In his new movie, Machete, Dany Trejo, the alter ego of his creator, filmmaker Robert Rodriquez, tells us that he has a Cinco de Mayo message for the people of Arizona. It is a message of unadulterated hatred. It is a promise of merciless revenge.
Dany Trejo a day laborer hires himself out to assassinate a United States Senator played by Robert Dinero. Dinero portrays his character as a “bigot” because he would deport those who enter the United States in violation of American law. That are two reasons, why Dany Trejo, a passionate idealist, and an illegal immigrant worker, agrees to kill off a United States Senator: First, because he is a passionate idealist committed to justice, freedom and the American Way, and second, because the hit money is just too good to turn down.
We are at once subjected to Senator Dinero’s rank rendition of a southern accent as he shouts to a white crowd that the mere crossing of the Rio Grande constitutes a terrorist act. Now, no one unrestrained or unmedicated holds this opinion. It may be a thing conceived in the tumerous mind of the filmmaker Mr. Rodriquez. As the Senator shouts at a milling white crowd, reminiscent of tea partiers, an adolescent child holds a sign painted with the now provocative, “racist” message that, “Americans should learn how to speak English!”
Now, in fact, the American people have been speaking English in America since the early 16th century. That 350 years later it is now provocative and racist for Americans to believe that English should continue to be their national language reveals the seething contempt the likes of Rodriquez hold for Americans and American culture.
What, for example, is the national language of the country with whom Rodriquez identifies? Is it Mexico? Does he not believe that Mexico, or any other South American country, has the right and may with pride preserve, its national heritage, its culture and Spanish language? And why is it that Mexico, of all countries, has enacted the most formidable anti-immigration laws in the Southern Hemisphere? Indeed, how may a country that has itself imposed draconian anti-immigration laws insinuate that Americans who reside in Arizona are racists and xenophobes, simply because they have carefully passed a law to control “unlawful’ entry into their sovereign state? What would the President of Mexico say of Arizonans were they to incorporate a Mexican style immigration law that categorically rejects would be dependent immigrants and imposes severe prison sentences on those with the temerity to defy its laws.
The message Dany Trejo sends to Arizona is unmistakable: Dany is a rough and tough, longhaired and macho guy wears a ratty leather vest that exposes his hairy chest and 18-inch biceps. He never smiles except very briefly when engaged in sexual intercourse. Otherwise, he glares balefully and squints significantly.Since Arizona incorporated a federal law into its state statutes intended to address unbridled illegal entry into the United States, he is in a mood to get even. He’s going to get down and rumble. He’s going to really hurt somebody— and bad.
Immediately following Dany’s announcement that he has a message for the people of Arizona the screen goes black. The viewer then sees Danny’s knuckled fist gripping the hilt of a long, sharp, and vicious looking machete. He then pointedly draws the machete slowly across the blackened screen. Dany then glares significantly and squints. I think of the face of Chichen Itza’s Aztec god Choc Mool, whose statue, reclining upon its high altar, turns its stony face away from human sacrifice, indifferent to its victim as the priest cuts out his heart and offers it in whimpering adoration. If looks could kill, Dany wouldn’t need the 45 machetes he secretes on hooks sewed inside a long coat, or the automatic, military style machine gun he ties down to the front of his chopper.
Yeah, this guy breathes out unadulterated prime-grade malice. He is a dude possesses a raw, primitive, primeval and bad attitude. He carries around enough weapons to start a revolution. And when Dany speaks he doesn’t try to be subtle. What then is the message? Well, hey, this dude is shaking a machete in our face; it can’t be good.
It is, however, a relief to know that Dany does have a human side. In a comic break from the rigors of killing and maiming white Arizonans, he takes time out to quickly mount, smile vaguely, squint and as quickly dismount, several busty women caught up in estrus, this, with all the grace and spectacle a bull displays when rutting a resistant little heifer in a muddy field.
