Cinecast Episode 102 – The Jerry Springer Phenomenon


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Episode 102:
Great film week with Synecdoche, NY and Rachel Getting Married. Plus some good DVDs this week and the usual tangential discussions; including James Bond.
Thanks for listening!

Click the little Audio Icon below to listen in:

Below the fold are the Show Notes…

Show notes for the Cinecast Episode 102

  • Intro music: :00 – 4:00
  • Opening blah blah: :25 – :27
  • Movies we watched: 2:38 – 18:51
  • Synecdoche, NY: 18:52 – 39:37
  • Rachel Getting Married: 39:39 – 1:08:17
    – – (cats meowing) – 40:15 – 40:28
  • DVD picks (and coming soon): 1:08:18 – 1:22:51
  • James Bond tangent: 1:22:52 – 1:29:50
  • Closing stuff: 1:29:51 – 1:33:03
  • Outro Music: 1:31:26 – 1:33:53

Bumper Music (with iTunes links) provided by:
Julie Doiron & Okkervil River
“Snowfalls in November”
AND
Ennio Morricone
“Bambole”


Row Three Podcasts:

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Synecdoche, NY:

Rot’s review (spot on)


Rachel Getting Married:

Rot’s review (another spot on review)

Kym: Anne Hathaway
Rachel: Rosemarie DeWitt
Hathaway and DeWitt


Other stuff:

Quantum of Solace
our awesome Trailer (in hi-res quicktime)
IMDb
RottenTomatoes
Recount
Unprecedented (IMDb)
Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost 2


DVD Picks for Tuesday, November 11th:

Kurt:
Sukiyaki Western Django
Sukiyaki Western Django

Andrew:
JFK (Ultimate Collector’s Edition)
Oliver Stone's JFK


Comments or questions?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or email us:
feedback@rowthree.com (general)
andrew@rowthree.com
kurt@rowthree.com
– – Kurt’s BLOG

Andrew James
Podcaster. Tech junkie. Movie lover. Student. Also, beer.

73 Comments

  1. Ok I need to add my two cents about the wedding in RGM… while it would appear to go on longer than one would expect for the sake of strict narration, I believe the function it serves is to ractchet the tension as you know Kym is somewhere in amongst the crowds, this wounded person that whether she is onscreen or not you as an audience member feel her presence… and the wedding takes on a dueling banjos role with her story for the attention of the audience… and that friction, and the family drama that lies underneath the pageantry makes even the most mundane detail of the wedding that much more sad, or poignant.

    I will keep saying this, although I do not get much acknowledgement on this point, but I think that the films works deliberately on a tacit level, it is not as narrative driven as we are accustom to. Its interesting you have Synecdoche and RGM together here because I would consider them very similar in this regard… the more you try to pinpoint the details the less you understand it, because the art is being conveyed on a different wavelength then the literal. It expects the audience to have a cache of lived in experiences that can be mined with tacit suggestions of relationships, i.e. the house on fire, the tediousness of wedding ceremonies vs. the ideal aspired for… scenes, images, things are lingered on because they are there to hit you on a tacit level, to make you feel rather than think your way through the story.

    I agree with Kurt, the length of the rituals in the film are integral to the point of the film… its the battle between normalacy and its virtues and dysfunction and its realities… this film works as two entities butting heads together throughout the film, a longing to be something that cannot sustain itself. I mean that is on one level, one can also enjoy this film purely as a family drama, a wedding film, but I think it is more poignant than all that.

    Reply
  2. and about Recount… you know what, last week the right person won, so I will let bygones be bygones… but suffice it to say the issues of the Florida recount in 2000 were not so complicated that nothing could have been done… what could have been done was a physical hand count of the votes (even if you took the dimpled CHAD votes out of contention)… which was the sole ambition of the Gore team… which would be the sole ambition of anyone, anyone, interested in fullfilling the mandates of a democratic system, this was, afterall a mandatory recount… but what happened was the Republican controlled state of Florida bullyed, finally with Supreme Court consent, the notion of a bogus time frame that prevented votes from being counted.

