Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Davids Almighty

  • What I'm Watching/Listening To/Reading:
    • MSNBC trotted out every one of their usuals, minus Brokaw and Scarbrough, for tonight. It's okay, you can let go guys, it's over.
    • Instead of watching that, I flipped around to HBO and watched what was on. Evan Almighty is a poignant drama about a Congressman who disrespects the environment and is asked by God to build an ark. In doing so, he's forced to examine everything about his life and come to the conclusion that he had lost his way. A movie this serious doesn't usually star so many actors who have been in great comedies, but that may be just what sets this one apart, with Steve Carrell (Anchorman), Lauren Graham (Bad Santa), John Goodman (Raising Arizona), Wanda Sykes ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), John Michael Higgins (Best in Show), and Jonah Hill (Superbad). It starts out with the frightening image of the misguided Carrell being bit in the crotch by a dog, who then proceeds to poop on Carrell's lawn, giving us the stark metaphor of a Washington whose greed has soiled our fine planet. This movie will touch you to your soul with its constant and unflinchingly grim imagery.
    • Wait, it was supposed to be a comedy? Oh... That movie sucked. And the end, where Carrell's son looks upon his father's nakedness? Didn't need that.
  • Random Thoughts/Links:
    • Is this the stupidest article ever? Enquiring minds want to know.
    • Consider my cares danced away.
    • God bless Terry McAuliffe. God bless his soul. After his "Meet The Press" performance on Sunday, I can't tell if he a) goes into wild fits of laughter as soon as he's off camera, or b) needs to go through a serious BS-detox program as soon as Senator Clinton finally drops out.
    • I don't know if voters in Appalachia are racist. I suppose there could be economic reasons for why they don't like Obama, but working class whites in other areas of the country have gone for Obama or have been evenly split. Look at this map, which shows all of the counties in the country (before tonight) where Clinton took 65% of the vote. It is eye-opening. Here's the similar map for Obama. Here's the story from Daily Kos that discusses it all.
  • Ranking The "Idol" Performances:
    • 3. Syesha Mercado -- There's almost no way I would put her higher than third, with an inevitable matchup between the Davids coming next week. Even so, I think she was legimately third. It seems like they do "Fever" every season and I thought her vocal on that was a little weak. Her third song was a total mess.
    • 2. David Archuleta -- I thought he was a little better than Cook in the first round, but lost it after that. Him singing, "I need you, boo," was laughable. Somehow, all of his performances make me think of those commercials you see on the History Channel on Sunday mornings for Christian music, where you see the song titles scroll up the screen while people in the crowd close their eyes and hold their arms up. You know what I'm talking about.
    • 1. David Cook -- He was good in the first round, just okay (like everyone else) in the second, and blew the other two away in the third round. Side note: the producers must be on crack. Those song choices were terrible. When Simon said that "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing" was one of the greatest songs ever, my wife and I immediately looked at each other in horror.


angie said...

Woo-hoo, Fraggle Rock!

Did you not see/recognize Diane Warren in the audience? Even after one of the judges pointed her out? I think that probably had something to do with Simon's comment on the song, don't you?

I don't think I can rank last night's AI performers. Technically speaking, I think I'd have to put Archuleta first since he had two good songs (first and last); but I still don't care for him.

I like Syesha and thought all three of her performances were solid, but certainly nothing fantastic. It seems like she's been approaching the last few weeks as her audition for Broadway. She seems much more comfortable and therefore better at the musical theater (or theatrical music) than she does the straight pop stuff.

While I stand by my previous comment that David Cook is the only one I can imagine buying an album of, I thought he had a really off night. Like maybe he, too, has decided that he'd be better off not winning and so is trying to dial it back a bit. His first song was fine, the second was awful (pitch problems all over the place), and the third was just ok. The clip of his third song during the recap was the first time I've noticed that they don't take clips of the live performances; he sang the song differently in the clip than he did on the show! You'd think they'd have a couple of clips ready to go so that doesn't happen.

angie said...

Ok, Josh, you know I've purposely stayed away from commenting on your political comments, but GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK!!! Your thinly veiled insult of a large swath of the country that the only really believable reason for not liking the candidate YOU support is that they're racist is just absolutely ridiculous. There are lots of reasons people prefer one candidate over another. Who knows, maybe it is race for some or even a lot of people. Or maybe, gee, they just don't like him for numerous other possible reasons. Or maybe they do like him, but they happen to like the other candidate a little bit more for any number of reasons.

I have no idea what the actual exit poll numbers say as far as how "white working class voters" have voted all across the country, but the article you linked to that supposedly discusses it all is a bunch of crap. I'm not saying the main point is wrong (I have no idea if it is or not), but the discussion does nothing to actually support the contention.

Those maps don't offer any proof about any national "white working class voters" trend either. Maybe what they really show is that a certain section of the country is less sexist than other areas. There's so much more that would need to be known before making any kind of claim.

The only thing the maps show is that the candidate you don't like has had overwhelming primary victories in an awful lot of counties in states that might actually be swing states in the general election. The candidate you like? Not so many.

Josh said...

My DVR cut out in the middle of the clips at the end, but I usually don't watch them anyway. It never occurred to me that they would show the dress rehearsals for those; that's pretty interesting.

As for the politics, a higher percentage of WV voters said race was a factor for them than in other states and a much higher percentage tied Obama to Wright (though this is probably more because they were Clinton voters than anything else). I'm not saying they're all racist, but I do think many of them are poor and uneducated and that that leads people to be less willing to take what they see as a risk. I think that throughout the primary season, regionalism has been a larger factor than other demographics. He would not have won other classic swing states as WI or IA without doing better in the white vote than he did in states like WV, PA, or OH.

I also think that what might actually be swing states are different this year than they have been in the past. She did very well in rural areas of OH and PA (you can't possibly count her success in MI in this argument since he wasn't on the ballot). I think in PA that Rendell's machine will keep it Democratic. I also think that his success in Northern VA and Colorado brings those states well into play. The McCain campaign is reportedly going to have a huge effort to make Washington and Oregon swing states, where Obama (in Washington and most likely next week in Oregon) had/will have great success.

Josh said...

I guess I missed one of my main points: there are many reasons to not vote for Obama. Obviously I don't think everyone who voted against him nation-wide is racist or stupid or any other derogatory term. People can see him as lacking experience, they can see him as elitist and soft, they can say that they believe his brand of change will be too extreme. People can also not vote for him because they're racist or misinformed about Wright or about whether or not Obama is a Muslim, just like people can not vote for Clinton because they think she'll say anything to get elected and they can not vote for McCain because they think he's too old. I'm saying that I believe, based on other data, that people from Appalachia were more likely to choose reasons that we would see as unsavory than those that we would see as legitimate. Maybe it makes me seem prejudiced and elitist, to use one of this year's buzzwords. So be it.

angie said...

I read that somewhere after Paula's flub of commenting on a not-yet-performed song. The producers said they have to show clips from the dress rehearsal because there's not enough time to get all the clips done in the amount of time they have between the last performance and the recap.

Umm, in an effort to stop discussing the main points of both our comments, just one question -- in what way is Wisconsin a swing state? It hasn't gone Republican since Reagan.

Josh said...

Okay, I overdid it on WI. I was thinking back to the fact that it was a swing state in the primary because of the small African-American population. They're a pretty progressive state.