Wake the #@&$! Up, Obama!

It’s a fight now, but only because Obama made it one.

Dear Mr. President,

I’m doing my part to reelect you.  I’m wearing a “Obama/Biden” button.  I stuck a campaign sign in my yard (and handed out more to family and friends) and a bumper sticker on my car and my wife’s (despite never receiving the ones we were supposed to get for the campaign contributions we made a few months ago.  Because you’ve been busy running the country, I’ll cut you some slack on that, though my wife is a little sore about that Obama car magnet she didn’t get).

We’ve given money to both you and your fellow Democrats.  Don’t take this the wrong way, but one thing I’ll be glad about is when this election is over, I can get my junk mail folder back into some reasonable shape.   Every day I get pleading e-mails from Senators, governors, members of Congress, party insiders, ex-presidents, ex-vice presidents and all sorts of Democrats/liberals/progressives begging for another $5 or $20 or $100 to make the difference and put them over the top.  I’d love to help, but I’m a working man with bills to pay.   If I could do more, I would do more, but I can’t and I’ll be glad when you and your friends stop pestering me for dollars I don’t have to give.

The other night, I went to one of your campaign offices to get these yard signs and this nice older gentleman convinced me to sign up to work a phone back the final weekend before the election.  Why I offered to do this when I know I work weekends and I’m dead tired those mornings I agreed to call complete strangers to vote for you, I have no idea.   I suppose I want to feel as though I did my part whether you win or lose.

Now I have a question.  Have you ever seen Saving Private Ryan   Well, I want you to do me a favor Mr. President.   Remember what Tom Hanks told Matt Damon?   It’s time for you to do what he did.   Earn this.

I’m a little annoyed at you, Mr. President.  No.  Scratch that.  I’m not a little annoyed.  I’m a lot annoyed bordering on seriously pissed off.   After that debacle of a debate performance last week you may have noticed your lack of actions have had some serious consequences with the polls.  Mitt Romney has come back from the dead and he has now tied you in some polls and leads you in a few others.  According to whom you believe the race is a dead heat.

Were you not listening, Mr. President when Samuel L. Jackson told your supporters to “Wake the fuck up?”   Did you think that meant you could take a 90 minute nap last Wednesday in front of 60 million Americans?   Or are you suffering from sudden bouts of narcolepsy?

You didn’t just disappoint me, sir.   You disappointed your supporters who were expecting you to fight harder for your own job.   Or are you just trying to make things needlessly dramatic in this last month?   If the polls are to be believed, I think you succeeded quite nicely.

No panic. No stress.

I am “in” it to win it, Mr. President.  I got your back.  Do you have mine?   Can you show me next week when you’re debating Romney you want to keep the job he wants to take from you?   Can you prove to everyone you’ve given reason to doubt that you actually give a damn?

Your vice-president, Joe Biden, will have his chance to set things right on Thursday when he squares off against Mitt’s man, Paul Ryan.   Nobody will ever accuse Joe of lacking passion.  If anything, he has to put a leash on his passion in case his mouth out runs his brain.   But a debate between Biden and Ryan won’t change the race that drastically.   Only you can do that.   You’ll have two more shots at doing so.    Foreign policy is on the agenda for the October 16 debate and the last one is a town hall-style meeting on the 22nd.    That’s it.   In a race that will come down to who is more successful in energizing their base in nine or ten key states, turnout matters more than money, more than polls, more than ads, more than endorsements.   \

It comes down to who wants it more.

Do you want it bad enough, Mr. President?   Do you want it more than Mitt does?   Are you willing to put in the time and the work to keep what is already yours?

Mitt isn’t going to give up.  You had a chance to make him and you didn’t take it.   That’s history now and if you lose this thing that shabby first debate will weigh heavily in the reasons why you lost.

But you haven’t lost.  I went to vote today and I know there is an enthusiasm out there to keep you in the White House.   There is what Dr. King called, “the fierce urgency of now.”   Now is when this election is won or lost.

I am in.  I am doing my part.  I’m going to work for you and my country, Mr. President.   I still believe in hope and change and I know it takes more than four years to bring it about.

