Saturday, September 13, 2008


(Editor’s Note - Monday I will post my interview with three COB Public Works whistle blowers)

"Burn After Reading" is a typical Coen brothers film. In the beginning their films were edgy because they were new and different. Today they are the same old same old. Compounding the trite nature of the film is Brad Pitt at 44 playing the ditzy kid. I think he has passed the age of being the dizty kid. The jokes are few and far in between.

The only redeeming nature of the film is in its social satire which ridicules the state of American politics and intellect. Basically it is a poor attempt at a comedy of errors carried out by an incompetent legal secretary, a ditzy gym trainer, a private investigator, spies, secret service, and US marshals.

The legal secretary loses at the gym a disk with ramblings from a former intelligence analyst who quit his job rather than take a demotion. The ramblings are the beginning of his memoirs. His wife downloads on the same disk family financial information for use in the divorce. Brad Pitt comes to possess the disk and believes it to be top secret information. The film goes from there. Coen basically depicts everyone as being incompetent, except the service processor.

I will say the very small audience seemed to enjoy the film. My review is ehhhhh.

For me the most interesting part of the film was its correlation to COB and BISD politics.

At the beginning of the week we heard COB Attorney Jim Goza explain the law. It will violate the law if we follow the law. This was his rationale for not complying with the city’s legal requirement to allow for public comment.

I then have Otis Powers telling my readers that BISD has a rule which prohibits him from following-up with Hector Gonzales to see if Hector Gonzales addressed a problem. At the same time he is insisting there is such a rule, he is forwarding to me his evidence he is in fact following up with Hector Gonzales.

Then Hector Gonzales creates the e-mail wherein he is telling Otis Powers that he knows Dr. Montoya and the staff at Olivera have addressed the problem and is asking for a full report to verify same. Indifferent to and aware of the reality the vice principal at Oliviera had just told the father he knows nothing about getting the child tested for ADD or ADHD, as requested by the father, Hector Gonzales insists the matter has been addressed.

It has come to the point I feel like I am living in the Twilight Zone. Either Dr. Montoya point blank lied to Hector Gonzales, or Hector Gonzales lied to Otis Powers. According to Otis Powers he is powerless to call for an investigation as to whether or not Hector Gonzales lied to him, or is simply covering for his incompetent staff.

Otis Powers has a good heart, and good intent - but he lacks the intellect to understand the games and politics related to being a bureaucrat. Hector Gonzales gets over on him because Otis simply does not possess the requisite intellect to be a BISD Board Member. This is the heart of the film "Burn After Reading"

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