Monday, April 28, 2008

Assorted Random Thoughts

I realize I've been MIA on the blogging front for a period. Part of it is that the work I'm doing now is a combination of incredibly boring, process management, and highly sensitive, so it's not really blog-able. Simultaneously, the race has become incredibly pedestrian, as it seems to have resigned itself to a game of political one-upsmanship. It's kind of like watching Crossfire, only before John Stewart exposed it for the ridiculous sham it is. My comment, politically, for the moment is simply this: anyone but Hillary Clinton would have long since been forced out of the race, or, like Ron Paul on the Republican side, marginalized to the point of virtual extinction. But, because of who she is, there was no real call from the media or the political establishment after her series of 11 straight losses, nor after her less than game changing performances in recent contests. Now, because she is Hillary Clinton, once heir apparent to the throne and queen to the aging king, she is being allowed to continue what is essentially a clear eyed, kamikaze attempt to usurp the vote. In so doing she is making a mockery of the process, of the system, and of the voters.

But I'm tired of it, to be honest. Tired of the handwringing pundits, and breathless suspense that doesn't exist, and the endless speculation about who knows whom or how what who said is surely the end of everything. Short of the miraculous (earning upwards of 70% of the remaining pledged delegates), there is no legitimate way for her to win any longer. The popular vote, no matter what they tell you, is not a legitimate metric, and becomes especially illegit when made, as she would, to count votes in MI where she was the only person on the ballot. The rules were agreed to by all, and the rules don't change halfway through. But as this continues, one candidate insists on playing a high-profile game of Calvinball, constantly shifting the goalposts and the means of scoring. It doesn't change the simple fact that most people with an understanding of the process and an ability to look beyond the most recent dustup understand that a nominee chosen by superdelegates despite trailing in the one metric that everyone agreed to follow would serve only to open significant fault lines in the party. And, should that take place, I feel confident we will see the '68 Convention repeat itself, Rush Limbaugh's finest dreams be realized, and the democratic party perform a spectacular and no doubt painful act of ritual suicide.

But that's about all I'm inclined to say on that.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Funniest Campaign Analysis Ever

Ok, so, once again, I did not write this. I wish I had, because it's hilarious. I don't necessarily agree with everything in it (Yoda, for example, would be a little to holier-than-thou as a candidate) but I do think several of these are both brilliant and very carefully thought out. Although the idea of Barack in a bikini (you'll see) is a little offputting.

In any case, enjoy.

Hello America!

As you may know, 2008 is going to be a g-rate year. I am so excited! There is to be a presidential election this year! Hoo-ray! Exciting times, exciting times. And whoa... so confusing! So much talking, so much anal-yzing, so much research to do to be sure the person who wins your vote truly reflects your values and goals for the executive of this g-rate nation.

Man, it's going to be tough.

Well, this is for those of you who say "To heck with that!" and are more interested in voting for a candidate based on snap judgments and small pop culture sound bites. For those of you who think it might be fun to vote somewhat randomly and therefore completely obliterate the careful work of concerned and involved citizens... I mean really, look how Bush turned out... can you really expect these people to act predictably based on what they say in the election cycle? Heck no!

So without further a-doo-doo, here is your

Mighty Rex Star Wars Guide to The Candidates

"My friends..."

Darth McCain

I had to get this one out of the way right from the top, because I know some of you were thinking "Hey, Vader being a powerful black man..." but NO! You need to drop those stereotypes, mister! Obama isn't remotely like Vader, and besides, as we learned in Episode VI, Vader was a cracker! Heavily scarred by traumatic experiences, torture, manipulation, the 2000 Republican primaries... he has the reputation of a "maverick"... remember the arbitrary slaughter of Imperial officers? the offer to Luke to join him?

...but Darth McCain ultimately serves the Emperor, voting with him almost every time. McCain could be redeemed someday, but only by succumbing to Force Lightning and tossing the Emperor into a pit... something he has thus far refused to do. Let's stay in Iraq... err... Tatooine... forever!


J'han Solo

Umm... Edwards... ahhh, health care, faster withdrawal from Iraq than uhhh... didn't he play the president in Air Force One? ummm.... He'll stand up to the Hutt business interests... uhhhh... Goddamn, he's pretty. Quick, lock him in a sheet of Carbonite so I can hang him on my wall.

Admiral Akbar

Admiral Akbill

Man, I tell you what... you read Admiral Akbar's resume, take a look at his long career, his credentials, and it's amazingly clear how qualified he is to run a major government. What about his prescient snap evaluation... "It's a trap!" We sure could have used that in Iraq. Well-suited to command, noble, respected by his followers and his peers... but then, Akbar is from a place most people don't care about (Mon Calamari? Are you serious?) and looks vaguely ethnic... is he, I don't know... too fishy to be prez? Anyway, he deserves your vote. Who this Richardson cat is, I have no idea.

Limbba the Hutt

Oops, my bad, not a candidate. Sorry!

Ur Question?
Shh! 9/11!

Grand Moff Giuliani

We need a president who has experience running a large, unwieldy government. Like the Empire. "Hey, they said it was unmanageable, ungovernable... a large majority wanted to leave and live somewhere else," his campaign ads say. Well, Giuliani certainly turned things around... he built the Death Star! "By the time I left office," he continues, "the Death Star was the best example of conservative government in the galaxy!" Some folks might disagree with his foreign policy, though, consisting as it does of pretty much blasting whole planets into rubble.


Mrrrrrawwwwkkk!!!! Gronnnnkkkk!!! Mrran... wua ga ma uma ahuma ooma. "Whobacca?!?!"... GRONK! "Gravelbacca!!!" Hnn-rowr yrroonn nng rarrr!