    That said, there was a slight Democratic slant to the storytelling in recount (John Hurt and Ed Begley Jr. were portrayed as bumbling fools to Tom Wilkinson's Republican shark). But the facts of the story remain true… for however Katherine Harris (Laura Dern) is portrayed, she was Bush's Campaign Co-Chair the year before… and she was blatantly misusing her authority as Secretary of State to let George Bush steal the election.

    but like I said, water under the bridge…

    Reply
  3. Only speaking for the movie, not the real thing, but even if EVERY SINGLE vote was counted, there was no way to count properly. You had people on both sides objecting to every vote that went through. It was a lose-lose situation. Yes it was obvious that the Republican controlled state was pushing in Bush's favor, but technically not outside of the law (again, only going by what is in the movie).

    I think the main point of the movie though was the sheer number of complications and the complications on top of the complications.

    Reply
  4. How does a trial decide whether or not to rule in favor of a voter's intent? And then if they decide to go with intent, who decides what the intent of the voter is? You? Me?

    Looking at it from a non-partisan viewpoint, as you clearly are not, it is very dicey. My personal opinion is that in all liklihood, Gore should've won the election, but that doesn't change the fact that no matter who won, we probably will never know who ACTUALLY won without doing a complete do-over.

    And I don't think they ever touch on the fact that the media called the state of Florida for Gore before the polls even closed in the western pan-handle of the state (in a different time zone – thus closing an hour later) where there is a huge population of Republican voters who simply didn't vote as the state was already called.

    Reply
  5. Last thing I would say on the matter – regardless of who you want to win or think should've won, the fact is that the voting system itself was completely fucked. That ballot was incredibly poorly designed (though I still think readable) and the archaic system of punching a piece of metal through paper is just stupid. Then you have these steam punk style counters that made matters even worse.

    I mostly blame the people who designed and approved the ballot and the method of marking it. And aside from the elderly, I also blame the idiots who didn't bother to look carefully at their ballot and realize what they were doing.

    Reply
  6. Well I was saying even if you just ignored the dimple CHAD votes… all you need to do was hand count the ones that possibly got pushed back in when going through the machine (at one point we were talking about a difference of 300 votes for the state!) or, more importantly, acknowledge the immediate problem in Palm Beach where the butterfly ballot was used, where many residents voted incorrectly and requested a revote… that alone would have been enough…

    as for voters intent… the point was the Republican's were doing a filibuster, it was never a point of REAL complexity, they were slowing the process down so the bogus time line came. If you have a ballot even with a dimple rather than a punch through, and there is no other mark on it, thats intent, pretty easy.

    But good point about the time zone, I never heard about that.

    Reply
  7. It's all perspective. I find this debate highly amusing. I find that it is even a debate amusing. Florida 2000 was a travesty, and the judiciary process that decided the President of the United states was beyond flawed. They should have had a Florida 'Re-Vote' with all the registered voters that voted at the time being allowed to vote again, then counted it up. They had until January to do this, but nope, instead the Repubs bullied democracy into a corner in a power grab and look with the US got for 4 years. Hell and seeds of their own crisis that they are in now. Pure. Simple. No debate.

    Reply
  8. Why the US use MACHINES to vote is beyond me. Canada is Pencil + Paper. Hand counted in boxes containing usually less than 300 votes per polling station. Things don't have to be so complicated. I don't believe there has ever been a major problem up here. And we have more political parties and choice, yet our system is still simpler. Go figure.

    Reply
  9. @ They should have had a Florida ‘Re-Vote’ with all the registered voters that voted at the time being allowed to vote again, then counted it up.

    I don't think its obvious that that would be the most fair course of action.

    Reply
  10. The US can put a man on the moon and billions on transistors on a single silicon wafer but hmmm, couldn't pick X,Y or Z president smoothly. And then couldn't come up with a reasonable DEMOCRATIC (I repeat DEMOCRATIC ) not judiciary, way of deciding. Obviously not a happy chapter in American History, and the US did get perhaps the worst president of the 20th (and probably 19th & 18th) century in the bargain.

    And yea, this ain't news.

    Reply
  11. I'm enough of a US Presidents history nerd to disagree about Bush being worst president ever. I'm sure time warps perspective somewhat, but Buchanan, Pierce (who I'm related to, and whose loins also spring the Bush and Kerry lines), and Harding are up there easily. Taylor, Tyler, Fillmore, Grant. A lot of people say Nixon and Carter but I'd very much disagree.

