Thursday, October 30, 2008

This Country is So Confusing

An Obama sign and a Confederate flag. (via jeff baum)

UPDATE: Another one!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This Looks Like a Fun Day Trip

This video is one of the craziest things I've ever seen, and I pride myself on seeking out crazy religious videos. Watch and enjoy.

At 1:20 in, it sounds like the raspy-voiced narrators says, "God, send us another Jesus movie." I think he's saying movement, but I prefer to hear it as a call to Mel Gibson to give us the sequel everyone is waiting for.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Video I Made for Drunken Politics

Jamie Kilstein, Allison Kilkenny and I hung out at the Ralph Nader rally a few days ago. I shot and edited this video for them.

Monday Morning Smiletime

Just because it's Monday. This beagle is awesome.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Point of Departure

For some reason I can't embed video on this bloggy thing. Maybe I'm just not that good at computers. Watch this though.

The woman they interview is not representative of this country, obviously, but she does illustrate the worst of the American psyche. From Goldwater and Nixon, but especially since Regan, to John McCain and Pallin, the GOP has been the party of division and hate, winking at white voters, reasurring them that they have allies in government.

While it appears unlikely that that strategy will work this year, these tactics have the unfortunate effect of creating monsters like the woman in the video above. She doesn't even know what she's saying. She doesn't know why she hates Muslims, but she knows she does.

Idiots like this aren't going anywhere, but when you watch something like that, it's hard to feel any connection with that person at all. How could she and I, or she and any of my friends, ever have a real conversation? How could we get to a point of agreement from which to start?

That's a troubling thought. It's a cliche to say, "some people you can't reason with," but what if there are some people you can't even talk to? I can't really remember anyone back in Iowa that ever talked like woman in the interview. I'm sure I could've sought out people like that, but if you were just eating a pretzel in the mall food court you'd never overhear, "Obama is a terrorist."

Maybe people like her are very rare, but their ignorance is so deep and profound it multiplies their small numbers into standing armies. Maybe I had blinders on in Iowa, and that kind of hate was only just below the surface. My high school had a cross burned on its lawn several years before I went there. The town was outraged, as I recall, but that's upsetting nonetheless. Even with that event it's hard to know how many people sat in their living rooms secretly approving of the burning cross, only to denounce it in public.

Which brings me back to Obama and the Bradley effect, named after Tom Bradley, a black man who lost the governer's race in California in 1982. The effect, which offers an explanation for discrepancies between voter polls and how people actually vote (racism), has been talked about a lot concerning Obama. It looks like he's far enough ahead in the polls for the effect to not matter, but it is impossible to know how many people secretly identify with the woman in the interview. If Obama does lose, which is looking increasingly unlikely, then the only explanation will be the Bradley effect and voter disenfranchisement. If that happens, it will answer some of the questions I've posed. In a bad way.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Message of Tolerance

If you want to see some amazing on-scene footage from a McCain/Palin rally, click the link below. Also, if you want to see some of the most vile garbage you can imagine spewing out of people's mouths, click here. One in the same, folks.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Eagle Eye-Gauge

The other day I saw the made-for-the-dollar-store-movie-rack "film" Eagle Eye. What follows is my analysis, as far as one can analyize an artless, thoughtless catastrophe that fails both in concept and execution. That was a fun sentence, wasn't it? I guess I should say "spoiler alert," but in all honesty you should not see this movie, so I can't imagine I'm ruining anything.

Without getting into the specifics too much, here's the basic outline. The pentagon created a robot who serves as a centralized information gathering system, and who monitors all the pieces of intelligence that are too complicated or vast for humans to deal with. It's only job is to keep "the homeland" safe. This robot--Eagle Eye, I suppose--gets all pissed off because the President of the USA won't stop bombing innocent Arabs, which makes this movie almost a documentary. As a result, a bunch of Arabs want to blow up America. This is called "relevance" in Hollywood.

To take care of this problem, Mr. Eagle Eye enlists the help of Shia LaBouf (sp?), a lovable loser with daddy issues and a dead brother, to kill the president. What? Yes, that's right. To make the country safer, Sr. Eye tries to trap LaBouf into killing the entire executive branch during a State of the Union address. Is Monsignor Eye wrong to think that the country would be better off with the president dead than alive? Who's to say? That's just one potentially valid opinion among many. One thing I do know is that the EE wanted to install the Sec. of Defense in the White House, and to that I say, "no thank you."

Of course the robot is destroyed and Shia ends up with his arm in a sling, and the president and his cabinet members are all fine. You're supposed to be happy about all of that, but it's not clear why. It's a pretty weak resolution, but I suppose you can't really end a movie with the destruction of a branch of government looking like a positive thing, even in Sean Penn/George Clooney-run Hollywood. I wish you could. That movie would almost have been worth it if a robot-installed dictatorship saved the day in the end. To quote Plato, "Our society should be run by philosopher-kings, but, failing that, I would like to see a robot and a warlord take the reins for a while."