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Monthly Archives: February 2007

Ronald Reagan was president of the Screen Actor’s Guild, but he never won an Oscar. The current Governor of California has had a thriving career as a moviestar, but he hasn’t won an Oscar. Former Vice President Al Gore, whose most famous acting credits include the role of “pathetic overacting candidate” in the live-for-tv series, “Presidential Candidates Debate,” in 2000, and a widely-hailed appearance on Saturday Night Live the night before announcing he wouldn’t seek the highest office again in 2004, is on track to become the unlikely first just-about-President to win an Oscar.

Gore speculation has been brilliant this year, so far. We turn, as always, to our film critics, for good political punditry. The smartest word came this year from the oracle of the Chronicle (or “Orachron”), Mick LaSalle. He says a grosse Gore is a non-candidate, but a sveltitician is a potential threat for the Barackary Oclintons.

Actually, he said at first that Gore showing up to the Oscars at all would mean a no-go on the 2000 victor’s 2008 candidacy, but then conceded that just showing up wasn’t the thing. Showing up fat, however…

An AP story says an Oscar for Al could send some juice into the nascent and undeclared candidacy.

And then there’s Rolling Stone. I’m with them, actually. This guy is looking better and better. At least until Gary Hart gets back out there.

That was not a joke, by the way. Gary Hart. Write that down.


You might have gotten to see this:
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But it isn’t. So you didn’t. Until just now, or a minute from now, whenever you give in to the power of the little triangle in the circle, calling out to you to press it.

Press it.

A little less than a year ago, Ze Frank started his year-long project called, simply, The Show. It’s become a popular daily video podcast and the prospect of its year-long run coming to an end is much-lamented by its many subscribers and fans. They are many, and their sentiments are now duly noted. One wishes that were enough to make them stop, but it isn’t. Ze Frank, himself, is going to ride the wave all the way to an end-of-The-Show party that will be in Brooklyn, or in Los Angeles, or somewhere else….

The show has done nothing but gain momentum over the course of the year thus far, with more than one significant mention in The Times, among other mainstream media sites.

Now, talk about the end of the show is clearly heating up, especially since this enlightening article a few weeks back, in The Observer.

There’s lots of speculation about what he’ll do next, with most of it swarming around Hollywood.

But let’s look back on the year: Here’s this young, brilliant guy. He’s got a close eye on current events and politics. He’s an architect of ideas, a writer, an actor. He’s got a mind for strategy. And — this bears repeating — he’s interested in politics.

Last year, he took a hard line against one videoblog site’s inflation of its popularity. Yes, it seemed a little catty to some obvservers, but what was really at issue in the so-called “Nerd War”?

The issue was metrics, numbers, how we count them and what they mean.

That debate may seem trivial if we’re talking about Rocketboom (and the milquetoast talent that it spawned and then lost to an as-yet unseen hit TV show or something), but the question of metrics is not so trivial when it is applied to counting votes in Florida, say, or counting bodies in Iraq. Questions of metrics, what they mean, and how we get them also come up in this country every ten years or so, when the government undertakes to follow its Constitutional obligation in the taking of the census. (The last census was taken in 2000, and the topic came up from time-to-time then. The next full census will be in 2010.)

A cursory glance at the political landscape right now reveals the obvious: we are still in the very early stages of our respective parties’ primary seasons. There are plenty of candidates, and although there may appear to be clear frontrunners, it’s both too early to be sure, and also clear that those positions are highly tenable (a woman and a bi-racial man are purported front-runners in the Democratic side, while a New England Mormon flip-flopper and a socially moderate Catholic are apparent front-runners in the Republican side. This is not a done deal, by any stretch.)

Now, back to The Show. It started, innoccuously-seeming enough, a year ago. Not much to suspect there, back in March 2006. Just another videoblog. But it wraps up a year later, and the climate has changed considerably. Primary season. The strategically-minded Ze Frank throws a party (or two), either on the East Coast or the West Coast, or both. He could just be throwing a party, sure. Or he could be energizing his “base,” on the coasts.

He gives an interview to the Observer in which he discusses his Hollywood ambitions, but also lets drop that he’s thirty-four years old. It’s 2007. He’ll be thirty-five in 2008. By the time the next President of the United States is sworn in, it will be 2009. Ze Frank will be thirty-five years old.

He is a writer and an actor.

There’s just one problem, alluded to in the Observer article. Ze Frank was born in Germany. Dealbraker? Maybe.

But this brings us back to all those trips he’s been taking out in California. Sure, that’s where the Hollywood studios are. But it’s also where a lively movement already exists to amend the U.S. Constitution on behalf of foreign-born citizens who might seek the highest office in the land.

Starting to come together, isn’t it?

So it’s finally time to retire the old line, “I love New York.” Time to come up with a new one. Can New York State put its heads together and do this on its own? No. It needs help.

If you have suggestions, go ahead and leave a comment. The winner gets a million dollars and the contract to work with the State on the new slogan. Go on. Give it a shot. What have you got to lose?