    Reply
  12. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but there is some law about "re-voting". They can just organize a complete do over in a couple of months – legally or logistically. You have absentee votes, time lines, volunteers etc. etc. I'm not saying it shouldn't have been done, I just don't think it was ever really an option for anyone.

    If there are any legal studies out there, please let us know why they couldn't do a re-vote. I'm sure there are very good reasons why not.

    Reply
  13. Oh, and maybe it's just semantics, but I'm not sure there's really much to "DEBATE" at this point. The 2000 election was fucked up for LOTS of various reasons and there is no clear answer on most of it.

    Reply
  14. I find it difficult to believe that any 1st world country couldn't get a certainly level of organization together to pull this off in 90 days. Heck, several Canadian elections have been called and executed in as little time. Making ballots, having people mark an "X" and counting the "X"'s isn't really rocket science.

    Reply
  15. Did you hear what Palm Beach county did this year for the election… they had broken lines with arrows going in different directions to names… and the voter had to connect lines to complete an arrow going in a certain direction a certain name… I mean, fuck me, are they trying to be unnecessarily difficult? box. X. done.

    I agree this is a bit ridiculous to be arguing about now but I do want to make a final case here, because Andrew's presumption of complexity is a common reaction which I think plays perfectly into the notion the Republicans volleyed to get the recount stopped.

    1) there is a mandatory machine recount when the differentiation of machine counted votes is as slight as it was for the 2000 election…. thats law. Not even this was done… or at least according to the depictions in the film which I have to believe are true because such an exaggeration would not fit in such a procedural drama.

    2) Foregoing even this most basic right of a machine recount, which was not enforced by the Secretary of State of the state of Florida Laura Dern herself, the additional plea by the Gore team was to have a hand count of a couple of counties, the one's most controversial, the butterfly ballot debacle areas. This was deliberately filibustered by the Republican overseers in those counties, which may be legal but unethical considering what is being attempted.

    3) Despite having an abundance of time to do limited or full state hand recounts, The Supreme Court decided that the perception of this legal process was so damaging to the executive office of the government that it was more important to come to a hasty court approved decision of who won the state rather then count the votes that had been cast. And as it is made note of in Recount, that this ruling is exceptional to this predicament, and cannot be used elsewhere, something that is apparently unheard of in Supreme Court rulings.

    and with that…

    How about that Rachel Getting Married film…

    Reply
  16. @ "I find it difficult to believe that any 1st world country couldn’t get a certainly level of organization together to pull this off in 90 days."

    But think about it. The two polarized parties have to come together agree on the rules, the time tables, and hammer out all the specifics. And there's no impartial mediator that can be appealed too.

    Imagine planning a wedding between two people dead set against getting married.

    Reply
  17. first of all, I say again it was law that a mandatory machine recount was to be done and it was not.

    second, this was a judicial matter, a judge should have made a decision as mediator about hearing both sides… but somehow the secretary of the state of Florida had the authority to impose a bogus time frame, someone clearly not impartial in her authority… it is actually simpler than Republicans would have you believe…

    Florida state laws on the matter seem very backwards, and a judiciary system is not adequately set-up… because it should be very easy to do… I could have personally counted all the votes in the time before inauguration, and any law that denies access to a hand count of votes in lieu of such a slight differentiation of votes as was in the 2000 elections is inexcusable.

    Reply
  18. On a related note, my home state is going through a bit of turmoil right now with our senate election. Out of 4 million ballots cast, Republican Norm Coleman beat out comedian Stuart Smalley (aka Franken) by about 750 votes. A recount will be conducted starting in early December (no idea why it takes that long). In the meantime however, Coleman's lead has dwindled down to 206 votes as "officials" "recheck" their numbers.

    Something fishy me smells.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12264494027141914

    Reply
  19. C'mon, you know you want Stuart Smalley in office. During the recounting, perhaps one can hear, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."

    Is this better or worse than Jesse "The Body" Ventura?

    Reply
  20. Andrew's post listing him as Stuart Smalley reads like a Bill O'Reilly talking points memo.

