...I can't help but think about something that happened to me last year. It was on Halloween Eve of last year that I saw the scariest movie I've ever seen, and, no, I'm not talking about Ron Jeremy's* latest film, The Thing That Wouldn't Leave. Ron Jeremy plays The Thing.**
It was almost midnight, and I was walking in Downtown El Paso by the old Palace Theater, where I used to watch horror double-features when I was a kid. Later, it became a porno theater, and began showing movies that were horrifying in a different way altogether. Eventually, it went out of business. Someone, however, must have renovated it, like they did with the legendary Plaza Theater, because it looked like it must have when it first opened.
I bought my ticket. It was thirty-five cents. I felt like a kid again.
I went inside. The audience looked vacant-eyed, much like the porno audiences of the dying theater's last years... um, not that I would know anything about that. The movie was about vampires who hid their true natures by becoming politicians. Chauffeured around in black limousines with windows tinted so dark they were protected from the sun's deadly rays and angry constituents.
The hero of the movie gets elected to office, discovers their terrifying secret, and then spends the rest of the movie trying not to become one of them. The vampire politicians create zombie slaves who are kept subservient with free government cheese. It's a symbiotic relationship. The vampires can't live without the zombie's votes, and the zombies can't live without the free cheese. Each creature's hunger causing the other's to grow.
"We are the Nosferatu," the vampire lord, Count Barackula of Taxsylvania, proclaims. "The undead. As long as you vote us back into office, we'll never die."
The hero tries to lead a voter revolution to get them out of office, but fails tragically.
"We vote straight ticket," the zombie voters eerily moaned as one, "because the vampires give us more."
"Don't you understand?" the hero cried out, desperately. "They have to take from you before they can give to you."
But it was no use. The zombies wouldn't listen.
"Free cheese!" they chanted. "More free cheese!"
Finally, the hero succumbs to the blood-sucking vampires... and votes himself a nice pay raise.
What a great movie. It was filmed in a 3D so realistic you could practically feel Count Barackula's hand reaching into your wallet.
When the movie was over, I left the theater. I thought about our country's future, and then I thought about my own voting record. After this, would I continue to vote the same people back into office, as I've done in the past?
Same people, same problems.
I looked back at the Palace Theater hoping for an answer, but of course...
...it was no longer there.
*Will that guy never retire?
**Or--ahem--at least, a part of him does.