I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Val Kilmer for mayor?
“Get out the crackers, baby, cause it’s time for the cheese!,” they crow as they execute backflips off the couch.
Yes, my two Mustang-obsessed boys love “Knight Rider,” and I must say it has been quite instructive for me in describing to them exactly who Val Kilmer is.
Because we watch the news together and they, like most New Mexicans, have been hearing an awful lot about Kilmer and how — maybe — he wants to be our next governor.
“Well, he’s an actor,” I explain. “He was in Batman (no, not that one) and, um….you know, Top Gun, with all the jet fighters. And he’s the voice of the talking car in Knight Rider.”
That’s all I have to say to get them to stop boinging around.
It’s a fact… Val Kilmer is the (uncredited) voice of KITT, a.k.a. the Knight Industries Two Thousand, a super-shiny Ford Shelby GT 500 KR Mustang that’s controlled by an artificially-intelligent computer. KITT the super-smart car solves crimes with the help of humans.
The NBC show is a revival — David Hasselhoff played KITT’s driver in the 1982 television version on the same network.
Even at ages 11 and 9, my boys know “Knight Rider” is profoundly cheesy.
So could the rest of us stop gawking like fools whenever Val Kilmer, internationally-known actor, decides he might want to splash around in the pool of New Mexico politics?
So Kilmer’s an actor…and years ago he was in some pretty good stuff. But he also apparently considers his mastery of acting as kind of a substitute for actual experiences.
Listen to what Kilmer told Esquire Magazine’s Chuck Klosterman in 2005.
Klosterman: “You understand how it feels to shoot someone as much as a person who has actually committed a murder?”
Kilmer: “I understand it more. It’s an actor’s job. A guy who’s lived through the horror of Vietnam has not spent his life preparing his mind for it. He’s some punk. Most guys were borderline criminal or poor, and that’s why they got sent to Vietnam. It was all the poor, wretched kids who got beat up by their dads, guys who didn’t get on the football team, couldn’t finagle a scholarship. They didn’t have the emotional equipment to handle that experience. But this is what an actor trains to do. I can more effectively represent that kid in Vietnam than a guy who was there.”
That comment drew outrage from veterans when it was published and again, now that the press is slavishly reporting Kilmer’s every gubernatorial move. Read the whole Esquire story here and check out the recent angry reaction from vets. Read through the whole thread and click on the links to see a personal statement Kilmer recently gave the site denying the quote and a recent statement sent to the site from Esquire Magazine, re-confirming the quote’s accuracy.
Kilmer has lived in New Mexico for more than 20 years and has been involved in some good works in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and in the San Miguel County village of Pecos, where he has a sprawling ranch. That’s good, right?
Well, Kilmer got into a little trouble with his fellow New Mexicans back in 2003, when he told Rolling Stone Magazine that “80 percent of the people in my county are drunks.” That comment, too, has been getting renewed bad press.
And for all his talk, there is no record of Kilmer ever actually voting in New Mexico. That didn’t look good for Caroline Kennedy when she was briefly considered as a New York Senate appointee and it doesn’t look good for anyone who purports to be committed to public service and civic engagement.
We’ve got a lot of problems here in New Mexico, and I really hate to see that legislators and journalists and everyone else stop doing the work that needs to be done whenever Kilmer decides to sidle up to New Mexico legislators in the Roundhouse or in Washington D.C.
His peek-a-boo act with journalists and legislators regarding the very serious governor’s race is distracting and annoying and it makes me wonder: Are we in little old New Mexico really so dazzled by celebrity that we’re going to be bamboozled by this guy?
Kilmer may be a well-known actor, but in politics, he’s a dilletante, a dabbler.
He’s said he has a lot of time on his hands, so I guess he’s looking for something to do.
Maybe I’d think better of him if he started small and worked up.
Couldn’t he just run for mayor of Pecos?