Nest Heads and Talking Heads
The comic strip Nest Heads has been running a series all this week entitled "Voting Tips for the Radical Moderate". (Unfortunately this week's comics won't be available on line until next week). My immediate reaction was: cool, I made the comics!! OK, the main character doesn't look much like me; I'm not quite as skinny (anymore) as he is, and I can't grow a decent beard to save my life. But I've been using the "Radical Moderate" designation for quite a while now! Nice to see that I'm not alone in my innate dislike for extremes, and for party polities of any kind.
On a related note, this past weekend we went to see the movie Man of the Year. If nothing else, it should set the record as the most deceptively advertised film of all time. All of the commercials I saw portray it as a comedy vehicle for Robin Williams, in which he plays an irreverent comedian who apparently ascends to the presidency. In fact, the movie was perhaps 10% a comedy, and mostly a combination of thriller and political commentary. Unlike one of my all time favorite movies, Dave, MotY's theme was emphatically not that a regular guy might do a better job than politicians in running the country. In fact, the few actual political statements that Williams' character made in the movie were almost completely bland and contentless. The movie was mostly a commentary on corporate greed and on the danger of over-reliance on high-tech voting. Not at all what I was expecting.
Sometimes I do think a comedian really ought to be president though. At least he'd have a sense of humor about most of the stupidities that our politicians waste their time with, leaving him free to focus his serious energy on our genuine problems. Robin Williams wouldn't be my first choice though - and anyway isn't he an alien, and thus not legally allowed to be president? But there are other, much more qualified candidates. Just based on his quotes alone, Steven Wright would get my vote. Or maybe Andy Kaufman, if he really is still alive.
Then again, reasonable compromise does seem to still be possible occasionally, even under our current system, as evidenced by today's decision here in the Garden State. Robin Williams had the ultimate comment on that issue though, in one of the few actual laughs in Man of the Year:
"You want an amendment against same sex marriage?? Anyone who's ever been married knows it's always the same sex!"