    "officials" "recheck" their numbers? Number one, somehow I know for a fact that your state by law requires a recount when its within a certain percentile. Secondly, close races get turned over all the time. The mayor of my town won a race by 12 votes that the first count had her losing, and we use the paper ballots method. Things fuck up, period. Franken has tightened up because of a couple very clear mistakes where for example, a 12 was recorded where it was supposed to be, and can be proven to be, a 120. Also there are provisional ballots I'm assuming, as well as absentee ballots which no matter where you are are almost NEVER counted in advance, and usually trend to the left. For that matter, overseas ballots from the troops I even bet would trend for Al, because in general the troops are voting Dem this year and because Al is in such good standing with the USO with all his tours. And I don't even know about the advance ballots that may not have been counted, there've been places all over the country that never bothered to count them yet.

    It's funny how its only a conspiracy if the guy you like is on the bum end of things. But I admit I'd be happy to see Coleman lose. I mean, its not that Coleman is the worst Republican out there, hardly – but it's kind of sad to see him in Wellstone's seat, and because it would make Bill O'Reilly's blood boil to have to refer to "Stuart Smalley" as Senator.

    On a lighter note, after a good while of falling behind, I'm finally caught up to listen to the new episode within a week of it actually being recorded. huzzah!

    Reply
  21. Jesse Ventura is a Truther now. This makes me very sad. Any elected official, past or present, who thinks "Loose Change" is fine journalism needs a swift kick in the ass.

    Reply
  22. one more thing for the MinnesotAH kids

    Coleman's "Angry Al" ad is the second most bullshit ad I saw all campaign season, right behind Liddy Dole's "Godless" ad. Coleman took an ad of Franken telling an anecdote of someone else getting excited, and ran the rambunxious clip

    compare what actually happened:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ljrh72Qy1tw

    and Coleman just snipped it down to this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o466pDTbOA

    mind you, there's plenty of clips out there of Franken getting in arguments over the years, and I'm sure Coleman used them too, but that he had to actually go and flagrantly make shit up, using of all things, Franken telling a story about Paul Wellstone and his dad – well to me that makes Norm Coleman a grade A piece of shit.

    Reply
  23. Quite on the contrary Goon. If Franken was supposed to get 120 votes and was only tallied for 12, then THAT IS SOME BULLSHIT! It makes me really angry in fact. "Oops. I guess we fucked up by 100 votes. Sorry about that." And this happened all over the place apparently

    Sorry, but in this day and age, stuff like that shouldn't happen. I don't care who the candidate is and I don't care what kind of landslide it is. A vote should be counted. Period.

    I'm just questioning why miraculously 600 votes were "found" for Franken when not even that number by 1/5 was found for Obama or any member of the house in the entire state COMBINED. That doesn't strike you as a bit odd?

    Reply
  24. sorry, late night ranting:

    That WSJ thing is such bullshit. First off we all know the WSJ has its own slant – Murdoch owns that rag now, and this is an opinion article. Trying to paint Coleman as some victim here, when he was begging Al not to pursue a recount at all, I mean please. "According to conservative statistician John Lott" – wow, they quote him as a 'statistician' all of a sudden when everyone knows him as an op/ed writer, and this is the first time I've personally seen him noted as a statistician since…

    oho!

    he was doing this same king of toadying for Bush in the 2000 Florida recounts –
    http://johnrlott.tripod.com/Lott_on_Fla_2000_Elec

    Whether the majority of the article is right or wrong, that article is certainly propaganda.

    Reply
  25. Great show guys.

    I'm really looking forward to finally catching up with "Synecdoche, NY". Hopefully it'll open around these parts sooner rather than later. "Sukiyaki Western Django" is awesome fun – not sure I'll buy it new but will definitely keep an eye out for it on the used shelves.

    Kurt – the theater outside of downtown and on the hill is on Cambie Street and it's called The Park. Awesome little theater and the place for all of the Sunday morning films.

    Reply
  26. I'm hoping that the other post I made is in the system being 'processed'

    Anyways, apparently in Minnesota, Republicans since 98 hav e been habitually getting decreases during actual recounts. http://images.publicradio.org/content/2008/11/11/

    by the way, if we're going to play the conspiracy game, who is to say that the first count wasn't the rigged one, and its the meticulous recount that's actually getting it right? Let's say you wanted to steal it, would you rather do it the first time and if you lose on recount cry foul, or steal it on the recount and be seen as suspicious? If Franken is the kind of guy who would do this after the fact, and supposedly has this sway with the elections chief, why wouldn't he just do it the first time?

