Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ballot with Butterfly Wings

Talk of minor political parties inevitably turns one’s mind to thoughts of ballot access and voting irregularities.

And that reminds me that I thought during the 2000 election, the most entertaining presidential election ever, that if on-the-spot music distribution were more common (YouTube and online music not quite having become big then), Weird Al Yankovic could have dashed off a song about the Florida debacle called “Ballot with Butterfly Wings”: opening line could be an ominous “Florida’s the umpire,” and the chorus could use the phrase “still just a chad on a page,” with a chant of “Jeb is not the only son” toward the end. Writes itself.

And you know who else sounds like Smashing Pumpkins, by the way? Our Lady Peace, with manically superheroic-sounding songs like “Birdman” and “Superman’s Dead.”

And that in turn reminds me that Brad Meltzer, writer of popular thriller novels as well as comic books, is combining the two into a novel about the (real) mystery of who killed the dad of one of Superman’s creators, Jerry Siegel, an incident I hadn’t even known about but which might well have influenced the creation of the invincible, bullet-resisting superhero. Meltzer plans to parallel the death to the Cain and Abel story in the Bible.

(But will he also tie the fictional Crime Bible from next week’s momentous Final Crisis #1 comic book to the life story of Cassandra Cain, the current Batgirl? And reveal that she is secretly related to Dean Cain, who played Superman in Lois and Clark? Probably not.)

One more serious polls thought: as candidates sink in the Democratic primary, they seem to rise in general election polls. I noticed earlier that Edwards had a surprising amount of crossover appeal (surprising since to me he seems worse and more left-wing than either Hillary or Obama — but being a white guy may, alas, be the key to crossover appeal among the inattentive). Similarly, now that Hillary finally appears to be fizzling, she does much better in general election polls against McCain, which was not always the case. A weird side effect of Operation Chaos? Or just a case of America liking underdogs? Would that we could just vote for Underdog.

And to compensate for that mostly-serious paragraph, let’s return to Weird Al-like territory before I finish, namely the singer Kennedy’s 70s-naughty video for “Your Mama” and, even better, the band Bastard Fairies’ delightful song “We’re All Going to Hell.”

Reid Mihalko first pointed out the Kennedy song to me — and pointed out this amazing and very funny video clip about the surprising effects of drugs on spiders. I had no idea crack did that to spiders.

No comments: