Oscar, Obama, Oscar, Obama
Wow, this is the most disengaged I've been from the Oscar nominations in years... The last few years, after all, I dashed out lengthy columns on the nominations for the newspaper. This year, the only one of the best picture nominees I've even seen is "Little Miss Sunshine," which I did quite like. Still kicking myself I missed out on "The Departed" during its apparent five-minute run in NZ. So little to say on the Oscars other than wouldn't be awesome if Peter O'Toole finally wins Best Actor, even if it's a "pity vote"? And while I'm sure Helen Mirren is great in "The Queen," it's just about freakin' time Kate Winslet won something (five nominations now and she's under 32 - a record accomplishment).
Speaking of disengagement, it's been odd watching from overseas as the presidential 2008 contest starts to build up (just under two years before the eventual winner gets inaugurated). So, Hillary Clinton is in, eh? As someone who's voted Democrat in every election since 1992, I would have thought I'd be psyched, but I just can't get that passionate about the idea of another President Clinton. Just starting to feel too much like the Bush and Clinton families are our dynasty, considering a Bush or Clinton has been in the White House (or Vice Presidents Mansion) since, oh, 1981... I won't be enraged if Clinton is the Demo nominee and actually wins by some miracle (a woman president would be nifty); she'd probably be pretty good at the job, and by gum would be far better than the moron we have now, but I just don't want to go through all that old Whitewater/Lewinsky baggage again, y'know? The attack squads are already sharpening their knives...
Frankly, even if I'm jumping on the bandwagon here, it-politician Barack Obama is a lot more appealing to me - his candidacy has that whiff of the mythic that is always appealing, and while there's been caveats about his lack of experience, he's hardly the only presidential candidate with that problem. There's this guy named Bush whose only political experience was 6 years as the governor of Texas, which might sound impressive until you learn that Texas's governorship is about the weakest one there is. I have no idea if Obama would actually be a good president, but after the Dems trying two campaigns with candidates that had enormously long resumes, maybe it's time to go for an inspirational novice?
Anyway, it's far too soon to say Obama's media love-fest will lead anywhere, but he's certainly got an interesting story. My dream candidate would be Al Gore, but only if the public's memory of him could be surgically reset to 1992 or so. Just as I'm not eager for all the Clinton right-wing attacks to begin again, I'm so sick of the Al Gore jokes. While he was a pretty lackluster candidate (as was Kerry), I maintain both of them would've made far better presidents than what we ended up with. Ah well... c'est la vie. I'll be watching it all from overseas, anyway. Say, did I mention New Zealand already has a woman leader?