“Obama Porn” Flops at the Box Office
Human beings have some odd sexual fetishes. My friend of over twenty-two years, Liz Lightspeed (no need to hide her identity – she’s very proud of, and public with, what she does) makes her money choking guys unconscious and being paid to pose with other women pretending to fight. Not entirely my thing, but hell, if there’s a market for it, knock yourselves out (literally).
I have a former lady-friend (of sorts) whose only work since we went our separate ways has been on a foot fetish website. I have another female friend whose fan base likes to see muscular women carrying things. And I have a current friend who was once paid to dress like a ninja and threaten a rich guy (hell, I’ll do that. Sign me up).
So many fetishes, and catering to them is a huge business. But this weekend has taught us one very important lesson – “Obama porn” doesn’t pay.
“White House Down” is pure, 100% Obama porn. It was written to appeal to those who want a romanticized version of the president they thought Obama would be. It’s porn for Obama supporters in the way that romance novels are porn for women. Just as the fans of those “sexy pirate kidnapper” novels want to be whisked away by handsome, romantic, tough-yet-caring pirates, “White House Down” was intended for those who want a dreamy two-hours in a movie theater being swept away by the Obama they want so badly to love (you know, the one who consistently fails to appear in real life).
The Obama character in “White House Down,” President Sawyer (portrayed by Jamie Foxx, who has admitted in interviews that the character is based on Obama) is the Obama “ideal.” He wants peace. Peace, peace, peace! He so badly wants peace that as soon as he came into office, he disbanded all drone attacks and other violent U.S. military activities on the Pakistan border, thus angering the evil white right-winger who leads the operation to seize the White House.
“President Sawyer” even put the evil drone-attackers in prison for daring to commit violence against Pakistanis.
“Sawyer” loves Abe Lincoln, and he’s a veritable encyclopedia of knowledge about American history. He has lofty thoughts, he cares about his countrymen, and he acts in the nation’s, and the world’s, best interest. What a guy!
But he can also be cute and loveable, as when the invasion of the White House forces him to fight bad guys. Oh, that cutie-pie. He doesn’t want to fight, and he’s adorably clumsy at it. But when called upon to save the world, dammit, he’ll fight!
And it is indeed the world he must save, as the core of the evil white right-wingers’ plot is a desire to sabotage an upcoming peace conference with Iran, by firing nukes at the peaceful, international-law-abiding nation of humble “religion of peace” followers.
At the end of the film, after the evil white guys have all been killed, there is concern that the sweetie-cake flower-children in Iran might fire their nukes in retaliation for us almost firing ours. But have no fear – we learn that the big-hearted Iranians agree to have world peace after all! Because when have Muslims ever done anything vengeful or retaliatory?
Sawyer/Obama has done it. He’s saved the world, with the help of the heroic Iranians.
Mother Jones declared that “White House Down” is “a harsh critique of the military industrial complex.” Indeed. And fetish porn for anyone wanting the Obama they loved in 2008 to live again, at least for two hours on-screen. From the Mother Jones review:
Not to spoil the entire movie, but Jamie Foxx, Channing Tatum, and the liberals win the day, and the hawkish, Fox News-adoring, reactionary killers wind up either in jail or ripped to shreds by explosives and ammunition. It’s typical Hollywood liberalism with gigantic firearms.
But there’s just one problem – the film has completely flopped. It came in a disastrous fourth place in its opening weekend, beaten by one new film (“The Heat,” the horrible film starring Sandra Bullock and that fat girl I’m supposed to recognize even though I have no idea where the hell she came from), and two week-old films (“World War Z” and “Monsters University”). The $150,000,000-budgeted “White House Down” took in just $25,000,000 its opening weekend. By contrast, “Olympus Has Fallen,” this year’s other “White House under attack” film (which featured North Korean terrorists as the villains), cost $70,000,000 to make, earned $30,500,000 its opening weekend, and has taken in over $160,000,000 in total…and that was without the benefit of being released during the summer movie season.
Memo to Sony – call my ex and get a foot fetish film in the works – you’ll have more success with it. Obama porn just doesn’t sell. Sure, Chris Matthews was probably there on opening night, pleasuring himself Pee-Wee Herman style in a near-empty theater, but that’s not enough, not nearly enough, to make the film turn a profit.
The Obama of “White House Down” has as much in common with the real president as the pirates in romance novels have with actual pirates. But how many of us are ever going to come into real-life contact with a diseased, AIDS-ridden, murderous, conscienceless Somali pirate? Whereas, by contrast, we have to live with Obama every day. We see the real thing far too often to buy into the fantasy. I’d accept Fabio as a “pirate with a heart of gold” before I’d accept “White House Down’s” version of Obama.
Apparently, based on the box office numbers, I’m not alone.