As a bruised "fast track" warily circles the House, looking for a few good votes, it's time to get bullish on the global economy. Namely, what's Gephardt and the Big Labor boys so nettled about? The good ol' U S of A didn't get to be the economic butt-kicker it undeniably is today by keeping to itself. A McDonald's on every street corner, a pair of blue jeans on every butt. And a little tangle of American silicon on everybody's desk. Take the 80s (please). Bushido was all the rage, Detroit was in the tank — the Japanese were better at everything, and the American century was over. Take Gung Ho, a culture-clash Ron Howard heart-warmer starring a young Batman (Keaton) and an older Long Duk Dong (Gedde Watanabe). And Norm. And globally, a happy ending (hey, the Nikkei's in the toilet).
In the wake of China honch Jiang Zemin's visit, people are beginning to realize that the wily/cherubic Jiang managed to go a whole week without saying anything at all. But at least no one tried to kill him — a la the deadpan Airplane spawn The Naked Gun, which I mention here simply because it's really, really funny. It's Reggie, man!
A movie not quite as funny, but still worth 90 minutes of your life, is slightly more topical: Hot Shots, Part Deux. Like a "fast track" rally, it's full of ex-presidents, and snuck in among the groaners is a classic swordfight between a near-bionic Lloyd Bridges (as the current CIC) and the returning villain de la semana . . . mustachioed mad chemist Saddam Hussein. The best laughs in life are cheap.