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October 07, 2008

The Schlep to the White House

Sarah Silverman is funny. She wants you to go to Florida to get your Jewish grandparents to vote for Barack Obama. If I were Jewish and/or had grandparents in Florida, I totally would, just because she told me to. Especially now that she finally broke off her relationship with Jimmy Kimmel. God, I hate that smug, unfunny prick. Now, enjoy the video (but turn the volume down if you're at work, or anywhere else where people within earshot might take offense to words like "douchenozzle"):

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

In my view, good political humor shouldn't just be taking shots (which is often too easy in the political realm), but should have something to say itself. Sarah's not just cracking stupid jokes — I find it really distressing how many people I've met of various religions, home states, and generations who are afraid to vote for Barack Obama because his name sounds foreign and Muslim. I know it's unlikely, but I still have this vague notion in my head that Obama would be doing even better in the polls if his name was Barry O'Brien.

Of course, this points towards an even larger problem — the idea that "Muslim" equals "terrorist." Agh. It's all very frustrating.

Good thing we have funny Internet videos to distract us.

September 01, 2008

Miss high school yet?

Judging from the ruckus that Burlington's various college students created this weekend in my neighborhood — and most likely will cause today on holiday — no one misses high school at all...yet. If you're a freshman, you probably shouldn't think about it, but more than likely you'll dwell just a little bit.

You'll get over it quite quickly, but for now, you have American Teen, an overtly (and overly) stylish documentary following 5 students in an Indiana high school as they finish up with their senior year. Parts of the film feel like takes lifted from the cutting room floor of MTV's superior True Life series, but you'll find yourself right at home in their stereotyped world of cliques, pom-poms and angst.

Since the limited release of the film — you can see it at the Palace 9 in South Burlington — there have been claims on various message boards that American Teen was staged. Come to think of it, you can even message the "stars" on Facebook, leading me to believe that some of the backlash might be closer to the truth than the actual film. Then again, it's smart marketing for the producers to turn these generic characters into Facebook archetypes. It just blurs the lines of realism. But seriously, was high school realistic to begin with?

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