David Carr’s profile of Robert Downey Jr. in the New York Times featured a gold medal winning anecdote about Downey showing up two hours late for a meeting with a director, barefoot and carrying a shotgun. ROBERT DOWNEY JR. FOR PRESIDENT OF CRAZY. So good. I wish Robert Downey Jr. was my dad. But it also included a small side note on Robert Downey Jr.’s politics that I have spent the past day trying to parse out, with no success.
“I have a really interesting political point of view, and it’s not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here, but you can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal. You can’t. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my proclivities and politics every since.”
Wait, what? Why can’t you? Because of the Nation of Islam?
As someone who hasn’t spent any time in either La Mirage or a penitentiary, I guess I have to defer to President Shotgun, but I do love when people present their political choices as inevitabilities beyond their control. “Obviously, if you had experienced the things that I have as a wealthy celebrity forced to suffer the legal consequences of my untreated drug addiction, you too would realize that it’s impossible to have a progressive fiscal policy geared towards helping the nation’s poor rather than just benefiting the rich, and of course the 30-foot-wall along the Mexican border wouldn’t even be up for fucking discussion. Open your eyes, hippies! I’m Iron Man!”