The great thing about a-holes is you can see them coming. Whether it's Sean Penn or Janeane Garofalo calling you a racist or wishing you dead, their essential douchebaggery makes them easy to spot and therefore harmless.
I wish I could say that about nice people.
See, nice people are worse.
Case in point: Matthew Modine. He's a nice guy; pleasant in a puppy dog sort of way. I loved him in "Vision Quest."
But he's also clueless; dangerously so. And when you combine congeniality with congenital cluelessness, you have a recipe for carnage.
This is what he had to say on an interview on CNN:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW MODINE, ACTOR: Imagine if somebody were to really sit down with Usama bin Laden and say, "Listen, man, what is it that you're so angry at me about that you're willing to have people strap bombs to themselves or get inside of airplanes and fly them into buildings?"
That would be the miracle, if we could sit down and talk to our enemies and find a way for them to hear us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Modine just turned 51, but his opinion reflects that of a six-year-old girl, as well as some folks in our government (see Iran). It's a perspective that suggests one has never contemplated evil beyond a character portrayed in a script.
See, M.M. fails to realize that there are people out there who see your desire for "understanding" as one reason why you'll be killed first. Usama thinks, "I'll shoot you first, cuz you're spineless."
And also, you were in "Cutthroat Island."
When faced with an us vs. them mentality, in which the choice for our enemies is either death or glory, history suggests there's only one way to respond, and it's not with back rubs (much to my sadness). It's annihilation until surrender.
It's an ugly thing, but when you consider the alternative — subservience under a new caliphate — it's pretty much all we have.
And if you disagree with me, you're probably a racist, extremist homophobe who eats poor children.