Be that as it may, we are forced to
remain here dodging thunderstorms in this rainiest of Augusts searching
for something to write about while famous reporters like Bob Costas and
Dave Barry and Jim Boeheim get to travel to the Great Wall of China and
Tiananmen Square. It hardly seems fair, but life rarely is.
Blond bombshells: Aaron Eckhart and Mayor Matt Driscoll may have more in common than
chiseled chins. (Driscoll above: MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO, Eckhart below: WARNER BROS IMAGE)
Sometimes in summer you have to dig for
the news, and sometimes it’s staring you right in the face. Like the
shocking revelation that John “Pretty Boy” Edwards had a girlfriend.
Now how did that one slip by us? A politician had a girlfriend. This
politician was on People magazine’s short list of the Sexiest Men Alive. Eliot Spitzer had a girlfriend and he couldn’t make the cover of Popular Mechanics.
Of course Edwards had a girlfriend. This one has been putting their
flirtations on his Web site for two years! Only in summer could this
pass for news. What’s next? Bail-jumping missionary kidnappers going to
South Korea to clone pit bulls?
With the news starting to seem like a
bad movie, I decided to go see a real movie. Like nearly everyone else
in America, I took my family to the Batman movie, The Dark Knight.
And there it was, right in front of me, on the big screen, waiting to
be discovered. As soon as Aaron Eckhart appeared I knew he reminded me
of someone. Eckhart plays Harvey Dent, the goody-two-shoes district
attorney who is crusading against the mob and fighting to take back the
city streets for the good people of Gotham.
Dent manages to steal Bruce Wayne’s hot
girlfriend, which doesn’t surprise anyone who’s paying attention, since
Christian Bale (who plays Wayne and Batman) has such an annoying voice
that you can’t imagine Maggie Gyllenhaal sticking with him, even if he
does promise to give up the caped crusader gig. Then Dent comes under
pressure to find and apprehend Batman, who really needs a spin doctor
and is taking a pounding in the press for crimes committed by the
Joker. The Joker’s performance by Heath Ledger really is worthy of a
posthumous Academy Award, but don’t let it distract you from what
should be the central question for Syracusans: Who is that guy playing
Everyone in Gotham is wondering who this Batman guy really is, but anyone from Syracuse watching The Dark Knight
is just looking over at Dent and asking, “Who does this guy remind me
of?” And then it dawned on me. Harvey Dent is really Matt Driscoll. The
avenging DA of Gotham is a dead ringer for the second-term mayor of the
Emerald City (nee Salt City). How could I have been so blind?
That thick blond hair, that noble face,
that erect posture, that knack for knowing just where the camera lies:
It can’t be a coincidence. The mayor may actually be Harvey Dent. Think
about it. Do we really know what Matt does at night? Has anyone looked
into the crime statistics since Driscoll became mayor?
We may have to face the fact that our
mayor is two-timing us. Extensive research by our legal department
would indicate that there is nothing to prevent him from being a movie
star, or the fictitious district attorney of a cinematic metropolis
while holding the corner office at City Hall. As long as it’s not a
tavern, it appears to be kosher. And remember, this is Syracuse; we
know a thing or two about mayors running businesses on the side.
Knowing that he has only a year left in
his current job, who can blame the mayor for looking for a position
that isn’t term-limited? The Batman franchise does seem to have legs;
over the years it has been able to reinvent itself more times than the
design team at Destiny USA.
I just wish he would come out and fess
up. This Batman connection would be a great selling point for Syracuse.
I know that the economic development team is working hard peddling the
region as greener than Kermit the Frog, marketing Syracuse as the place
to be for environmentally friendly industries. And the 40 Below crowd
is working its heart out to convince people who grew up here to move
back home, talking about short commuting times and low housing prices.
That’s all well and good, but there’s
only so much sex appeal in indoor air quality. There are a limited
number of young professionals whose passion is to live in a place
dedicated to extracting electricity from willow trees. And don’t get me
wrong, I’ll be the first one to plug my Chevy Volt into a willow tree,
but we can’t let this moment pass us by.
Imagine the appeal of a city governed by
a real-life movie star. Think of the ad campaign: “Come to Syracuse, a
town so hot our mayor stole Batman’s girlfriend.” Come on, Matt, out of
the closet. Your hometown needs you. It’s time to turn on the Bat