Mitt Skywalker

Not quite as pretty as J'han Solo. But pretty. Kind of like how Aragorn was never quite as pretty as Legolas, except different. Anyway, Mitt's biggest appeal is that he's the likeable doofus scampering around the galaxy in search of himself, always haunted by the spectre of his father. On the downside, he's so conflicted it's hard to know where his true allegiances lie... he's infatuated with his own twin sister, he listens to apparitions of old men, he preaches religious tolerance... but only for those who believe in The Force. Sort of gives the impression he's been knocked off his Tauntaun a few too many times.


Princess Leia Orbama of Alderaan, IL

A young idealist constantly criticized for her "inexperience", Senator Leia Orbama once faced down Lord Vader with "Darth Vader. Only you could be so bold... and so stupid." Pwned! Ultimately might make a good team with J'han Solo, if they can get past their differences of opinion. Orbama shows pragmatism, thoughtfulness, and excellent presentation at official ceremonies, and yet can be a ruthless tactician and even a commando when the sitch requires it. A long experience in grassroots organization (on Endor), and also, pretty.

I cn haz Bootz. O yes.


Wicket Huckabee

Speaking of Endor, that sort of weird foresty place where the Ewoks frolic and enjoy each other's company, right-to-work laws, and a ban on gay marriage, who'd have ever thought Wicket, a Republican true believer in The Force, could ever have risen to lead such a traditionally Democratic tribe? I mean, it's inspirational that he lost 105 pounds (he only weighs about 45 now!) and plays the bass, but can you really imagine introducing him to the UN General Assembly? "Ladies and Gentlemen, President Wicket!" How ridiculous. I don't think so.


Duncan Biggs Hunter Darklighter

Certainly the candidate with the most dramatic name, unfortunately this veteran congressman and member of the Armed Services Committee hates women and loves the unborn. Also known as "Red Three"; George Lucas doesn't really give us much more to go on, except for a vague homoerotic testimonial offered by Skywalker, who says (huskily) "We're a couple of shooting stars, Biggs, and we'll never be stopped." O rly?

Seriously, look it up in the book... it's near the end.

Nute Dodd-Gunray

Not to be confused with Newt Gunray, who isn't running, Nute Dodd-Gunray is primarily backed by the financial services industry, which he also just happens to regulate as chairman of the Trade Federation.



Did you know he also dated Carrie Fisher for a while? For realio. She dumped his ass.

Obi-ron Paul-obi

Widely respected for his stubborn belief that the whole universe should be run just like his neighborhood on the backwater planet Tatooine, Obi-ron spends a lot of time wistfully remembering the Old Republic. He practices a peculiar interpretation of The Force, in which reducing government to only local control and returning to the gold standard is the answer. Obi-ron reluctantly returned the contributions of the Tusken Raiders and Jawas, whose politics of ethnic slaughter and droid slave trade he justifies as "states rights". While his anti-Empire foreign policy excites the Rebel Alliance, it's pretty much a Jedi mind trick. He's still a crazy old guy living in the desert.

Le Fett
Le Fred

Boba Fredtt

A fearsome enforcer for sale to the highest bidder, there's a reason they kept Boba Fredtt in the background and didn't let him talk for all that time. It turns out that when you give him a microphone and encourage him to take a bigger role, he's actually kind of dim and boring, even with a kick-ass spacesuit. Remember, when he was on Jabba's sand yacht, a temporarily blinded Solo whacked him with a stick, ignited his rocket pack, and sent him hurtling into the mouth of the Sarlacc monster. Hey, if Solo can humiliate him while blinded, do you really want him as your nominee? Embarrassing, right?


Tom TanGreedo

Meh, TanGreedo was a xenophobic freak who got wiped out early. Don't need to worry about him.

Jar Jar Kucinich

Nuff said.

Okay, really unfair. But remember how the Gungans were sort of these peacenik bumbly guys who sent Jar Jar to represent them in the Republic Government and then he sort of inadvertently started the Clone Wars or something? Kucinich actually admitted to believing in UFOs, man. I mean, everyone believes, but you don't go around admitting it.

SeeJoe Threepio

See, the funny thing about Cjoe3PO is that he'd probably make a pretty good leader. The Ewoks thought he was a god, remember? He's smart, informed, an excellent protocol droid, but he annoys the crap out of everyone because you can't shut him up. Still, he's been around since Episode I and looks pretty impressive when he gets all shined up. We could do worse. And what would be more kick-ass than Vice President Artoo? A mega-improvement, I'm just sayin'.

Hillando Clintrissian

Here's the thing. The Millenium Falcon was hers to begin with. She only lost it to Bill on a bet. Then she got caught up in that whole Cloud City thing in the Bespin system, which proved she could govern, I guess, but she's kinda hoping you won't remember that she totally sold out the Rebels to Darth Vader. That's how J'han Solo wound up encased in Carbonite and Leia ended up in a bikini on a chain. Hmmm. Actually, not so bad! And Hillando did do some nifty piloting against the New and Improved Death Star. Didn't she also record "Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)"?

The thing that scares me is when you talk to her staff, they're like totally dedicated, but kinda scary. Everybody says how Hillando demands their loyalty and efficiency. All we all going to end up being taken over by our Bluetooths? Isn't this getting a little close to Borg territory, which would be a radically different story? Hillando... I just don't know.

Well, that pretty much wraps it up from here. Unfortunately, my favorite candidate isn't running.

"Do or do not... there is no try."

"Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."

"Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things."

"Named must your fear be before banish it you can."