Are you aware of … The Demolition Man Prophecy?
The Demolition Man Prophecy was first unearthed in 1993 when its namesake film exploded in the faces of theater audiences. Yet the stock of its credibility and prescience has only improved over the years. And after seeing The Expendables, I think it’s clear forces we don’t understand are pulling the strings here.
The prophecy, as laid out for us in the film, is this: in the slight future of 1996, both cop (Sly Stallone, only a mere 66 years old at the time) and criminal (Wesley Snipes, accumulating taxes he had no intention of paying) are sentenced to prison time for their last-straw wanton destruction chase around town. Except in the futu….three years more advanced society …. prison has been replaced with cryo chambers. In the year 2032, some nefarious public official unleashes Snipes to kill Dennis Leary, and the authorities decide to thaw out the only man who could ever stop him: Sly Guy. Only, now it’s 26 years in the future, and everything has changed! A dystopian nanny state has turned Los Angeles into San Angeles, a cult-like crime free enclave where guns are relegated to museums and cars drive themselves (note: it is unclear in the movie whether the entire country and world are like this, or if it is relegated to this small corner of California).
In this sanitized future that lets the allusions to Brave New World’s nobel savage concept shine through, several things are of note:
1) Taco Bell is the lone restaurant to survive the Franchise Wars and has thusly become a fine dining establishment.
2) All music has been outlawed except jingles, which means the pianist at Taco Bell plays “Jolly Green Giant” and other commercials.
3) At one point Sandra Bullock references the “Schwarzenegger Presidential Library.” This blows the noble savage’s mind, so she explains:
Lenina Huxley: Yes! Even though he was not born in this country, his popularity at the time caused the 61st Amendment which states…
John Spartan: I don’t wanna know… [incredulously] President…
A hilarious send up of a prominent public figure in the early 90s, right? After all, this was 1993, and Schwarzenegger was killing it daily and nightly. It was the same year as the (tragically underrated) Last Action Hero, with still a year to go before True Lies. T2 was only two years old, and we had a good four years to go until jamming hot butter sauce in our eyes as a salve to alleviate the horrid ice-puns and neon-light bukkake of Batman & Robin.
Yeah, funny indeed. Then, as you well know, this happened:
Funny still, but weirder then when this happened:
Now is the time where alarms were raised about the potential accuracy of the Demolotion Man Prophecy. But still there’s that problem of the Constitution. Except the just three days later, The Washington Post ran this editorial:
Let immigrants run
WE’RE NOT QUITE ready to endorse Arnold Schwarzenegger for president. But it doesn’t seem too early to endorse the idea that California’s governor-elect ought to be able to run for president if he wants. Yet unless the Constitution is changed, the country at large can never be asked to “Join Arnold.” The nation’s charter specifies that “No person except a natural born Citizen . . . shall be eligible to the Office of President” — and no electoral victory can change the fact that Mr. Schwarzenegger was born in Austria. We generally oppose tampering with the Constitution, but the natural-born citizen requirement is a relic that should be repealed. MORE
We still have 34 amendments before we get there, and only 12 years to go, so we better get moving.
For awhile too, this was happening, which is even stranger:
Speculation kept mounting that the guvernator had higher political aspirations, especially as he was seen on the campaign trail with John McCain and working elsewhere on broader, multi-state issues such as climate change. As he ends his term, there’s no need to speculate:
BURBANK, Calif. — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would love to run for president – if he could.
California’s actor-turned-governor was born in Austria and the U.S. Constitution prevents foreign-born citizens from holding the nation’s top job.
Jay Leno asked Schwarzenegger on “The Tonight Show” Thursday if he would make a White House run if the law was changed.
Schwarzenegger replied, “Without any doubt.”
OK, now we need to ask: what did the makers of Demolition Man know, and when did they know it?
While sitting through a preview screening of The Expendables on Tuesday — which, by the way, is probably exactly like what you’re picturing in your head, especially if you are picturing Sly screaming “Let go of the girl!” a dozen times while chewing on a perpetually half-smoked cigar — we were all anticipating the much ballyhooed Arnold cameo. It comes about 30 minutes into the movie, and ends with this interaction, as Arnold walks off from a meeting:
Bruce Willis: What’s his problem?
Sly: Him? He wants to be president.
Audience: [UPROARIOUS LAUGHTER AND CLAPPING]
And where was this concept first Incepted into our brains? In a Slyvester Stalone movie 17 years ago!
The Demolition Man Prophecy: The United States will change its Constitution to allow foreign-born citizens to run for president, opening the door for Aaarnold to ride in on a wave of populist support and repurposed movie puns.
Er, of course, this is happening right now, which makes it seem less likely we’ll get to the 61st amendment, especially if we take away an existing one. Also Arnold’s popularity dropped significantly over his term, and Taco Bell is … well, I guess Taco Bell is still out there (though if I had to guess which chain would survive the Franchise Wars, my money’s on Subway).
There’s another factor here, though I’m not entirely sure how it fits in: Demolition Man also featured a brief cameo by Jesse Ventura, future governor of Minnesota and general awesome figure. Ventura also appeared in Preadator, which included future Kentucky governor candidate Sonny Landham and, of course, Arnold.
So what does all this mean? I think, it’s clear: we all better learn to use the three seashells real quick. And I mean, real quick, because all that Taco Bell will have to go somewhere.