The Phony Campaign

2007-11-04 Update

I still don't understand it, but Senator Obama has widened his already huge lead over his phony rivals:

Query StringHit CountChange Since
"Barack Obama" phony929,000+20,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony653,000-23,000
"Ron Paul" phony525,000-143,000
"John Edwards" phony518,000-98,000
"Mitt Romney" phony426,000-77,000
"John McCain" phony414,000-44,000
"Rudy Giuliani" phony385,000-19,000
"Fred Thompson" phony358,000-39,000
"Mike Huckabee" phony211,000-16,000
"Dennis Kucinich" phony184,000+1,000

Obviously stung by his phony upsurge, the senator took to last evening's SNL to rebut the charge:

I quote: "I have nothing to hide. I enjoy being myself. I'm not gonna change who I am just because it's Halloween."

I'm sorry, Senator, but the Google doesn't lie!

Meanwhile, in the "Pot Calling the Kettle Black" department, it seems everyone pointed to this Edwards entry:

And it's true: nothing says "I'm a phony" more than not being able to maintain at least superficially consistent talking points throughout a period of a few minutes.

That's my first thought. Unfortunately for John Edwards, my second thought is: "It's pretty funny that this is coming from John Edwards." To quote Marty Kaplan at the Huffington Post:

Hey, John Edwards: You've got the Two Americas thing down, and no one's going to call you Republican lite. But the only message the media is letting the voters hear from you is Inauthentic. The trial lawyers money turns your hose-out-Washington message to mud. To the press, the big house and the four-Benjamin coif expose your populism as politics-as-usual. The storytellers and gatekeepers in the circus that politics has become are never going to pronounce you not-Hillary (and not-Bush) until you first become not-Haircut. Confession, rehab, renewal: that's what your story needs now. You can't skip a chapter in your narrative; the media will only let you get from today's phony firebrand to tomorrow's populist President if you first walk through the valley of the shadow of Oprah.

In other words, … hm … well, I think it means some people shouldn't blog when drunk, lest they come off sounding like a cheap parody of Phil Donahue.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 10:21 AM EDT

Meet the Robinsons

[Amazon Link] [4.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

This got reviews on the high side of mediocre from professional reviewers (65% on the Tomatometer). But I liked it a lot better than that would indicate. Perhaps because it's based on one of the funny and inventive kids books by William Joyce that we used to read our kids back in the day. (Specifically: this one.)

The movie is made by Disney's non-Pixar animation studios, and they've learned how to do it with computer graphics, though with a noticeably different look than Pixar's. It turns out to be a great way to adapt Joyce's style. (Pixar's John Lasseter was one of the executive producers, and IMDB says he had a lot of input into the finished product.)

Joyce's original book didn't have much of a plot, so that's grafted on here: little Lewis, left at the orphanage as an infant, is having a hard time getting adopted. His first love is invention, and he's intense and brilliant enough to scare off potential parents. But one of his inventions turns out to work well enough to attract visitors from the future, one who wants to steal it, and one who wants to prevent that from happening. Then things really take off.

There's a lot of fun stuff here; the folks at Disney put together a lot of stylish inventiveness and clever wit and wrapped it around Walt's old philosophy of cheerful optimism about the future. The plot hinges on some well-worn time-travel clichés, but you know what? It worked for me.

So, dear Disney guys: while you're at it, I would really like to see movies of George Shrinks and Dinosaur Bob and his Adventures With the Family Lazardo.

Last Modified 2012-10-16 5:50 AM EDT