There are two things that divide this country like no other: the meaning of freedom and whether or not Oprah is gay. And since I like to kill birds with the least amount of effort possible, I made a quirky little movie and called it Beloved.

Beloved is not your run of the mill exploration of why slavery was bad. No sir. This one has a ghost, played with side-splitting goofyness by our future first lady, Condoleezza Rice. Drooling, talking like a dropped baby, random screaming, it’s all there. This is a tough movie, and Beloved’s character had to be hilarious if I expected people to actually sit through it. Thankfully, this is the funniest cinematic ghost since I made Ghost Dad. She’s like a slow motion Hunter S. Thompson.

The rest of the story’s not as hilarious. Oprah plays a woman named Seth who escapes from Slavery with her four children. When Slavery comes looking for her, she decides she’d rather see her little ones dead by her hand than someone else’s. She manages to kill one baby before someone stops her. Slavery is so disgusted by this act that he decides to go be Slavery in some other country where people aren’t such crazy-heads. The baby is not as forgiving however, and she haunts Seth’s family from that moment on.  Everyone else treats Seth like shit for killing one of her own children, but I say she bought three lives for the price of one. You don’t have to be Sam Walton to recognize that as a hell of a deal.

For eighteen years, the ghost carries on with regular poltergeist behavior: rattling the cupboards, moaning, and occasionally knocking eyeballs out of the dog’s head. But none of that works anymore once Paul D. shows up. Paul D. was a slave with Seth, so he’s thinking he can add a miserable shared future to their miserable shared past. The baby ghost throws a table at him, but Paul D. is related to Chuck D. so he has what it takes to throw it right back (a nation of millions). This scares the ghost, who runs away long enough to become a half-cooked human made primarily out of ladybugs, butterflies, and swampmud.

Two of Seth’s three remaining children have already run away from her murderous love before the film begins. That leaves only Paul D, Seth, and her daughter Denver to deal with this ghost baby in a grown up body. When I wrote the book, I specifically made Denver fat and ugly. But this is a film, so she’s played by a hot girl willing to get naked at her audition.

There’s stuff going on in this movie that even I don’t understand. It became clear early on that I was making a picture that would appeal to feminists, a group I know nothing about. I had to guess at what they like to see in films. When Beloved first appears and Seth suddenly has to pee for five minutes? Shot in the dark. When Beloved gets Paul D. out of the picture by raping him? That was a guess, too. Both my barista and librarian called me deep and insightful, so I must have nailed it.

Now that Seth has Beloved back, she works hard to earn forgiveness for the whole throat cut with a hacksaw thing. At first, all Beloved wants is sweets, but her demands grow more complex as she ages. Before long, she’s bugging Seth for a Nintendo Wii, which only white people were allowed to have back in those days. Denver sees these impossible demands placed on her mother and decides that, while it was nice to have her sister back, her sister is kind of an asshole, and it’s time for her to get back to ghostville.

Phones haven’t been invented yet, so she can’t call The Ghostbusters. Instead, she has to form a Southern Gospel Choir to come sing Beloved out of the house (as an Easter Egg, we put a Forrest Gump look-a-like in the back row of the choir). Amazingly enough, this works and Beloved is gone forever. Paul D. returns with his best friend Riggs. Whoopi Golberg shows up, too, but acts very shy around Paul D. Seth marries Paul, Denver marries Riggs, and down in Hell Beloved marries Casper the Friendly Ghost.

(three stars)