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Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.


A Strange Arc From Juvenille Humor to a Serious Topic  | e-mail post

I try to write a generally light post, and look what happens...

I don't endorse the anti-gay politics behind this particular movie, but the fact is that the bulk of the movie, a montage of John Kerry and John Edwards and their fairly "touchy" nature, is pretty hilarious. I'd recommend just skipping the bits at the beginning of the flick, as they're needlessly inflammatory. The rest of the film could best be described as "John (hearts) John"

In the interests of equal time, here's a video that represents George Bush as being on a holy war, suspending the consitution, trampling liberty, etc, etc so-on-and-so-forth, you know the drill. What I do like about this clip however is that it is has a great soundtrack including excellent versions of "Onward Christian Soldiers" and "The Star Spangled Banner," and a good enough version of "Amazing Grace," although strange though it may be, my favorite version is the Bryan Ferry (of Roxy Music) version, available on his album "Taxi." My friend in the film industry to whom I sent it, because it "fit his preconceived notions" replied to me that his "preconceived notions do NOT include bad editing ;->" [Quicktime: George Bush - A Tribute]

And for a clip that everyone should find amusing, South Park's new episode this week featured a music video for "Vote or Die" the voting campaign led by P. Diddy (and mocked by me already in "Paris Hilton Wants You To Stuff Her (Ballot) Box") You can also get the MP3 for the song via this post thanks to JoeChinni.com. Hat tip to Joshua Claybourn for the link to the movie (actually more than just the music segment). The blog AvoidingLife also has links to an AVI of the episode and a torrent, if you want to see the whole episode (AL also has the MP3).

BTW, the "moral" of the South Park episode is that Stan should get used to voting between a turd and a douche (for their new school mascot), because that's what the choice usually is between.

Parker and Stone have also criticized P. Diddy's Vote or Die campaign in a Rolling Stone interview discussing Team America (about which I've said, "Every American Should See It"). From Rolling Stone:
Parker and Stone now seem officially tired of hearing how Team America might impact the election. In fact, they take perhaps their strongest stand yet -- firmly against P. Diddy's "Vote or Die" campaign. "I think just saying 'Vote or Die' is a serious danger to democracy," Stone says, as Parker breaks into a Cartman-esque voice for a mocking public-service message: "Hey, nineteen-year-old who doesn't know anything -- you choose."

"If you don't know what you're talking about, there's no shame in not voting," Stone says finally. "They say if you don't vote, you can't bitch. But you can bitch all you want. This is America."
Of course, Sean Penn get himself worked into a later about that (see my 'Everyone should see it' post for the link to Penn's letter). But the fact is, they're right, American democracy is harmed by the participation of the political ignorant. I'm a political elitist, and I'll admit it. But when this year:
and in 2000:
they don't have any business stepping inside a polling booth. Sorry if anyone thinks that sounds pretentious, but I'll stand by it. I most likely know some people like this (statistically, it looks like we probably all do), and while I wouldn't insult them by announcing this unprompted, if asked, I would absolutely tell them they have a duty to become better informed before they exercise such power. (That was kind of my point by my first post this morning: "Last Chance to Get Some Facts Out.")

If you want to read where I'm getting those numbers, and just what the problem of an ignorant electorate means, see Ilya Somin's September 2004 report, "When Ignorance Isn't Bliss: How Political Ignorance Threatens Democracy." [direct PDF link] Somin, a law professor at George Mason University, also has a forthcoming book on the subject from University of Michigan Press, "Democracy and the Problem of Political Ignorance." I'll be certain to alert you of it when it comes out. [Somin's page at GMU]

e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink]  |  | Friday, October 29, 2004
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