Bulworth In 2013
By Jim Kirwan
Warren Beatty made “Bulworth” in 1998, to warn America about what this country had become (15 years ago). The film is still available and is more than worth the hour and forty-eight minutes because of the absolutely fantastic-content it contains. No other major filmmaker has dared to produce, much less chosen to put these topics before the public.
“Beatty has been nominated for 15 Academy Awards, and has won the Best Director Award and its highest honor, the Irving G. Thalberg Award. He has been nominated for 16 Golden Globe Awards and won six, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which he received in 2007. Only Beatty and Orson Welles have been nominated for producer, director, writer and actor in the same film. Welles did it once (for Citizen Kane), and Beatty did it twice (for Heaven Can Wait and Reds).” (1)
Bulworth was not one of the pictures for which Beatty was so honored: To that end here are some transcriptions from the film that illustrate some of what Warren Beatty said to the American Audience who chose NOT to change anything that was true in 1998—but ‘the public' has made everything in the script then, 100,000 times worse, over the last fifteen years that have elapsed—since “Bulworth” was made.
Warren Beatty made full use of his artistic abilities over the length of his career, and in this film he did not use synonyms for those politicians at the heart of this1998 production It’s time to change our attitude toward the criminals that have run this country right into the ground!
For most Americans, films are just movies that can never have anything real to say to them. However to those of us that spend endless hours along with already having lived through too much of this nightmare sometimes films can be the only way to say what needs to be said. I found this film to be special in that regard.
It’s been 15 years since the film was made
And American’s have never been in so much danger
As we are this minute.
A campaign stop in
South-Central L.A., Grace Church & the African American Community
The film is about a disillusioned Senator who tires of the lies and begins
to tell it all like it is and that has NEVER publicly happened anywhere
in this country; because too many are too satisfied with the ways things
work, and they always have been…
Question: ‘The riots and unrest began about four years ago and you promised us federal funding to rebuild our communities what happened?
Bulworth: “What happened was that we all knew that was going to be big-news for awhile so we all came down here, Bush, Clinton, Wilson all of us. We got our pictures taken, told you what you wanted to hear and we pretty-much forgot about it.
Q: “We can’t get help down here, we can’t get health insurance, fire insurance, and now you come out with Senate Bill 2720?
B: “Well because you haven’t really contributed to my campaign have you? Have you any idea how much these Insurance Companies come up with? They pretty much depend on me to come up with a bill like that and bottle it up in my committee during an election. In that way we can kill-it when you’re not looking.
Q: We understand that the Democratic Party doesn’t care about the African-American community…
B: “Isn’t that obvious? Hey you got half your kids out-of-work and the other half in jail do you see any Democrat doing anything about it? Certainly not me! So what are you gonna do vote Republican? C’mon. C’mon you’re not going to vote Republican…
You need to call a spade a spade. I mean you can have a billion man march; if you don’t put down a malt-liquor and chicken wings and get behind somebody besides a running-back who stabs his wife you’re never going to get rid of somebody like me!”
After that ‘the Senator’ moves on to the home of a prominent Hollywood producer, where this exchange takes place…
Q: “‘Senator do you think those of us in the entertainment business need government help in determining limits on sex and violence, in today’s films and television programs?
Bulworth: “You know the funny thing is no matter how lousy most of your stuff is. You make violent films, and you make dirty films and just family films, and you know most of em are just aren’t very good are they? Funny that so many smart-people could work so hard on them and spent so much money on em and I mean what do you think it is? It must be the money huh. It must be the money it turns everything to crap you know. Jesus Christ how much money do you guys really need?...
Q…”Just between us Senator do you think it’s advisable to schedule campaign stops with industry-leaders when you have such low opinion of their product?”
B) My guys are not stupid; they always put the big Jews on my schedule! There’s mostly Jews here right about three out of four anyway?”
I’m sure America put something bad about Farrakhan and the foreign economy in there somewhere for you?
The Bulworth campaign moves to a Beverly Hills Hotel and the fat cat democrats are in glittering-array to listen to their disillusioned candidate. Bulworth breaks into rhyming phrases by way of his word to the assembled group.
What’ll we do? It’s up to you, what’ll we do
Well it’s not that funny, you contribute all my money
You make your contribution and you get your solution
As long as you can pay - I’m gonna do it all your way
Yes money talks and the people walk!
Big Money! Big Money, Big Money, Big Money,
One man one vote, now is that really real?