You have to earn it.  You don’t deserve it.  Anything worth having is worth working for.   And you have to go out and get it.  It will not be given to you.

Can you take the momentum back?   Can you put Mitt back on the ropes?  Sure you can.   Hell yes you can!  But will you?

I’ m done with the recriminations.   I’m not going to worry about it.  I can’t laugh at your making fun of your own shitty performance.   I just want you to take this as seriously as everyone supporting you is doing.

And I want you to earn this.   It’s all out there for you, Mr. President.  Show me you still want it.

No he can’t?

Don’t Push Him ‘Cause He’s Close to the Edge

Well, that was certainly an exciting election wasn’t it?  Now that President Obama has secured a second term, the Senate is still under Democratic control and GOP majority in the House has been cut down to size, we can finally move on to other more important things.  What’s on Honey Boo-Boo tonight?

Wait…you mean the election isn’t over?   The first debate is still days away?   Obama hasn’t won yet?  Color me so surprised.

Because the way some people are talking you’d think the election was over and Obama has already cruised to victory over a hapless Mitt Romney.   Look, I get it that the polls have improved dramatically for the president and he appears to be in the driver’s seat, but come on!  The election is still a month away.   I sincerely doubt the debates will reset the odds because historically debates don’t do that.

The last guy to go against Obama in a debate, John McCain doubts the debate will set off any political fireworks.  “I can’t remember the last time there was one of the comments that grabbed everyone’s attention because the candidates are too well-prepared.”

McCain is right.  Obama has been known for months Romney would be his opponent and it isn’t likely Romney will hit him with an unsuspected line of attack.   Unless one of them falls asleep at the podium or Romney makes Obama a $10,000 bet,  do not expect this debate to be a clash of the titans.  Romney will attempt to get back on track by hammering the president on the economy as Chris “Chubs” Christie hints there will be a brand new race the morning after Wednesday night.   The only way that happens is Romney goes scorched earth on Obama.  That would serve to fire up the base, but the risk is it makes Romney look mean and desperate.   Nobody wants a desperate president.

How a debate between Mitt Romney and Sam Jackson would go.

For his part, Obama supposedly doesn’t plan to zing his opponent, but if Romney thinks Obama going to sit there taking slaps to the face and kicks to the crotch that would be a mistake.   Obama has to look like he is what he is: the guy with the championship belt.   Romney’s going to have to come and take it because Obama’s not going to simply hand it over.

So things look better.   I’ll admit things looks good.   But it would be rash to say this is all over.    Samuel L. Jackson’s “Wake the fuck up” and Sarah Silverman’s  “Get Nana a gun” videos are not just  funny reminders of what’s at stake and just how much stands in the way of Obama’s second term.   They are also cold slaps of reality upside the head of how hard these bastards are trying to stop it.

If they can’t buy this election, they’ll steal it.  But before that they’ll work like hell to block eligible voters from the polls.

“But look at the polls.  Look at all the stories.   Even Ray Charles can see Romney is toast and Ray is blind and dead.”    I know.  I don’t care.  My perspective remains Obama has to keep running like he’s ten points down, not five points up.

Oh, you can believe if Obama wins, I’m going be one insufferable bastard.   I’ve got a list of people whose lives I’m going to make miserable.

But I’m not ready to put this one in the “win” column yet. For all y’all that think Mittens is a dead man walking and Obama has this thing in the bag, stop kidding yourself. There’s no way to predict how successful the efforts to suppress the vote and steal the election will be.

They haven’t given up yet. We can’t give up the fight because Romney is stumbling around like a drunken idiot.

The Romney campaign, the billionaires and millionaires pouring money into it, Karl Rove and Fox News aren’t the only enemies to beware.   Overconfidence and apathy are too and either or both is all it takes to bring about these three words: “President Mitt Romney.”

Don’t let that happen.   Don’t just wake the fuck up.   Stay the fuck awake.   Vote early if you can and vote as if your life depends on it.   It just might.

It’s all smiles until the knives come out.

