Arianna Huffington, I felt like I had been transported into some Saturday Night Live skit titled something like “Spawn Of The Fascists.”
Where the fuck did I live? California? Bavaria? The summer playhouse of the Greek colonels?
This nonsense was so far removed from Reality, it had to be staged.
It was this experience that allowed me, some 10 years or so on, to instantly identify the 2012 Republican presidential primary sideshow as an event owned and controlled by extraterrestrials, having a lark, just fucking with the humans.
Schwarzenegger was actually elected governor by the people of California; he was then—yes, it’s true—re-elected.
I haven’t the faintest idea what he did while in office. Because I refused to accept it. I studiously avoided all awareness of state politics. I chose to live in an alternative universe during that period. Because I would not be a part of the universe where Californians, having already inflicted Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan upon the land, decided it would be Right and Meet to roll in the hay with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I do know that his term must have been a complete and total disaster. Because, upon his exit from office, the state’s voters desperately employed a time machine. To return to the governor’s mansion Jerry Brown, who had already served in that office from 1975 to 1983. Clearly, these voters were, ashamedly, trying to roll back time to 1983. And pretend that all the years after—and particularly those with Ah-nuld—Never Happened.
I had not thought of Schwarzenegger for many moons. Until this morning. When the intertubes chucked up the photo you see there above, and to the left.
I am not exactly sure what is going on there. But it is not anything like Good.
It seems that, with that lectern, and that pointed finger, and that earnest/amused expression, and that absurd facial hair, Schwarzenegger may now be trying to recast himself as some sort of philosopher. Ah-nuld as Aristotle.
My colleague is fond of asserting that “the American people always get exactly what they deserve.”
But no peoples, deserve such as this.
The horror. The horror.