President Obama has issued an executive order closing Guantanamo Bay within the next year. Most have agreed that this is a sound and just decision. On a number of levels, the prison violated the very principles this country was founded on.
My take? The closing of Guantanamo Bay will be the first catastrophic decision of Obama’s presidency.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t support the violation of anyone’s rights. I don’t support torture and ideally, we would release anyone who wasn’t truly guilty.
But am I the only one who saw Ghostbusters?
For all you Nazi communists who haven’t, I’ll elaborate. The Ghosbusters have a containment chamber where they store up all the ghosts they catch. The city is overrun with spirits, and they take care of the problem efficiently. Only thing was, EPA stiff Walter Peck shows up with a court order forcing them to open it up. Tells them it pollutes the environment. Hundreds of ghosts are released, willy-nilly, into New York City. How’d that one turn out, you ask? I don’t mean to spoil the movie for you, but let me say this: it was a disaster.
This country is hardly equipped to handle the release of all those prisoners, much like the city of New York was not prepared for all those ghosts. Are you ready to mingle with mad bombing zealots in your everyday life? I’m guessing you’re not. As soon as the prison closes, we’ll have to deal with an influx of ruffians who will be slipping and sliding all over this great land of ours doing what they do best: terrorizing. Before you know it, bombs will be going off, heads will roll, monuments will fall, the Gatekeeper and the Keymaster will hook up up, and Gozer will be fucking up all our shit.
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment. Everyone is excited for a new president who has promised sweeping changes. But we need to keep our eye on the ball and let the brilliantly crafted writing of Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd serve as our guide on this particular issue. You can’t get everyone in this country to agree on much, but one thing everyone can agree on is that Walter Peck was a Grade A douchebag in that movie. Well, guess what America? If you support the closing of GITMO, you’re basically that guy. You’re just going to keep bitching and complaining until terrorists roam among us until John McClane’s wife punches you in the face.
No doubt, there are innocent people being warehoused and tortured unfairly. But might I go so far as to say that there might have been innocent ghosts? I’m sure not every specter they captured was guilty of anything besides being dead. I’m sure Ray and Egon were guilty of capturing a couple ghosts who were just stray dead guys, minding their business. Those are the breaks when it comes to Ghosbusting. And homeland security.
If all those detainees aren’t in Guantanamo, they’re going to be somewhere else. Your office, your church, the movies. You won’t be able to avoid them. You don’t want to be in line at the grocery store and see a terrorist behind you with a bunch of dynamite strapped to his chest. Maybe he’s just getting some food on his way to wherever he’s going to detonate, but still….you feel uncomfortable knowing that he’s got that bomb. Then out in the parking lot you see him load his bags into his UHaul trailer full of cow manure and watch him pull away.
Maybe you stop to buy a hot dog from a street vendor. You turn your head to take a sip of your soda, and while you’re not looking, a terrorist runs past you and snatches the hot dog before you can even take a bite. Then when you turn back around, you’re stuck there with no hot dog, looking like a befuddled douche.
Or let’s say you come home after a long day of work. You want to kick back with a cold beer and a bag of chips. But when you go into your cupboard, you’re stunned to find no chips. It’s just a Middle Eastern man in shackles, sitting there inside the cupboard, with crumbs all over his orange jumpsuit. Plus he drank all your beer.
In the end, the Ghostbusters are sprung from jail just in time to heroically save the day. Unfortunately, this time the mayor of New York won’t be able to step in and order the Ghostbusters to clean up our mess for us. Unfortunately, we’ll be sentenced to a society littered with suspected terrorists infiltrating this great land of ours. It’s sad, because it’s such an avoidable fate. If only President Obama had seen what ended up being Bill Murray’s third or fourth best movie.
I’d like to close with a quote from George Santayana: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
And while we’re on the subject of the Ghostbusters, it always bothered me that they never caught the librarian from the beginning. Seems like an odd loose end not to tie up.