    This is why conspiracy theories bug me. Because when you break them down like this, they just don't make a lick of sense.

    Reply
  27. I think the PDF link I included screwed the other post i made over. anyways in brief about the article you posted:

    – WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch, and you posted an op/ed which i can't even see a byline for

    – the 'statistician' they cited is John Lott, who is an op/ed writer himself by trade first, and only breaks out the stats when toadying these recount situations… such as when he was on Bush's team in 2000 in Florida. I was going to post a link to a pdf from Lott's own website to prove this connection, but instead i'll just use one from the National Review:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/lott2003121

    we know all about Florida, but if you only took this guys numbers on faith instead of all the info we have, you'd think it was Team Gore doing all the dirty work. Again, I'm sure Franken can easily drum up a numbers guy with his own freaky deaky stats.

    In other words, when I see that WSJ article, I see propaganda first and journalism second.

    Reply
  28. To summarize on Lott, if you took the same article and switched Franken and Colemans' name, and the statistician cited was… say, Michael Moore, would you trust the numbers? Probably not. That WSJ article has the benefit of being passed around the Internet and next to nobody except his small wingnut fanbase knows who John Lott is. Anonymity ends up bringing credibility.

    Its funny when this happens. I remember when Bowling for Columbine came out. I mean sure, its got its own fudged facts and was going to be a rebuttal, but this 'bowling for truth' site came out and EVERYONE treated it like it was right down the middle and fair, and so many Moore fans turned on the film because of it, and the author of the piece, David Hardy, who of course made so much shit up in it, of course somehow forgot to disclose he was a gun lobbyist, and most people, regardless of affiliation, don't bother to look up who he was to consider the source. perhaps its cynical but I'm all for clouding the waters, when someone's byline has them as a member of a think tank the red light goes off and everything is in question.

    Reply
  29. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!! Someone else acknowledge the irony that the only time we shy away from talking about politics here was during the lead up to the mostly highly attended election in US history.

    Even in Canada where irony has been banned as hate speech you still have to acknowledge the irony.

    Reply
  30. @ "Andrew’s post listing him as Stuart Smalley reads like a Bill O’Reilly talking points memo."

    Also Andrew, you're ignoring the fine American tradition of entertainers in politics. Sonny Bono, Ron Regan, not least of which your own fine state's groundbreaking election of our first Pro-Wrestler governor, Jesse "The Mind" Ventura.

    Anyways, most politicians are criminals. Comedian would be a step up.

    Reply
  31. Political debate on this site usually has to organically develop from some topic Rusty, and unless there was an Obama film I overlooked (although this site was suspiciously quiet as W came and went) there wasn't much opportunity to talk about it… it was up to you to hijack a thread and go off.

    I was meaning to write a post on Michael Winterbottom's upcoming movie adaptation of Naomi Klein's awesome book, The Shock Doctrine, thinking that would get the party started, but as with most things, I never got around to it.

    Reply
  32. most people have enough sense to not talk about politics amongst friends if they know one or two people might not agree. it just usually doesn't turn out well.

    the most heated political argument i had all year was with a friend who is a Hillary supporter who my roommate was trying to hook up with at the very same time, who despite being a political science major, openly was admitting it was simply a gender vote, and that me questioning that as her sole rationale was sexist and misogynist. it got pretty bad.

    Reply
  33. You cannot deny race and gender play an issue in everybody's opinion, in the same way that charisma does. With some it is more overt than others, but we are all biased on a subconscious level, something 'Blink' went to great lengths to demonstrate.

    Despite these biases we can, hopefully, consider the issues in a pragmatic way and let that lead our decision-making process.

    I read an article about Obama's time teaching at the University of Chicago and it interviewed his students, with the idea that it would give a firsthand account of the man, and they all agreed that he was a 'ruthless pragmatist'… and that while you can frame the end results of his votes in congress as being far left, the key is he had sound pragmatic arguments for the decisions he made, that he was, first and foremost, predisposed to rational argument.

    Partisan politics should be a thing of the past, and I think Obama can lead by example. being bipartisan is not every so often voting against your gut to satisfy the whims of someone across the aisle… its to be blind of party politics, to make the decisions based on the most beneficial to the country.

