Thelma & Louise

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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Thelma & Louise

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:13 am

During the day today I came across two references to Thelma & Louise and the looming fiscal cliff of increased taxes and spending cuts in the U.S.
<2012 “Unfortunately, some on the other side of the aisle are advocating a disastrous ‘Thelma and Louise’ strategy that would take us over the cliff, putting millions of middle-class families, small businesses and our already weak economy in further jeopardy," he continued.”—The Washington Times (D.C.), 1 December>
<2012 (cover story) “Will Boehmer [[speaker of the House of Representatives]] reenact ‘Thelma & Louise’?: If Republicans won’t compromise on tax rates . . . Obama should simply let the nation ‘go careening over the cliff’ on Jan.1. That’s right: As some liberals—call us the ‘Thelma &Louise Caucus’—believe that letting the Bush tax cuts expire and automatic defense cuts kick in would provide great clarity to the whole budget debate.”—The Week, 7 December, page 6>
Being at a total loss as to what Thelma & Louise signify – and I think that perhaps there might be a few others in the same boat – I did a search and found it referred to a 1991 film. In reading the Wikipedia article, I was beginning to give up hope of teasing out the meaning of the phrase in all the twists and turns of the plot, but it wasn’t till the last paragraph that I saw the light:
Thelma and Louise are finally cornered by police only 100 yards from the edge of the Grand Canyon. Detective Slocumb arrives on the scene, but he is refused the chance to make one last attempt to talk the women into surrendering themselves. Rather than be captured and spend the rest of their lives in jail, Thelma proposes that they keep going. Louise asks Thelma if she is certain; Thelma says yes, and steps on the accelerator. As soon as the car starts forward, Slocumb sprints after it in an attempt to save them, but the car drives over the cliff.”—Wikipedia>
So, rather than discuss the matter and reach some kind of compromise (a la ‘Boehmer–Obama’) Thelma & Louise – life in prison is no picnic – make the decision to ride over the cliff (a la ‘fiscal’).

Well that’s a relief and that will teach me to go to the movies more often so as to keep up with my current-event references! But is it worth it. (>:)

Ken G – December 1, 2012 (Often in the dark, but not in a theater.)
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