The name of our game is ‘Let’s make a deal’
The people got their problems, the haves and have-nots
But the ones that make me listen pay for thirty-second spots!
You don’t think of America, at this table over here.
Wells-Fargo and Citibank you’re really very dear!
Loans billions to Mexico and never have to fear
Because Taxpayers - taxpayers, take in the rear!
Yeah over here we got our friends for Oil
They don’t give a shit how much wilderness they spoil
They tell us they’ll be careful, but we know that it’s a lie.
As long as we keep driving cars they’ll just let the planet die. Exxon, Mobil the Saudi’s in Kuwait,
If we took out the Middle-East the African’s can wait.
The Arabs got the oil, we buy everything they sell.
But if the brothers raise the price we’ll blow ‘em all to hell.
Now let me hear you say it Saddam! - Hussein!
Saddam! - Hussein!
Everybody knows the fix is in, but nobody knows
Just how they’re gonna pay!
Health-care, managed-care, HMO’s - ain’t gonna work - not dis, not dose - cause there’s a Satan sittin in everyone of these ~ over here! Insurance Companies yeah!
You can call it single-payer or Canadian West,
socialized medicine or whatever saves the day!
Come on now let me hear that dirty word!
Now the women that the world has mistreated and abused,
When we try to fix it, we tend to get confused.
We got respectable, the system, we’ll tell you that for style,
But there’s one thing in politics that always makes me smile.
Like the pussy, the pussy,
I like it really fine!
Like when you be a Senator you get it all the time.
The young ones, the old ones we really like em all!
And when you be in Washington you hardly have to call.
The women love that power and you don’t pull that rug out,
No matter what they say or do,
They get that nappy dug-out.
The dug-out the dug-out… a part of my campaign? ~
Now that just sounds insane!”
Bulworth with a 28 year old black woman, Nina - this exchange:
B: Do you know who Huey Newton was? …Why do think there are no more black leaders?
Nina: Some people think it’s because they all got killed - but I think it has more to do with the decimation of the manufacturing base in the urban centers.
Senator, an optimistic energized population throws up optimistic energized leaders and when you shift manufacturing to the Sunbelt and the third world you just destroy the blue collar core of the black activist population. Some people would say the problem is purely cultural, but the power of the media that’s continually controlled by fewer and fewer people, add to that the monopoly of the media and a consumer culture that’s based on self-gratification and you’re not likely to have a population that wants leadership that calls for self-sacrifice. But the fact is I’m just a materialist at heart.
Look back at the economic base: High-domestic employment means jobs for the African-Americans. World War Two meant lots of jobs for black folks that’s what energized the community for the Civil Rights Movement in the 50’s and the 60’s and energized hopeful community that not only produced leaders but more importantly it will produce leaders that respond too. Now what do you think Senator?
…My mother was a Panther; Huey Newton fed kids on my block!
There is this interchange between Bulworth
And the NETWORK, the panelists & the Interviewers
Which applies to every political-debate that was ever held anywhere in the US since television was created!
Moderator: “Senator Bulworth the news today requires us to ask you about this sudden change in your campaign style. Could you explain it?
Bulworth: Why are you here? Let’s admit it - you’re here because you’re makin a bundle right?
Moderator: I beg your pardon!
B: Oh, you mean you’re not here because you’re makin a bundle of money- fine we’ve got three pretty rich guys here, getting paid by some really rich guys to ask a lot of other rich guys questions about their campaign. But our campaigns are financed by the same guys that pay you guys their money so that what are we talkin about? I could tell you stories about these guys that would pin your ears back. Stories about me, I don’t know about Hugh do you have that a - well we’ve got a club. Republicans, Democrats what’s the difference your guys, my guys, us guys: It’s a club so just have a drink! You? No?...
Reporter …We’re here to ask about the news of ~
B: What are you talkin about the NEWS? Come on - the guys you and I get our money from they’re not interested in the News. They want you to think the corporations are more efficient than government. You want to know why the Health-Care Business is the most profitable business in the United States? Cause the Insurance Companies take twenty-four cents out of every dollar that’s spent. But it takes the government to do the same thing with Medicare only three cents out of every dollar. Now what’s all this crap they hand you about business being worth more than... (Then the lights go out on the set, pulled by the network)
In the final live-televised confrontation Bulworth brings it all together for those in the audience, dressed in gang-clothes and that it’s amazing…
“Moderator: Welcome back in our Los Angeles studio we have incumbent Democratic Senator J. Bulworth of California. Senator why this new campaign style? Why this new manner of dress and speech? Your ethnic manner of speech. Your clothes. The use of obscenity.”