Thus refreshed, Dany, in short order, viciously shoots, cuts, rips, stabs, bludgeons, kicks and probably stomps to death an impressive number of undeveloped characters. The victims add nothing to the plot except that they live in Arizona, are white and presumably approve of the most recent Arizona legislation. It should surprise no one that Dany is not in Arizona to debate legislative issues, to protest, or to acquire signatures for a ballot initiative dedicated to the nullification of the new law. No, it is so much more efficient, and pleasant, simply to slash Arizonans to bits and pieces in civil protest of their mistaken notion that they have a right to express an opinion that irritates Dany Trejo. That is because for Dany, or should I say Rodriquez, everything is so simple as he thinks it should be simple in a democracy.
Although Rodriquez does not develop the character of “white” people, beyond the quite obvious fact that they are white, it’s not difficult to gather that they are rambunctious, ignorant, hillbillys, rednecks in fact, who love to hang out, slurp beer, watch football, and cling to their guns because everyone else looks so different than they do. In any event, they will not be seen engaging in much violence because Dany quickly chops them up like kindling wood with one and sometimes several of his long, sharp machetes. He actually takes a redneck Arizonan’s eye out with a spinning metal thing.
Robert Dinero the once talented and now shameless actor stoops to play the part of the Senator. He dumps every grotesque stereotype he can manage into his character. Senator “Dinero” is a political demagogue, eyes rolling to the heavens, shouting incendiary words at racist audiences, this, in a malignant language smacks of xenophobia. He is a circus barker reels in the rube to sell him snake oil. He is the King Fisher, the penultimate southern politician, irredeemably corrupt—the politician who would steal candy from a baby.
A minute or so of Dinero, at his most disgusting, should be enough for anyone. But there is more. Somehow, the producer has worked, Lindsey Lohan into the plot to play the part of a Catholic nun. The nun Lindsey Lohan does not pray. She does not feed the hungry or tend the sick. No, this nun packs beneath her nun’s habit a .44 Magnum, 46-inch long revolver. While the trailer does not develop her character more than to portray her cocking and aiming her gun at someone off camera, I suspect that she probably slaughters more than her share of evil Arizonans. Whether she is a heroine or a villain depends, of course, on whom she blows away. If she kills off Arizonans then, well, she is one of the noble few fight for people, for freedom and liberty and, you know, for “their rights.”
If there are people offended by the portrayal of a Catholic nun playing the part of a pistol-packing murderer you have read nothing yet. In a movie rank with racial bigotry, that Rodriquez should also attack Catholics seems almost an after thought. Nevertheless, in a vile allusion to the mytho-psychological fantasies of the late Sigmund Freud, the nun Lindsey Lohan is portrayed licking passionately the long barrel of the gun she holds so intimately close to her mouth.
There are a number of political and media demagogues who allege that the tea partiers in their objection to O’Bama Care are inciting violence. Former President Clinton ruminates gravely— the impeached Clinton, he of the soiled dress, the perjured liar— that unless the tea partiers cease their incitement to violence, they will bring down upon our heads a fiery Armageddon.
The mainstream media have weighed in with thoughtful analysis about the dangers posed by tea party protest, an analysis blighted by ideological prejudice, presidential pandering, stygian ignorance, and the absence of evidence. Why not as well, engage in thoughtful analysis as to whether it is wise or not to wear an aluminum hat to protect ones’ brain from alien death rays shot from the planet Mars.
In Machette the message is irrefutable and malicious. An actor, playing the character of an illegal immigrant, has physically threatened Arizonans for the passing of a bill intended to legally restrict illegal immigration. I wonder whether the media, politicians and pundits who doggedly predicted that middle aged tea partiers would produce another Timothy McVeigh will see in Rodriquez’ message to the people of Arizona, an incitement to violence deserving of condemnation.
And what will Democrats, voraciously hungry for a Hispanic constituency, say about Dany’s message to the people of Arizona? Not much perhaps or nothing at all. Their silence, however, will ring out louder than their words. We may recall it come November.
I watched the trailer. I will not watch Mr. Rodriquez’ movie. It is a raw piece of provocative trash. It is an irresponsible, incitement to violence. He should be ashamed. And he is not ashamed. He is proud. More is the pity.