I was out in Colorado watching Metropolis screened with a new soundtrack performed live by the composers, while Gov. Pawlenty was busy in Minnesota with the bonding bill.
I was convinced I'd seen the Fritz Lange classic silent picture in college (turns out, I had no memory of the film). But the score was the attraction — plus the fact that the local supply of novel cultural experiences is still a bit lacking on a given night unless you are willing to include Texas Hold 'em.
The plot and storytelling are plodding and quaint to modern sensibilities, but visually the film is still compelling. And though the moral — heart must mediate between hands and head — is laughably didactic, the struggle between the remote masters and the workers in the depths seems pertinent still. The "heads" would follow their pleasures down to hell rather than give them up. Meanwhile, the "hands" engage in a futile rebellion that means their own destruction.
Which brings me back to the Governor's gambit. Joh Fredersen, who runs the Metropolis, is willing to risk the city's destruction in order to defeat the workers forever. This post reminded me of the movie I'd just seen.
But it's safe to say that Pawlenty's veto of a project that has long been in the works, a project that has bi-partisan support and will be the backbone of a future transit system for the Twin Cities metro area, and a project that he previously supported is a desperate measure for a desperate man who sees his political power waning. The only lever he has left is marked "auto-destruct".