During Arnold Schwarzenegger’s remarkable movie career (remarkable that it lasted) he was not exactly known for his eloquent dialogue. Frankly, when he spoke I was relieved if it didn’t require subtitles.
One of his most famous lines came in “The Terminator.” With a puzzling Austrian accent, Arnold played a human-looking but rather vocabulary-starved cyborg. (Type casting?) “I’ll be back,” the cyborg said ominously.
And back he is.
Fresh from helping destroy California’s economy, not to mention publicly humiliating his ex-wife Maria Shriver and four children, Arnold announced last week that his “memoir” will come out in 2012. (Can we possibly wait that long?)
Arnold will receive $5 million from Simon & Schuster for his tome which has as its tentative title, “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story” (I, too am working on a book. My tentative title is, “Why Do So Many Schmucks Make So Much Money?”)
Some publishers balked at the former Governator’s price tag. To break even it’s estimated that S &S will have to sell 500,000 copies of the book, which Arnold promises will feature the breakup of his marriage to Maria, his Austrian childhood (his father was a member of Hitler’s notorious brown-shirt storm troopers) and his careers in bodybuilding, film and politics. (Yawn.)
Here’s a tidbit from the book revealed in Arnold’s interview in this month’s Vanity Fair that makes my blood boil. In turns out that, in 2003, when Arnold decided to run for governor it was while en route to “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” (After telling everyone, including Maria, that he was not going to run.)
Try to picture the following in Arnold’s guttural accent: “I just thought, This will freak everyone out. It’ll be so funny. I’ll announce that I’m running. And two months later I was governor. What the f*** is that?” (Such a classy guy, huh?)
“All these people are asking me,” he goes on seemingly amused, “what’s your plan? Who’s on your staff? I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have a staff.” (And we paid the price. Terrific.)
I wonder if Arnold found it so amusing when he fathered a child with his housekeeper and kept her working in his house for 10 years! (Imagine who got paid off to keep that quiet and if any campaign money was used. Are you listening, Attorney General Davis?)
Was it his sense of humor (or megalomania) that prompted Arnold to keep the child around the house? Didn’t he worry that Maria and the kids might notice the unmistakable resemblance the love child bore to him? And all the while Arnold’s playing governor, a job he had no idea how to do in the first place.
The topper of course is that, if Arnold had been born in the U.S., he’d have been elected president in 2008. How’s that for a scary movie?
Arnold’s guiltless about his failures as governor. (Perhaps being on steroids means you don’t have to say you’re sorry?) “You have to realize the thing was so much fun! We had a great time!” (Translation: as long as he had a great time, nothing else matters.)
“Oh, sure, there was frustration and disappointment,” Arnold conceded, “but if you want to live rather than just exist, you want the drama.” (Like hiding your illegitimate child for a decade?)
Sadly, instead of being shunned from civilized society, Arnold will likely be on the New York Times best-seller list. (Not to mention a starring role in “Expendables 2”) Oh, the horror.
In a normal world, (meaning clearly not the one which we currently occupy) someone in Arnold’s situation might show some contrition and humility. (Has “Arnold” and the word “humility” ever appeared in the same sentence?)
“I take full responsibility,” Arnold tells the world, which means absolutely nothing. He’s sorry, all right, that he got caught. For narcissists an apology is only a technique to buy time so they can repeat their garbage in the future.
Then there’s the serious matter of Esteban Nuñez. He’d been given 16 years for his role in the October 2008 stabbing death of college student Luis Dos Santos near San Diego State.
On his very last night in office, Arnold reduced the sentence to 6 years. When asked by a reporter if he had done so because Nuñez was the son of his friend, former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, Arnold snapped shamelessly, “Hello? Of course. That’s what friends do.”
Lastly, there’s the dicey subject of Arnold and underage girls. In December of 2004, The Venice Beachhead ran an article about Arnold’s unwanted advances (I’m censoring the exact wording) on a Venice High sophomore. (Go to: freevenice.org/Beachhead/Jan2004/Jan2004.html)
In return for his “Unbelievably True Life Story,” I wish we could collectively say to Mr. Schwarzenegger, for now and forever, another line from “The Terminator,” “Hasta la vista, baby!”
Jack can be reached at Jnsmdp@aol.com.