Can’t really focus on anything right now. For better or worse I’m completely consumed by the upcoming U.S election. Now that the brutal crescendo of campaigning has come to an end, the time to finally make a decision is. So far this election is shaping up to be quite different than any other I have experienced, mostly due to the fact that I’ll be sleeping (hopefully) while the rest of America is voting. Normally I get to watch things unfold as they happen, state by state, county by county, city by city, and if CNN had its way, probably person by person. But that is not the case this year. Instead I’ll be in standby mode, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s not often that you can go to bed one night and wake up next with a chance to feel completely different about your country, but after eight years, I’m ready. After eight years of blunders and incompetence it’s time for a change, and Obama is the man for the job. Here’s to Hope! Now get out there and vote!
Once again it’s that rare time of year when two of the universe’s most powerful forces collide: Religion and Politics. That’s right, I’m talking about election season and the Jewish High Holidays. The polls, the prayers, the spin, the schmears; it’s all enough to get your tallit in a twist. That being said, perhaps it’s no coincidence that comedienne Sarah Silverman, herself a Jew, recently launched a new voting campaign aimed at Jewish voters – elderly ones to be specific. It’s called “The Great Schlep,” and the premise is simple: Jewish kids need to get their asses down to the swing state of Florida and tell their grandparents to vote for Obama. Whether you can make it down to Florida or not, do yourself a favor and watch this clip. And then go visit your grandparents. Lord knows they miss you.
[Just a warning for those unfamiliar with Silverman’s brand of comedy, it’s a little on the blue side. Be forewarned: there are some jokes that you may not want your Boubie to hear]
Maybe it’s because I once did a history project on political ads back when I was just a wee high schooler, or maybe it’s because I have no life, but for some reason I’ve always held an affinity for campaign spots. So campy, so over-the-top, soooo good. Needless to say I was pumped when I saw this historical rundown of ads through the years via Slate.com. Let’s just say that past nominees wouldn’t stand a chance with this year’s crop of campaign haymakers, accusations, and bald-faced lies. Sigh. November, please get here soon.
Seeing how CNN is one of the only channels that I get in English, I’ve gotten a pretty consistent helping of election coverage these past few days. The content doesn’t focus much on the issues but instead piles on extra portions of gossip and he-said she-said bickering. Did you know Obama once rented a movie from Blockbuster and returned it without rewinding? Did you know Hilary once killed a bear with her own hands? Ok, that stuff didn’t happen (though I wouldn’t put that bear thing past Clinton, she’s a beast) but that’s the kind of inane banter that CNN specializes in. It’s the kind of stuff that has made watching this epic race to the White House more of a chore than the exciting coronation for one of these two candidates (read: Obama). The whole scenario is down-right exhausting. At this point it’s even difficult to tell who’s winning and who’s losing. Or maybe they’re both winning? Or are they both losing? Or is one winning at the expense of the loser who in actuality already won a long time ago but is now losing so the the real loser can feel like a winner before actually losing for good? Either way, I’ve lost it. The endless stream of campaign coverage is beginning to blur into one imperceptible story line, and judging a mistake I found on the Seattle Times’ website, I’m not the only one who thinks so. Check it:
Today was election day out here, which means everyone got the day off to go to the polls. From what I can tell, Korea’s electoral process is way cooler than the United States. Instead of constant bitching and mudslinging, candidates kick it old school with festive colors, songs, and dancing – lots and lots of dancing. I’m not kidding about this. Large groups of middle-aged housewives will set up shop on street corners, in plazas, or pretty much damned near everywhere to bust a move in the name of their chosen politician. You can tell what candidate the people are pulling for by looking at their assigned color and number. For instance, Obama’s color might be a noble navy blue and his number would be 1, while Hillary might be a prune-colored reddish brown and her number would be 666. And McCain, well, don’t get me started on McCain. There are also roving vans with huge speakers and video screens attached to the roofs blasting hour after hour of incomprehensible blather. Come to think of it, that whole blather part is little bit like back home. Here’s a video (not mine) of a candidate poppin’ and lockin’ it in the city of Daegu (the dancing starts at the 1 minute mark).