Schwarzenegger signs Auschwitz’s guestbook with a catchphrase from his movies
The celebrated actor John Lithgow famously said that there are distinct phases in the life of a film superstar from the perspective of movie bosses.
The first is – Who is John Lithgow?
The second is – Get me, John Lithgow, now.
The third is – Get me a John Lithgow type
The fourth is – Get me a younger John Lithgow
The final stage is – Who is John Lithgow?
Few stars have been able to survive the test of time.
Harrison Ford whose next Indiana Jones film is eagerly awaited, Sylvester Stallone who wrote, directed, and starred in the blockbuster Expendables franchise in his mid-60s, and Tom Cruise who starred in the mega-hit Top Gun Maverick, are some of the few long-haul names that still remain relevant.
Clint Eastwood falls in this category, too, not only because of his on-screen stardom but for his directorial abilities. Eastwood at the age of 88, starred in and directed The Mule which grossed $173.6 million, worldwide, including $103.8 million in the United States and Canada alone.
So what do faded stars do?
Some graduate to playing character parts in movies, others move to T.V. They quite often scale new heights of success because they are unencumbered by the pressure of stardom or the restrictions of playing the leading parts.
What do the rest do?
They often resort to desperate tactics to remain relevant.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is one such former movie star who fits this ignominious category.
It has been ages since his name alone has caused the box office cash registers to ring.
Arnold's last box office hit was the third installment of the Terminator franchise called Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), that movie made more than $400 million worldwide. The only hit before Terminator 3, was True Lies which made $365 million worldwide and was released almost a decade earlier in 1994.
In recent times, his attempt to revive his stardom with rehashes of the Terminator films has failed. The rest of his films don’t find a wide theatrical release, they often are released digitally.
So how does Arnold attempt to keep himself relevant?
Through his once-famous one liners.
No matter what the occasion, he always manages to mouth his once-famous one-liners.
He does it on the late-night 'comedy' shows, yelling ‘I’ll be back' or ‘Get to the chopper’ or using the word ‘terminate’ without reason.
There are laughs, from people who are probably laughing at him and his desperation.
The one-liners enabled him a political career.
Mouthing one-liners is all he did during his campaigns for governor and his public addresses as governor. Some people conflated it with his ability to govern. Some experts say, Arnold's misgovernance began the decline of California.
Recently, Schwarzenegger visited the camp with the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, which recently awarded him with the inaugural Award for ‘Fighting Hatred.’
On Wednesday, September 28, Schwarzenegger visited the concentration camp in Poland, with the museum’s official Twitter account sharing his guestbook inscription on Twitter.
He had opted to write “I’ll be back,” his famous catchphrase from Terminator movies.
The Auschwitz memorial officials clarified that Arnold was merely promising to return for another and more in-depth visit.
This visit was planned to be relatively short. The inscription was meant to be a promise to return for another and more indepth visit.— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) September 28, 2022
Schwarzenegger could have penned a line pledging a commitment to fight anti-Semitism. He is, after all, the son of an actual Nazi.
If he wanted to keep it terse, he could have written ‘Never Again,’ a phrase or slogan which is associated with the Holocaust and other genocides.
But he just couldn’t help it.
The fading star was desperate to regain some luster, and it was in very poor taste to do it at the expense of Holocaust survivors.
He had to make it about himself.
Arnold even chose to exploit the Capitol protests that went overboard in January 2021.
Schwarzenegger released a video which compared those protests to Kristallnacht, the night in November 1938 when Nazi thugs attacked Jewish Germans and their property, a harbinger of horrors to come.
Schwarzenegger pushed the insurrection narrative that President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election with a coup.
He also disgracefully used the occasion to promote himself via his older movies.
He compared American democracy to a weapon he wielded onscreen in the loincloth of Conan the Barbarian nearly 40 years ago, saying: “Our democracy is like the steel of this sword. The more it is tempered, the stronger it becomes.”
Schwarzenegger even picked up a sword that he wielded in the Conan movies and compared it the democracy in America.
“The more you pound it with a hammer and then heat it in the fire, and then thrust it into the cold water and then pound it again … the more often you do that, the stronger it becomes.”
Schwarzenegger hapreviously clashed with Trump during his presidency.
When Schwarzenegger took over from Trump to host The Apprentice, it turned out to be a ratings disaster, consequently, it was canceled in one season. Like most liberals, Arnold didn’t take the blame for his failure, he conveniently blamed Trump.
Despite his claims that he was doing it in defense of democracy in America, he was doing it because of his petty personal animosity toward President Trump and his urge for self-publicity.
If Arnold really cares for American democracy he would have raised his voice against Biden, who is using the FBI to persecute his political adversaries and even set up a disinformation board to sit in judgment of the utterances of citizens.
In addition to desperate measures, Arnold has also resorted to the preposterous for attention.
Despite his ‘concern’ for the environment and climate change, a research found Schwarzenegger to be one of the most carbon-emitting celebrities. He drives the fuel-guzzling Bugatti Veyron Vitesse, military-grade Hummer H1 and flies in a Gulfstream III jet.
He obviously does it to promote himself and almost always finds a way to insert his one-liners.
He is hoping to maintain relevance by siding with the liberal establishment.
Ironically the same liberal establishment called him a Nazi sympathizer when he ran for governor in 2004, not because he's the son of an actual Nazi, but because he ran as a Republican.
Today, he is their useful idiot. He craves relevance, and they want a way to hurt Trump.
Arnold has become an unintentional parody of film star. In a democracy every citizen is free to conduct themselves as they please as long as laws are not violated.
However it is nothing short of repugnant and morally reprehensible when he exploits genocides and spins spurious narratives for his personal self-aggrandizement.
Image: Twitter screen shot