I have to say with all of the fascinating email I receive, generally wonderful stuff from my readers, this was my favorite today. The video is great - the drawings even better. 40,000 views in a couple of days? That's damn good - usually that requires a bikini :)
It's a weird occurrence today,... me writing to you (and, I must confess, a handful of your fellow writers as well). I was a libertarian for quite a long time before this election year. I did my thing,... clung to the middle on many social issues and used the constitution as my catch-all shield against extreme liberalism and (to be honest) anything else that I didn't really like that well. But, unfortunately for me, I started reading many of your blogs with mild amusement at times, and mild jealousy at others (all wannabe writers feel this I suspect)... all of these thoughts pocketed like Swiss political ideology queso,... with holes of logic that ran through the conservative philosophy, found their way straight into my own worldview. It was undeniable...
I didn't yet know it,... but I was becoming republican.
Now,... under normal circumstances,... I admit... I would simply turn on my Xbox 360 and see if I could find a way to hack the "Rock the Vote" channel being showcased, or maybe go out with my wife to dinner and discuss how "unusual" and "interesting" peoples' opinions have become these days (those words being gilded euphemisms used to feign arrogance on my part,... but really, sometimes I just like to try to impress my lovely wife ;) ).
Fate, however,... has (as it always does) intervened,... and the concept of "going out to dinner" vanished blissfully as my son Ace was born into the world nearly five weeks ago now. It was a joyous occasion, and after several weeks recovery my wife and I began to learn some things about ourselves as individuals and as a family.... mainly:
1-We were in fact grownups. Oh sure, before Ace came along we had played at being "cool", going out, drinking cocktails with names that are unspeakable in decent company, and singing karaoke until the audience's noses were bleeding,... but really, underneath it all, we were proud, happy, stay-at- home and chill-out,... parents.
2-We were politically conservative. You see all of a sudden, it actually became important to us that the American Dream be a tangible, attainable reality for our son. Both my wife and I graduated from fairly well known universities here in Florida (University of Miami and UCF), but all of a sudden, the lives and jobs and values that we have had in the past and currently keep,... these things that define our roles and character and affect colleagues, friends, and relationships on a day-to-day basis,... all of it,... from the gas we pumped into our car, to the late nights at the office,... it didn't seem so ephemeral to us anymore. They were income. Time invested. Money for clothes and food and vacations in the future,... vacations to places where we would all learn new things and our son could step proudly on our shoulders and BE that next generation. They were character traits and selflessness and sacrifice and things that we would need to teach our boy. They were God, and Country and being part of something bigger than one's self. They were fun and laughter and a great big wide country that bursts at the seams with adventure and technology and history and culture,... a culture all its own. All of this,.. it all became,... well, just... REAL.
3-We were downright appalled. I will say it again. Appalled. The fact the Senator Barack Obama has made it as far as he has with virtually no experience on the world stage is strange. The fact that he has made it this far into a 9 digit budget marketing campaign without this sort of polictial contest becoming a landslide is BEYOND ridiculous. It just shows how difficult the "sales pitch" was to begin with. The fact that only a limited number of people seem to be using the tried n' true, job-interview, best-qualified person-for-the-job litmus test as the best way to go about "hiring" a president,... it is BEYOND illogical. And,... (ahemm) it is ALL downright SUSPICIOUS (now I sound like a libertarian again don't I! ;) ) But most of all, we were appalled... at ourselves.
And so, with my crazy-producer's hat in my hand, I sat down at the little four legged fold out table from Wal-Mart, parked serenely like a "2008 : A Space-Wasting Odyssey",... serenely in the family-room nerve center of our baby-gear infested apartment, amid "new-parents-live-here" festooned, clutter-cubes dotting the carpet landscape, and peeping from every nook,... (think Johnny Depp in the scene from BLOW with boxes of money,... but instead of money, think diapers)....
I sat... and started writing out a silly song.
That song turned into a recording.
That recording begat a series of drawings.
Those drawings became a video. That video was posted to YouTube 3 days ago.
Now let me first say,... we did not KNOW that this video was going to receive the amount of traffic that it has. It is silly. Obnoxious. Downright campy in places. The music (to quote one of the reviews) sounds like bad 80's rock)... and (again to quote) apparently people "love it".
"Love it" to the tune of almost 35,000 views in three days (as of this writing).
And so, I thought to myself... can a stupid, meaningless YouTube video really change anyone's mind? Or is "spoof" (as an animated art form,... and I use the word "art" loosely... though Lorne Michaels might disagree with me...), is spoof more of "window" onto ourselves as Americans? Or, more personally, a window onto the past "me" (not that I ever would have voted for Barack,... but you get the gist).
So after some pondering, I thought perhaps I would simply send a note (and at this point, a long-winded one!) to some of the people who got me here in the first place, the writers whose internet WordPress's I "lounged" over lazily, during a time when politics (to me) were an endeavor for, older, wiser, crankier people who wore darker, more expensive suits than me,... and where opinions were merely jagged stones that were thrown grumpily into a small pond,... where the strongest of arms and the random coalescence of merging ripples would always (and sometimes seemingly randomly) prevail over others. Well,... I am proud to say,... that age for me is over.
I am an American. I do NOT support Barack Obama. I threw a stone in the pond. And I invite you to give this particular stone a view...
Should you like it or wish to critique it, please feel free as I respect you as the one of the "serious" minds in the room (but really, how does that sound coming from an indie film producer? ;). Should you find it so inanely delightful that you want to embed it in your blog, your site, your whatever (though to mesh it well with your solid, intellectually well-crafted slice of online patriotica web-real estate,... hmm, might not go well... just a thought ;) ),... but again, please be my guest.
But whatever the case may be, God Bless You for Fighting Hard for what's right, even when guys like me did nothing for so many years.
God Bless the First Amendment (which still gives silly filmmakers the right to churn out animated spoofs named "Obamaween").
God Bless America.
I don't know what will happen on November 4th,... but I will see you and some of your colleagues on the other side, ready,... with a stone in my hand and a pile of them sitting beside me.
C. Alex Velazquez