“The president is showing no signs of being in control of the intelligence community; either it controls him, or they simply are in sync, and in full agreement,” says John Cusack. Photo: Cliff / CC BY SA 2.0 / cropped and colour edited
The American actor, producer, and screenwriter, answered questions on the popular social media site, Reddit, Monday evening. He also answered redditors less than a year ago. Here’s what John Cusack had to say in round two.
The full thread from John Cusack’s Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread is here, but if you just want the top 10 questions he answered and his responses, have a look below.
QUESTION #1 from Push-it-real-good: If you were to stand outside my bedroom window holding up a boom box, what song would you play for me?
QUESTION #3 from ThisICannotForgive: You were a big supporter of Obama before he was elected, and I believe even attended his inauguration. Considering how disappointing he has been on so many levels (prosecution of whistleblowers, “most transparent administration ever” etc), do you think the political process in this country is irreparably broken? Do you think a President has the power to keep the promises that Obama made pre-election?
John Cusack: Our constitutional system, with its checks and balances and protection of rights, has been under attack since 9/11… The Fourth Amendment is near death; and President Obama’s remedies in his speech, are no better than band-aids and aspirin, are in reality even less than that. His speeches seem to be designed and intended only to improve the public’s mood about the way things are and will remain, to restore confidence in a system that does not deserve trust.
The president is showing no signs of being in control of the intelligence community; either it controls him, or they simply are in sync, and in full agreement– He ended up rejecting even the recommendations of his own hand-picked panels. He gives lip service to the problems in his speeches but we know by now the vast difference between his rhetoric and policy..
QUESTION #4 from real-eyes: What exactly do you not like about Better Off Dead? It’s gotten better with age as a send-up of eighties movie tropes, and is entertaining from beginning to end as far as I can tell.
John Cusack: It’s kind of been blown way out of proportion… I feel bad people think I hate it, I don’t.. I’m glad people are so fond of it. I gave a interview where someone sort of misquoted me…
QUESTION #5 from ravici: First, Grosse Point Blank. One of my “must see” movies – so many threads through the movie… and hilarious. Second, what do you see as the biggest change coming to Hollywood and consumer viewing? Are you ready for those changes?
John Cusack: Yes, I kind of love them. The ability to directly tell people who want to see your stuff that didn’t exist before. The film business is not what it was…big tent pole cartoons in place of adult film studios following Madison Ave. in creating a youth fetish vibe where everything has to be about 20 year olds. TV’s taking that space film used to, and I love the idea of giving a film directly to the audience. I’m going to do that soon with a small film I made called Dictablanda.
I’m all for change. And think we will always need stories and myths..
QUESTION #6 from grimskrotum: High Fidelity has always been my favorite movie of all time, can you tell us a little bit about your experiences off camera with Jack Black and Tim Robbins? That movie sounded so fun to make!
John Cusack: Old friends.. Jack I didn’t know as well as Tim… but we were all banging around LA together.. great guys.
QUESTION #7 from ChumdogMillionaire: I know previously you spoke out about your feelings towards the war in Iraq, and the Bush administration. It’s wonderful how open you are about your political views. What are you feelings about how much progress has been made, and the steps being taken by today’s government to end it?
John Cusack: Complicated …in many ways we have not righted the wrongs on the power grab made after the tragedy of 9/11…Obama took an oath to restore and defend the Constitution that was not written in a way the nation security state and the neocons and Dick Cheney would openly prefer. He’s failed miserably in that regard. We don’t live in the country our fathers did..
The Bill of Rights is not written for the convenience or aspirations of presidents or their subordinates. It is meant to help us defend our freedoms from them: To prevent them from “doing their job” (even if they see that as “protecting us”) or from serving their own interests (consciously or not) in ways that impinge on our core freedoms.
As far as talking to Ed, our board has on it the two reporters who broke his stories, Laura and Glenn..
QUESTION #9 from wogsy: How are your kickboxing skills going? You still train martial arts?
And what was it like training with the amazing Benny “The Jet” Urquidez? Im sure you have seen that fight scene with him and Jackie Chan in Wheels on Meals?
John Cusack: Benny is grandmaster… the best of the best an honor to be with him always. That fight scene is amazing.
QUESTION #10 from garshultz: What kinds of changes would you like to see made to US law to protect journalists?
John Cusack: First thing we need to do is repeal the Espionage Act. It’s a law intended for spies being used against journalists’ sources. And as my friend Dan Ellsberg says (he was the first source prosecuted under the Act), it’s blatantly unconstitutional. Here’s something we wrote explaining why the law is inherently unfair.
Another thing we need to do is guarantee the rights of journalists crossing the border. Right now, my two fellow board members, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, both US citizens, don’t think it’s safe for them to return to the US because they could be detained or arrested crossing the border. This is unacceptable, just as it’s unacceptable for all the Muslim Americans that are unjustifiably detained every year. There’s a great HuffPost piece on this, by one of their journalists who is regularly stopped for the crime of being Muslim.
Here’s something I wrote for the Guardian about how Eric Holder needs to guarantee these journalists safe passage back to the US.