The Mau-Mauing of the President

“Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting America.”  — Mitt Romney

As a public service here is a clarification for Mittens:

THIS is an Angry Black Man just before he pops a cap in your ass.

THIS is not an Angry Black Man:

Romney’s ravaging of the president had the effect of angering MSNBC contributor Toure.  “That really bothered me,” he said. “You notice he said anger twice. He’s really trying to use racial coding and access some really deep stereotypes about the angry black man. This is part of the playbook against Obama, the ‘otherization,’ he’s not like us.”

“I know it’s a heavy thing, I don’t say it lightly, but this is ‘niggerization,’”

The focus here is on the wrong issue. It isn’t that Obama is angry and full of hate. He’s not.  That’s some old bullshit from Romney and he should either explain how the president is angry and hateful or retract his remarks, because it sounds like he’s blowing a dog whistle that a Black man is always on the verge of snapping and going off.

That isn’t even close to describing Barack Obama. As shit gets hotter, he gets cooler. You can’t come off as a Angry Black Man and get very far in America. Samuel L. Jackson has raised it to an art form, but he’s an actor playing a part. And he loves to golf. What’s Whiter than golf?

Unless your fear is Tiger Woods is a covert Black militant.

“I’m so mad. Boy, am I angry! Grrrr…”

The Angry Black Man is a stereotype. Right next to the Angry Black Woman rollin’ her neck and gettin’ all loud up in your face.

Romney has never run against a Black person for political office.  We can pretend the rules are the same, but they aren’t.  If you are a heterosexual White male,  if you are competing against a woman, a homosexual or a minority you have to take extra care not to lapse into stereotypes.

Perhaps he didn’t mean to lapse into racial coding, but suggesting the president is running a campaign of anger and hate and not supporting the accusation is a dog whistle.  Mittens demonstrated during his appearance before the NAACP, his awkwardness around Blacks.   Then again, Mitt doesn’t seem like he’s comfortable around anyone not White, wealthy and Mormon.

Romney blurted out something that plays to White fears without anything to support it. He tried to Mau-Mau the mild-mannered Barack Obama into Malcolm X. That is what Toure was upset about. He just put it across in terminology that surprised and outraged some White folks.

Black folks just shrugged and said, “Word.”

Mitt thought he was being fierce in putting Barack in his place. He just looked shrill and a bit desperate.    That’s what right-wing White men always say when they don’t know how to debate with a Black man. “You’re angry! You have anger issues! It’s an impotent little debating trick they pull so they can reassert their Alpha Male status.

Romney knows poll after poll shows Obama blows him away when it comes to likability. He’d be better served by trying to make himself more likeable than trying to make Obama less.

How Badly Does a Movie Have to Suck for Sam Jackson to Say “No?”

Mr. Jackson lets his fingers tell you how many good movies hes been in this year.

Mr. Jackson lets his fingers tell you how many good movies he's been in this year.

What is the meaning of life?   Why are we here?  Is God real and if He is why doesn’t He stop Samuel L. Jackson from making so many lousy movies?

When Samuel Leroy Jackson grabbed the world by the short and curlies in a riveting, scene-stealing performance as the doomed addict, Gator in director Spike Lee’s 1991 Jungle Fever,  he had just completed drug rehabilitation two weeks earlier.  He played  a manipulative, charaming but borderline unhinged junkie so well because he wasn’t totally playing.  

Jackson as the addict, Gator Purify.

Jackson as the addict, Gator Purify.

That Sam Jackson is history.  The guy who has become the Baddest MoFo in Hollywood  is blessed with an abundance of talent, a long list of great performances and hands down the busiest man in movies today.    This year Jackson appeared in no less than six films of varying quality:  The Spirit, Soul Men, Lakeview Terrace, Star War:  The Clone Wars, Jumper and a cameo in Iron Man

No grass is going to grow under Jackson’s feet in 2009.  He already has four films in various stages of production which is staying constant to his history  of making no less than three or more movies a year.

