You don’t have to be a Sinatra fan to appreciate the parallels between our current state of political affairs and The Manchurian Candidate—Richard Condon‘s 1959 novel which was made into a Hollywood thriller in 1962, directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury and James Gregory.
In the critically acclaimed film, Gregory plays Senator John Yerkes Iselin, a yammering loud-mouth of a political sideshow who somehow evolves into a viable contender for the Presidency. SPOILER ALERT: it turns out Iselin is being fed information by the Russians.
You see where we’re going with this?
Back in 2014, BBC News Magazine ran an article by Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg, analyzing the circus into which Russian politics had devolved. In it, Rosenberg cites Frank Sinatra’s rendition of Cole Porter‘s lyrical tap dance, “Anything Goes,” saying :
“In the words of Mr Sinatra:
‘The world has gone mad today.
And good is bad today.
And black is white today.
And day is night today.'”
Alas, what was once applicable to the Russians now seems far too relevant in our own political theatre.