Donovan’s brain revisited

Matt Taibbi formulates a thought for the day on campaign 2024 so far:

This race is turning into a parodic repeat of 2016, the difference being the shock waves that rippled across Washington on Election Day that year are already here, with all conceivable counter-measures already deployed. Instead of starting up a Russia investigation leaders hope will end in indictment, this time the guy is already indicted many times over, and voters have already signaled they’ll be unfazed by conviction….

Democrats meanwhile are repeating the process of cooling turnout by blasting their own protest candidate, and instead of an alert-if-off-putting Hillary Clinton on the ticket, the standard-bearer is a half-sentient, influence-peddling version of Donovan’s Brain, with no one behind him but Kamala Harris — who just got asked by a trying-to-be-friendly reporter at ABC if “race and gender” were a cause of her own historically low approval rating. Absent a big switch, our future is either Donald Trump, who by next year will be in more restraints than Hannibal Lecter on the tarmac, or this DNC dog’s breakfast. Other countries are surely already laughing. It’s getting harder to resist joining them.

Donovan’s Brain is the 1953 sci-fi/horror film that may bring the more familiar Weekend at Bernie’s to mind in this context. Misguided scientist Patrick Cory keeps the brain of malign tycoon Warren Donovan alive after Donovan dies in a plane crash near Cory’s home lab. Dr. Cory declares that science can use Donovan’s brain: “If this brain lives maybe we can discover how it thinks.” Not surprisingly, the tycoon’s brain usurps its scientist keeper.

Donovan was not an upstanding citizen. Kept alive by Dr. Cory, Donovan’s brain carries on with its criminal mentality. Donovan appears to have been involved in a fraudulent enterprise leading to major tax issues with the IRS. Dr. Cory becomes the brain’s alter ego in furthering Donovan’s schemes.

The 1953 film is based on the novel by Curt Siodmak, younger brother of the renowned film noir director Robert Siodmak (Eddie Muller’s favorite director). Lew Ayres plays Dr. Cory. Nancy Davis, the future Mrs. Ronald Reagan, co-stars as the devoted wife of Dr. Cory. She tries to rescue him from Donovan’s loathsome brain.

Taibbi omits any reference to the film’s partially happy ending. Dr. Cory escapes from the grip of Donovan’s brain when lightning strikes the Cory home and a fire destroys it. The resolution is deus ex machina. Let it be.

In real life, however, nature takes its course. I place the over/under on our Donovan’s brain capacity at 35 percent and fading.

Okay, it’s not funny. I am guilty of inappropriate laughter. Please don’t report me to Krazy-Eyez Killa Jack Smith.

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