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Politics and movies collide.

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Jul. 4th, 2008 | 11:52 pm
mood: highpatriotic
music: Rihanna "S.O.S." (get that umba-rella gurl)

In my apartment, not just Los Angeles.


Today was a pretty glorious day. America is still free and let's not forget that, and let's not also forget that it could still be a lot freer (Patriot Act/TSA shakedowns at airports/so on). Jesse Helms died today. His death changes nothing about what he did and didn't do as a Senator, and I also remember just like before that although he had no idea who I was, he thought I was immoral, degenerate, and deserving of fewer rights than other people. He in fact thought that about many people, and plenty of them were his constituents. There is no politician like Jesse Helms anymore, and I hope we never get one again. I remain as relieved now as I was six years ago that he retired (though being replaced by Doo-Liddy wasn't all that great either, at least she isn't able to wreak havoc in foreign and domestic policy). And that retirement meant he was no longer a hateful obstructionist claiming to represent a state, and that the loss of his memory meant that he could no longer do that personally either.



As for what I did today, there was a lot of sleeping late involved, followed by a brief run on West Campus. Tomorrow the gym will be open again, and I shall rejoice in the air conditioning. I came home, had lunch, showered, and spent a lot of time cleaning up and preparing for company! Emily, Caroline, and Jon B. made their way over around 6, bringing artichoke dip and chips, black bean/tomato/avocado salad, pasta salad, veggie burgers, and green salad to add to my potato salad, chicken, and hot dogs. We cooked it all up and then carried it down to one of the courtyards with lots of beer and had a fabulous dinner. My metabolism stayed home. After a couple of hours we staggered back up just in time to avoid a crazy storm. Then we spent the evening playing some Wii, watching a movie (see below), and then washing up the piles of dishes that resulted. Everyone just left about 45 minutes ago and I've been watching the neighbors light fireworks out my patio door since. A pretty awesome day, as I said. And I have an entire weekend ahead. :)

Finally, two movie reviews of the political variety, since I'm on that topic:

Charlie Wilson's War: I hadn't heard a whole lot about this movie beforehand but was definitely interested in the subject matter. Tom Hanks was a fabulous Texas Congressman; he was given a lot of meat to work with and he didn't disappoint. And of course the story is plenty amazing as it is, with people like Joanne Herring involved! However, I just wasn't too taken by Julia Roberts in this role; this woman is supposed to be a 50-something Texas socialite with an MVP card from her plastic surgeon, and I really would have preferred someone more age-appropriate. And she couldn't get the accent right. Nevertheless, the film exaggerated Washington life in all the right places while not fucking up the actual history. B.

Street Fight: This is a documentary covering the 2002 mayoral race in Newark, NJ, and you should read a little bit about it if you're not familiar with their recent history. I had learned about it by the time of the 2006 election, right around the time Sharpe James rode in to City Hall on a bicycle to declare his candidacy for that year, so I was grateful to see the coverage of the prior election cycle. Even more important than chronicling how badly corrupt an American city can get, I think the success of this doc lies in getting folks to care more about local elections, and to see that they matter. I know that many people claim that they will not bother to vote in elections if they are a Democrat in a state like Tennessee or a Republican in a state like California, because their vote for president won't matter. This is the type of film that shows what can really be at stake in local voting, even if the election is not held in November. And besides, I think it's important to keep tabs on mayors; I couldn't name 10 mayors of major American cities until six months or so ago. If nothing else, Street Fight is showing why we should be paying attention to them. I promise this is still a movie review, but I don't want to give anything else away about it. A-.

Time for a little productivity before bed!

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