Voting

>> Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Are you American? You’d better go and vote! Cast your ballot! Too many Americans do not go to cast their ballots. It should be much higher and then we would have probably much less worries as a nation.
~Werner Herzog

I voted. I have a friend here in Colorado who I know didn't though. She's 31. She's never voted in her entire life, and she's not going to start now. Not even to vote for the down ballot measures such as single-payer healthcare or mandated minimum wage increases in Colorado. Nope, she's not going to even vote for that even though her boyfriend works a minimum wage job. She just wants to go live her happy life until she dies and will voting even affect that? She says no. I say yes, but I'm not going to waste more time trying to convince her. She blabbed that she would vote if Elizabeth Warren had run. So I asked her if she was living in Massachusetts, would she have voted for Elizabeth Warren when she was running for the Senate? No answer. Not surprising because I know she wouldn't have voted then either. How did Elizabeth Warren become so renown in the last few years? Oh yeah, that's right...because she won political office and has used that to publicize positions that she had previously talked about for years. Would anyone really consider Elizabeth Warren for president if she hadn't made it into the Senate? Nope. But that's not something my friend considers. Ever, really. She doesn't want to be involved or try to take simple actions. I could understand not voting if she was living in a state where vote manipulation by voting machines could be happening. But she's living in Colorado, where everyone can vote by mail. That is called a paper ballot, which can always easily be recounted and verified by anyone.

And I can understand not voting because you don't like the choices for president. I didn't vote for Hillary Clinton, and I sure as hell didn't vote for Trump. I know there are people who believe that not voting for Hillary equals a vote for Trump. I am not one of those people. I've known since January that Trump was not going to become president after reading Edith Hathaway's article. Unfortunately Bernie Sanders didn't end up being the one to take the Trumpster down; however, I've never doubted that Trump would lose. I may not be a professional Vedic astrologer, but I know enough to understand what Edith was talking about in Trump's chart. Plus, she's recently done an update for the election based on the inauguration chart. It's not a chart that represents Trump & Pence winning either, so I know Hillary Clinton was going to win anyway.

So I wrote in Bernie Sanders as a write-in. I wasn't interested in voting for Jill Stein since I think she needs a little more practicality in creating a platform. I'm not completely anti-Green Party since I did vote for the Green Party candidate for Senate. But for me, it came down to a few different things:

  1. I believe Bernie Sanders was the rightful winner of the Democratic primary
  2. I think Edith Hathaway is right that this century will be dominated by corporate power rather than that of nation-states. I kind of view voting for Hillary as voting for the corporate interests, which many people may think is ridiculous but I don't care. She is going to be more interested in what Goldman Sachs has to say than the people who called and volunteered for her campaign.
  3. I believe that the Democrats will win back the Senate tonight, which means that Bernie Sanders will become the Senate Budget chairman. And you would say, why would that matter when voting for President? Because it would show that he still has lots of public support for the ideas he campaigned on. Ideas that he is going to push hard to get implemented while HRC is President. Bernie will have a book coming out soon. He's going to go do press for it. And he's going to become the Senate Budget chairman at the same time. He'll need every ounce of support he can get while trying to get actual change that will matter to me done. 
  4. I want a vote that means something to me in 100 years. Yeah, I know I'm missing my chance to vote for the first female president, and I'm okay with that. Hillary is going to make some terrible decisions that affect people. She's going to approve the TPP. She's not going to end fracking since she's truly for it. And, if I had to bet money, she's probably going to let the DAPL go through if Obama punts it to her. And she's totally fine with corporations owning our healthcare system and gouging us through the eyeballs for it. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some kind of war or military conflict that she'll probably get us involved in circa spring or summer of 2018. She's more warhawk-ish than Obama and maybe even Bill.
  5. I don't like the thought of the first female president basically getting there only after her husband was there first. I think it sets a bad precedent. Margaret Thatcher didn't become prime minister after her husband. Angela Merkel didn't become the chancellor of Germany after her husband. Gro Harlem Brundtland didn't become the first prime minister of Norway in following her husband. But HRC will become the first female president of the U.S. of A after her husband was once president first. I think it totally creates the perception--within some groups--that a woman can only achieve an office like that with the help of her husband. (And I'm not talking about just general support.)
And now, since the election season is almost over. We now only have to wait for the inauguration to happen. And probably a shitload more stuff from Wikileaks, and Republicans freaking out and threatening shit because Trump didn't win. C'mon, you know it's not going to be over that easy.