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  34. I don't really care that the story I happened to link to came from the WSJ. The Minneapolis Star Trib (which is fairly left leaning) is reporting all the same numbers.

    Funny that when the numbers show something just strange (not conspiratory) it must be bogus when it's for a candidate you support. ;)

    Reply
  35. "Funny that when the numbers show something just strange (not conspiratory) it must be bogus when it’s for a candidate you support."

    Like I said, the way people are pointing out 'strange' here is being done as a subtle, if not outright, accusation, towards to SOS if not Franken's team itself, and that if thats the game thats being played, someone could just say, 'yes it it strange that now that people look at ballots closely, Franken actually gains. hmmm maybe people purposely messed it up the first time' – that crap can go back and forth as much as anyone wants.

    I mean seriously, that MPR link I put above is another case, almost always the Republican loses ground on recounts. Clearly this recount is not unique. So either you put on your tinfoil and every Democrat cheats on recounts, or every Republican cheats on initial counts…

    …or you can ask 'what makes it that recounts so often favor democrats' and take a look at what exactly changes during the recount process. Provisionals? Absentees? stricter standards held by counters in some precincts than others about what gets thrown out or not? I mean seriously, this is the reasonable route here, but reasonable unpartisan analysis doesn't sell newspapers, whether its the Star Trib, the WSJ or the Onion.

    To conclude, 9 times out of 10 'strange' in a newspaper is their way of saying 'conspiracy' without getting in trouble, just as almost every paper and network will almost NEVER use the word 'lie' in reference to a political attack or spin.

    Reply
  36. Here's the thing though, this is NOT a recount. The recount hasn't started yet. This is officials going back and looking at their results. And again, I don't really care who this double checking goes in favor of. The point is that it should be correct the first time. 600 votes coming out of nowhere is inexcusable – for either candidate.

    Reply
  37. "The point is that it should be correct the first time."

    That will never happen. Get used to it.

    Especially if you're using voting machines.

    "600 votes coming out of nowhere is inexcusable – for either candidate."

    Every change in the final tally is accountable to someone for some reason. I've seen some specific reasons for specific ones. I also know of decisions rendered against Franken's favor. for example, around 500 absentee ballots that he's not allowed to even push to get counted unless he takes it to court. It just generally irks me that whenever the person losing a recount makes challenges or has a windfall its made out to be like they're gaming the system or cheating. Isn't it obvious how disadvantageous a situation that is? It's a media nightmare, and the media can and probably will affect the recount itself. Every day before it happens only hurts Franken. Theres going to be a recount no matter how close Franken gets during this current 'out of nowhere' retallying, so any gain he's making right now is pointless anyways, isn't it?

    Both parties have their own obvious agendas, But the media are making every step a bigger controversy because they have a full month to blow this up into a huge story and make more money.

    Reply
  38. one more thing I should point out – ive been using recount in place of 'certification tally', which is probably confusing when i talk about that MPR graphic.

    Reply
  39. Palin is now saying: "don't let obsessive, extreme partisanship … get in the way of doing what's right."

    mull that over for a moment.

    let it set in.

    Schitzophrenic, I think so.

    Reply
  40. Reading the comments I was reminded of a short film for Klein's book. Managed to find it online and it's become the next instalment of the Short Program:

    http://www.rowthree.com/2008/11/13/shorts-program

    As for "W.", I did see it and enjoyed it. I read a few reviews which basically stated that the reviewer was surprised that Stone went easy on Bush but I completely disagree – if anything, it shows the soon to be former president as even more unlikable and incompetent. I didn't love it but will see it again at some point.

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  41. "henrik, I isnt your country still a monarchy?"

    Yes. I'd rather have a monarchy with functioning democracy and tolerant legislation on sexuality, gender, religion etc. than any other sort of -archy og -blic without it.

    I mean debating election results is something that's done in 3rd world countries.

    Reply
  42. In my opinion, this vote should be thrown out. PROBABLY a vote for Franken, but it could just as likely be someone testing their pen. Someone that stupid shouldn't have their vote counted anyway ;)

    Reply
  43. I'd call that one a dud. just outside the lines, or X's if they were supposed to do checkmarks, people who poked holes in instead of marking x's, and all that crap, I can see other areas where theres arguments

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  44. That was cool, and scary. I disagreed with many of the consensus picks, but I did mostly just skip over it. The Lizard People joke made me laugh sardonically, it would have been funny on Letterman, but saddens me greatly to see such a careless mind. Wasn't the election UP to like 60% in America? What a fucked up and stupid place, no offense to right-thinking americans. It just seems like close to half your population does not deserve democracy.

