Monday, December 21, 2009

Is "Harold and Kumar escape from Guantanamo Bay" a libertarian movie?

Sometimes you find libertarian ideas in the strangest places. Last night I decided to watch Harold and Kumar escape from Guantanamo Bay. It is a really silly movie with many plot holes and a lot of bathroom humor. It is not for everyone, but if you like these kinds of really stupid movies (think movies like American Pie, Dude where's my car, Pineapple Express) check this one out for the not so subtle libertarian themes laced throughout.

The best scene to me was when Harold and Kumar were smoking pot with George W. Bush and say to GW “you get high and then put other people who smoke weed in jail? That is so hypocritical”. Then the GW impersonator says something stupid as a response, then he says he can't legalize pot because it would piss his dad off. Later GW says “you don't have to believe in your government to be a good American, you just have to believe in your country”. I agree with the first part of that statement, but I am not sure how to define the country without mixing it up with the government. Is a country just the plot of land we live on? I do think that the best Americans do not believe in the government, some might believe that there should be some sort of government, but I don't think any good American could believe that the government as a whole and as it currently stands is something to support.

There are other libertarian themes in the movie from the stupid and racist homeland security chief who sees Harold and Kumar as a way for him to make his mark. To Kumar's ex-girlfriends fiance who lands a high level position in the government because of his fathers pull. To the selective enforcement of laws based on who you are (Neil Patrick Harris is ushered through a checkpoint, Kumar is picked out of a line for further inspection at the airport, etc.).

I am not saying everyone should run out and see this move, but rather if you like stoner/stupid humor movies, this is one that gets a little deeper into the politics of marijuana and the hypocritical nature of politicians and the government in general.

Here is the clip of Harold and Kumar getting high with GW, even if you don't see the whole movie this scene is pretty funny in a knowing sort of way:

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