Bulworth: Obscenity? The rich is gettin richer, and richer and richer while the middle class is gettin more-poor. Just makin billions and billions and billions and billions of buck well my friend if you weren’t already rich at the start that situation sucks cause the richest mother fucker in five of us is gettin 90 fuckin eight percent of it. And every other mother fucker in the world is left to wonder where the fuck we went with it.
Obscenity? I’m a senator! I’ve got to raise $10,000 a day, every day I’m in Washington. I ain’t gettin it in South Central. I’m getting it in Beverly Hills. So I’m voting in the Senate the way they want me to and I’m sendin ‘em my bills but we got babies in South Central dyin as young as they do in Peru. We got schools that are nightmares. We got a congress that ain’t got a clue. We got kids with sub-machine guns, we got militias throwin bombs. We got Bill just gettin all weepy; we got Newt blamein Teen-age moms. We got factories chosen down—where the hell did all the good jobs go!
Well I’ll tell you where they went. My contributors make more profits makin - hiring kids in Mexico. Oh a little brother can work in fast-food if he can’t invent computer games, but what we used to call America that’s goin’ down the drain! How’s a young man going to meet his financial responsibilities workin in mother-fckin Burger King? HE AIN’T! And please don’t even start with that school shit, they ain’t no education goin on up in that mother fcker. Obscenity! We got millions of brothers in prison, I mean the walls are really rockin, but you’d could bet your ass they’d all be out if they could pay for Johnny Cochran. The Constitution is supposed to give em an equal chance well that ain’t gonna happen for sure. Ain’t it time to take a little from the rich mother-fckers and just give a little to the poor? I mean
those boys over there on the monitor they want a government smaller and weak. But they’d be speaking for the richest twenty-percent when they pretend’n-they-defended the weak. Ah shit, fuck, cocksucker, that’s the real obscenity—black folks livin with every day! Is tryin to believe a mother fckin word Democrats and Republicans say!
OBSCENTITY! I’m J. Billington Bulworth and I’ve come to say the Democratic Parties got some shit to pay: it’s gonna pay it in the GHET-TO is gonna pay it in the …
Moderator: Senator are you saying the Democratic Party doesn’t care about the African-American dream?
Bulworth: Isn’t it obvious? Look a lot of people think there’s no black leaders today because they all got killed, but I happen to think it’s because of decimation in the manufacturing base in the urban-centers. Don’t you think so?
The guy in the booth talking to the moderator: “he’s had his time - flush him!”
…You know that guy in the booth, that’s talkin to you on that tiny little ear-phone. He’s afraid the guys at network gonna tell him he’s through! If he let’s a guy keep talkin like I’m talkin to you. Cause the corporations got the networks and they get to say who gets to talk about the country and who’s crazy today. I would cut to a commercial if you still want this job: because you may not be back tomorrow with this corporate mob!
The guy in the booth: “FLUSH HIM”
Bulworth: Cut to the Commercial, cut to the commercial, cut to the Okay I’ve got a simple question that I’d like to ask. If this network pays you for performing your task how come they’ve got the airwaves, they’re the people’s aren’t they? Wouldn’t they be worth 70 billion to the public today—if some money-grubbing congress didn’t give em away for big campaign money? It’s hopeless you see if you runnin for office without no TV.
If you don’t get big money you get a defeat. Corporations and broadcasters make you dead meat. You’ve been taught in this country there’s speech that is free, but free do not get you no spots on TV. If you want to have Senators not on the take; then give them FREE-AIRTIME they won’t have to fake!
Telecommunications is the name of the beast, that’s eatin up the world from the West to the EAST. The movies, the tabloids, TV, and magazines they tell us what to do and all our hopes and dreams. All this information makes America fat: But if the company’s out of the county, then how American is that. But we’ve got Americans with families that can’t even find meals: Ask a brother who’s been downsized if he’s getting any deals: Or a white boy bustin ass till they put him in his grave, he ain’t gotta be a black boy to be living like a slave. Rich people have always stayed on top by dividing white people from colored people. But white people got more in common with colored people than they do with rich people. We just gotta eliminate ‘em….
The transcript without the film is not really that effective, rent it or get it through Netflix, but watch it, because this is one experience you won’t soon forget…
1) Warren Beatty Wikipedia
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