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  45. First of all, you live in a monarchy so you don't understand elections. Turn out was up to 64%. And abstaining from the vote is a perfectly valid exercise of your individual rights, something that your propped up socialist shanty town puts a low value on.

    Secondly, the lizard people ballot was perfectly legit. "Careless"? The person very concientiously wrote in lizard people in the appropriate write in area. That's exactly what it's there for. They did everything right, it was a perfectly legitimate ballot and anyone who disagrees doesn't understand voting.

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  46. Rusty, you sound like you take offense where none was intended. Surely, you can not identify with these idiots. I wonder what would happen to democracy if everybody voted for Lizard People.

    64% is not good. The american democracy is weak, and scarily so. Has anybody got the statistics of campaign money vs. victories in american elections? I'm pretty sure I read Obama was the candidate who spent the most money, but I would happily be proven wrong. Weak democracies are fragile and vulnerable to things far worse than a politically sanctioned monarchy.

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  47. Henrik,

    I took offense to you calling America a "fucked up and stupid place". If you didn't intend any offense by that then double-fail.

    I didn't take any offense to your remark about lizard people but I just vehemently disagree. The write-in option is there for a reason. It's an opportunity to lodge a protest vote. I don't know what would happen if everyone wrote in "lizard people" though many countries do have a "none of the above" option which can result in a do-over.

    For the record, though I did support Obama, I do identify with those who are frustrated our political system. Protest voting is not for me, it's probably pointless, but I can relate to the sentiment.

    But it's besides the point. The point of the recount is to determine the intent behind the ballots. Not relate to their results.

    Personally I didn't vote for any of the congress seats and many of them were close elections. I like Obama but I dont endorse handing over the gov wholesale to the democrats.

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  48. I guess I just can't relate to the rabid patriotism that americans seem to have. I didn't intend any offense.

    Protesting democracy is pathetic, and I read Lizard People as a joke more than a political protest. Maybe I'm not finetuned to the satire – probably because of the context of the other ballots – it could actually have been written by the next Paul Verhoeven.

    Nothing is accomplished by not doing anything. If nobody voted, you'd get a dictatorship. But somebody once said, the people deserves the government it tolerates.

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  49. @ I read Lizard People as a joke more than a political protest.

    The joke is the protest Henrik, He'd rather write a joke on the ballot than vote for president. Notice this person did bother to vote for other offices. So it's not just apathy.

    You know, I don't really believe in the protest vote either. Like, I said it's probably a waste of time. But voting is necessarily better, it doesnt automatically get you off the hook. Voting isn't a virtue, responsible voting is a virtue. Dictators don't just sneak into power when no one's looking. Some of them are voted in.

    If a guy wants to vote for senator but not president then I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

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  50. And my patriotism is anything but "rabid". I objected to you refering to my country as "fucked up and stupid place", if anything it's your anti-Americanism that is rabid.

    I'll remind you of this thread http://www.rowthree.com/2008/07/04/today-we-celeb

    I don't avoid criticising America. I object to a sniveling prick making unsubstantiated claims while glibly deflecting criticisms of his own country; like the fact that you retain a monarchy, pay a religious tax, and also support the occupation of Iraq.

    If you actually wanted to discuss the ins and outs of US policy then I'd be interested in what you have to say. But your snotty remarks are unsubstantial.

    You're more nationalistic than the Canadians here (remember the time the Film Junk boys unanimously voted Cronenberg better than Lynch. there's your rabid patriotism!)

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  51. I have conceded on numerous occasions the ridiculous anachronistic nature of a monarchy and state-governed religion. I have tried to explain why it exists here, but I understand that explanation will only be read as defense.

    I guess my remarks are unsubstantial. They are gut reactions to hearing disgusting stories about legislating against gay people and inability to vote at all, let alone vote properly.

    That thread you refer to is an example of me reacting to americans taking for granted that everybody has the same perception of the world as america. It's not me coming out of nowhere attacking america, it's me responding to an american who makes un-nuanced points directly related to him being american.

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