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By the Sea

>> Sunday, November 6, 2016

I don't think I was ever really interested in watching this until my sister told me it was available on HBOGo. She "watched" it a few weeks ago, which means she didn't really sit through the whole thing but--at times--kept it running in the background while doing other things. A much less painful way to view this movie than what I went through. I actually watched the whole thing sitting down in front of my computer.

But I still took breaks. Specifically, I watched 35 minutes before I went to bed last night because I was too tired and this was even more boring than watching Spectre. Then I finished it this morning; although I did push pause quite a few times when making my breakfast.

There is a LOT of fluff in this movie. If you cut 1/3 of the movie out, then it might qualify as a drama rather than...I'm not sure what this really is...a mood piece? Last year when this came out, I considered what was said in the What the Flick?! review quite heavily since they have good discussions.

But now having seen it...they were too kind.

Angelina Jolie is not a good writer. At. All. The first line of dialogue is literally, "I smell fish." Wow. How surprising when you're by the sea! I have to give all the actors a lot of credit; they all save this thing. They are the only reason this thing has any life to it. I know people don't want to think that Brad Pitt can act, but I disagree. I think his performance here is one of the only things that holds this movie together. All AJ's character does is smoke and have the same pained expression on her face for most of the movie. And oh my god is she ever ridiculously skinny. They say the camera adds 10 pounds, but what did she really weigh in this movie? 100? She looks deathly thin and not at all healthy. I did not want to see her naked in the shower or in the bathtub. It was that painful to see. I'm of the opinion that her character's long dresses were specifically to hide how grotesquely skeletal she looks. Melanie Laurent doesn't have a tremendously voluptuous figure, but she looks quite normally fleshy and un-elderly compared to AJ. And her character's rationale for being so morose and depressed? I think it's completely ridiculous and doesn't match reality of most people going through those things, unless you're a spoiled brat and the world needs to revolve around you. I've known other people who have lost children and have far better attitudes about life.

But now that Brangelina is getting divorced--and let's not forget this entire movie is coming from her mind because she wrote AND directed it--I can't help but see this film as a reminder that she is fucked up. I read that Andrew Morton biography of AJ a few years ago. It's not a great book, and it's certainly not a great celebrity biography either. But it does have some good things to point out such as that AJ's mom wasn't the best mother, pretty much neglected AJ to a certain extent over her brother particularly as a young child, and built up/created AJ's hatred for her father because mommy wanted it that way. Plus, she was into observing & reading the tabloids during AJ's growing years, which is not a bad thing. But it's relevant when you consider how easily AJ has been able to manipulate the media into not calling out her bullshit in the last few years. She grew up seeing how people she and her parents knew were able to portray things a certain way in the press and has simply done the same thing herself. I remember her portraying a version of her childhood growing up where she didn't see her father much at all, but the reality is that Jon Voight tried to be around his kids as much as possible and coached her soccer team, etc. Not really convenient when you want to portray yourself as the underdog achieving success rather than success from a nepotistic atmosphere.

I agree with Scott Rudin; she is a minimally talented spoiled brat. She was most interesting as an actor 10+ years ago, but that's also because she was playing herself most of the time. That's always when she was most successful as an actor. I suppose she isn't really bad, but there's a certain lack of depth I don't think she can reach. Like, I believe Brad Pitt as an actor in this movie way more than I do her. He's definitely grown to be a better actor and has pushed himself. The guy did Se7en back when he could have done more regular blockbuster fare, and has done other niche films like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. And she wants...to join the House of Lords in the UK or something? But that would only be after dragging the father of her children in the press "for the health of her family." Yeah, whatever. I see through you Angie Jo.

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