The mystery is why does such an accomplished actor choose to appear in movies so far beneath his talents.  Marlon Brando waited until he got fat to churn out crud in exchange for a fat paycheck.   Jackson was 46 years old in 1994 when he burned up the screen as the philosophical  assassin, Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction.     The brother waited a long time for his breakthrough part.  

My wife, who is not a psychologist or a drug counselor, believes Jackson makes so many movies because staying busy  serves as therapy.   I don’t have a explanation better than that (besides the millions of dollars he makes for dressing up like a Nazi drag queen in The Spirit).

John Travolta and Sam Jackson in a post-killing moment from Pulp Fiction.

John Travolta and Sam Jackson in a post-killing moment from "Pulp Fiction."

The thing is when you’re as prolific as Jackson it doesn’t mean you’re discriminating too.  You have to wonder did he read the scripts for The Man, Amos and Andrew,  Snakes on A Plane, Deep Blue Sea,  The Return of Superfly,  xXx: State of the Union and the straight-to-DVD, Cleaner?

Now with The Spirit, Jackson joins Hackman and Caine in career crippling celluloid crapfests like  Loose Cannons and  Jaws: The Revenge.

The reviews for The Spirit are the kind that guarantees the film a place on “Ten Worst” lists and Jackson’s performance (or lack of one)  is taking a lot of the incoming fire:

 Samuel L. Jackson embarrasses himself and everyone in the audience as the Octopus, portrayed here as a flamboyant windbag who spouts endless unfunny non sequiturs and parades around in dopey costumes. “Snakes on a Plane” notwithstanding, this is surely the worst performance of Jackson’s life, consisting of nothing but out-of-control scenery chewing.     ~ Tulsa World  

Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson plays the Octopus, a really cool villain from the Spirit comic. In the strip, readers never see more than his gloves, making him a mysterious and scary guy. In the movie, he’s simply Samuel L. Jackson. You know, the “Snakes on a Plane”/ “Lakeview Terrace”/And-you-will-know-my-name-is-the-Lord-when-I-lay-my-vengeance-upon-thee persona that is quickly becoming a joke. It’s time to rent “Jungle Fever” again to remember why we used to like this guy.     ~ San Francisco Chronicle

Jackson chews the scenery mercilessly, belting out his lines with lip-smacking gusto while flashing a smile that wouldn’t be out of place, if you’ll excuse the expression, in a minstrel show. (A sequence in which he dons a Nazi uniform to threaten the captured Spirit is, even in this context, a low point.) Octopus offs an underlying who’s failed him at one point by saying that he refuses to have “egg on his face.” In that Jackson definitely fails.   ~ One Guy’s Opinion

My personal favorite was one from Spill.com where the reviewer called The Spirit  “asstastic” and a “fecal waterslide.”

Wearing white AND blue eyeshadow after Labor Day?  Say it aint so.

Wearing white AND blue eyeshadow after Labor Day? Say it ain't so.

 I  get the hint.   The Spirit stinks and one of the things about it  that stinks the most is Jackson overacting like nobody’s business.

Jackson once was quoted as saying, “A movie is just a movie to me.  They open.  They close.”

Got that right, playa.   With the exception of Iron Man, Jackson hasn’t been in a movie in 2008 that lasted longer than a fart in a tornado. 

Have you ever wondered how bad a script has to be for Sam Jackson to say “no” to?

Here’s a way to make a easy five dollars.   Bet a friend who has cable TV and premium movie channels that if they surf the evening listings of HBO, Cinemax, Showtime or Encore  they won’t find at least one flick with Jackson in it. 

The man has made close to 90 movies since 1972 with 59 of them coming since Pulp Fiction.   There’s a difference between being prolific and not particularly choosy what you do as long as the check clears.   Jackson is still one of the ten best actors in the business, but he has turned out more than enough crap that if someone else wanted to drop him from that standing,  I’d have a hard time arguing against it.

Maybe he needs to take a vacation.   A long one.   Maybe two.   It might not be a bad idea to let audiences ask, “When is the next Samuel L. Jackson movie coming out?” instead of  “Oh Lawd,  not him again.”