The 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

I have a few suggestions for the United States of America.

1) Get rid of the electoral college and go with the popular vote.

Before I get to why the electoral college is stupid, let’s address this question : What is the argument against popular vote? Why is this an unfair way to determine what leader the majority of people wish to have in office? The main argument I’ve heard against the popular vote is that it might weigh the issues and concerns of more population dense states and cities more heavily than those with sparse populations in remote areas. And the problem with this would be???? Besides the fact that the EC doesn’t really fix this “issue” anyway, using the popular vote method of election should consider concerns of the masses as more important than those of the few. So what if politicians mainly campaign in L.A. and NYC and other major population centers? The issues and concerns of the citizens of NYC should carry more weight than those of Bumblefuck, NE. And speaking of campaigning…..

2) No more political parties, campaigning, or money in politics.

No super pacs, especially no anonymous donors, no tv ads, no swing states, no more lobbying, no more corporate interests being the voice for the individuals. The common variable to all of the previously mentioned things? Money. So, yeah. NO MORE MONEY to determine elections. Just a person and their policies. The way it should work is that all candidates submit a an extensive resume and detailed political platform(which they are obligated to uphold by law once in office under penalty of perjury). Why is it that a regular citizen goes to jail if he gives false testimony about a traffic violation, while candidates for the Presidency can just fucking consistently lie about their agendas and directives after they are appointed to their position? Politicians should merely do the bidding of the masses. They should be public servants with a little bit of room for proper decision-making regarding previously unaddressed issues not specified during their pre-office campaign promises.

There will be a government website listing of all candidates and their pertinent information where voters can go to educate themselves on their choices. It will be a level playing field where candidates all have the same resources to state their case, and advertizing will be against the rules and worthy of disqualification. Everything will take place online. If you are truly running for President of the United States of America, and you can’t get access to a computer to upload your profile, you probably don’t have a great resume to be President. Additionally, as a voter, if in 2012 you can’t use a computer or get access to one, your vote probably shouldn’t be counted anyway.

There will be a preliminary nationwide vote to narrow the field down to the top 10 vote getting candidates. At this point, the government will fund a series televised debates and interviews, with all candidates getting equal chances to speak their case. Then we all vote and the candidate with the most votes wins. No political parties. Just qualified patriots who are put in office to defend and serve the needs of the people.

3) Just like politicians, pundits and news organizations must be held accountable for their words and actions.

Yes, we have freedom of speech in this country. It’s a great thing. But, just because you are free to do something, doesn’t mean you can be irresponsible with your words without consequence. We need to hold our “news” organizations to a higher standard of information reporting and analysis. Perhaps if we follow suggestion #2 of this process and remove the money from this whole corrupt process, the misinformation will magically disappear.

– JA

Dredd (2012 film)

Roboc…. err…. Judge Dr…. errr…. Dredd is here!!!

I can’t remember a time that the ‘Tomatometer’ gave a movie a rating under 40%, and I ended up liking it. However, there have been plenty of instances where a movie was rated above 70% and I’ve ended up terribly disappointed. “Dredd”(78%) was one of those occasions. This movie seemed like one big, extended trailer for an action movie. I kept waiting for it to start, and it never really did. At this film’s core, is nothing more than some cheap one-liners, combined with enough glamorized blood and violence to satiate some 14 year-old gamers who decided to take one night off from playing Gears of War. I’m not really sure what critics liked so much about Dredd. It’s unoriginal, it’s predictable, and it doesn’t even have any decent comic relief – a staple of any preposterous, massive suspension of disbelief, action film. The only two things it had going for it were a decent villian in “Ma-Ma”(Lena Headey), and its merciful running time of 95-minutes(thank you, editor Mark Eckersley).

The film seemed to be a showcase for some new super, super slow-motion special effects. They were sorta cool the first time we got to see them. But, they actually ended up being TOO slow. If they had slowed the action down any more, it would have been a paused screen. And after the 19th time of being subjected to this treatment, the only “special effect” that I experienced, was having the new-found ability to enter the mind of a narcoleptic. In addition, I was reminded of the effects featured in this other obscure movie called : “The Matrix”. So, if they were trying to compete on a slo-mo special effects level, they came up a bit short in comparison.

This isn’t a still picture, it’s actually that super cool slo-mo effect from the movie… just watch really closely….

Unfortunately for “Dredd”, I watched this film about a half-hour after I finished watching “The Master”. Methinks the tremendous dichotomy between the two films may have amplified my distaste for “Dredd”. It was like having Wolfgang Puck custom cook you a meal, and then going out to an Arby’s directly afterwards. Maybe the Arby’s wouldn’t have seemed so cheap and empty, if it were eaten separately. Actually, this is a terrible analogy because Arby’s would make me want to puke regardless of any surrounding conditions(including starvation). At the same time, much like fast food, this film was strategically crafted to please the masses. I feel like the whole point was to appeal to the largest R-Rated audience possible. The basic plan is to just dumb everything down, and keep it gory and predictable.

I know exactly how she feels. I was looked at the same way, when I walked past the line for “Sex in The City 2” carrying a bag of Sprinkles cupcakes.

The soundtrack catered perfectly to this movie’s target demographic of 14-32 year old men, by featuring the type of stuff you’d find on a Dance-Dance Revolution playlist. At this point, it’s getting harder and harder to tell movies apart from video games. And no play it safe financial venture would be truly complete without a traditional Hollywood ending – an ending you knew was coming from the first ten minutes of the movie. Right when we get introduced to Ma-Ma, we are treated to a slo-mo scene of her doing drugs in her penthouse on the 200th floor of a building. Gee, I wonder how she might die in the end???

Overall, I don’t know what I was really expecting. I mean, even the setting for the film didn’t make any sense. So, we are supposed to believe the world is now basically under constant martial law, yet there are still tons of working taxi drivers, concession stands open at the mall, and happy families pushing strollers around? Huh?! I’m pretty sure you have to pick either one scenario or the other there, fellas. Based on the preview I saw beforehand, it completely matched my expectations. I guess I need to stop listening to Rotten Tomatoes, and follow my gut instead. Gauging by the audience squealing with delight at every lame post-death punchline, I should have known I was in the wrong classroom. I’d advise anyone thinking of seeing this to watch the trailer first. If it looks bad to you, save your money and don’t see it. If it looks good to you, save your money and just watch the trailer 28 more times, since it will have the same net effect.

Judgement : 3.6/10

– JA