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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Convention-al Thinking: Day 3 - Together We Can Get Back Up

Note: My coverage of the Convention is limited to whatever text the Internet gives me, and morning news shows like Good Morning America. I apologize if my coverage isn't all encompassing or anything like CNN or Fox News. I'm here to offer analysis and punditry, not the value of Joe Biden's house.

This is where it starts to get interesting. Night 3 of the Democratic Convention has turned the flame up, and by tonight's broadcasts it should be at full boil. Was it enough? Let's find out.

Before we get into the actual news portion, I'd first like to vent a little outrage. I ran across this story from MTV.com on the Google News page, Rage Against The Machine And Thousands of Protesters Rock the DNC .... I could just be bitching here, but does anyone think we can we just acknowledge that Rage Against The Machine isn't a source of policy or political action in this country? I know I know, they perform such politically charged songs, they made a video with Michael Moore, and they performed at a protest rally outside of the Democratic Convention. Don't you think that they should have saved it for the Republican Convention though? I mean, the Democrats are the ones you WANT to win, why not protest in front of the bastards you can't stand. Last I checked, a protest is something you want the people you're protesting against to pay attention to. Crazy belief, I know, but I think all Rage Against the Machine amounts to is that angry kid singing angry songs against his dad who makes him angry, so instead of actually dealing with it like an adult he'll channel his energy into bullshit "entertainment". And as "guerilla" as you all are, I'm sure you're getting paid quite nicely. Paid nicely to look like you rolled around in shit the night before your concert, and it got stuck in your hair. (I'm looking at you, Zach De La Rocha.) All I'm saying is maybe they aren't as relevant as trendwhore MTV makes it out to be. Lights out, guerilla radio...turn that shit OFF.

And MTV...Rock The Vote doesn't work. It never did. You think it did, but really the kids just wanted to see a free concert with whoever it was you used that year. Let me put it into hip new terms you should understand, since English hasn't appeared on your channel since Sugar Ray was king:

"Kn0ck kn0ck" (Knock Knock)
"Hu iz it?" (Who is it?)
"Relevanz" (Relevance.)
"Relevanz hu?" (Relevance who?)
"Relevanz, YOU HAZ NUN!" (Relevance, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY!)

The last time MTV made any sense or difference was around 2000 when Britney Spears got her first implants, and we all know how THAT election turned out. Do you really think Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag give a shit about ANWAR? How about those Laguna Beach bitches talking about the mounting deficit? Hey, did you see that discussion between Bam Margera and former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld? Oh that's right...NONE OF THAT SHIT FUCKING HAPPENED! Give up MTV, you're the creepy old guy with the ponytail, the shades, and the drive to act cool again. I hope John Cusack and Jack Black beat the shit out of you accordingly.

Back to the actual convention itself. Well, it's official. In case anyone had doubts or delusions, Barack Obama was officially named the Democratic Candidate last night. Please join me in a pause for all of the PUMA's in the audience to break their computer monitors, curse my name out, and sit back down to collapse in a heap of sadness. There there, it's nothing to be upset about...you just lost. All hundred or so of you. Hey, at least John Kerry made a splash at the convention...you female voters liked him, right? No...you were just voting for him because you thought the chances of John Edwards being photographed in a Speedo would drastically increase? Oh...well he still was at the convention last night. He didn't do much except tell us what we already knew:

“90 percent of George Bush is just more than we can take....”
“America does not torture, not now, not ever...”

“The Bush-McCain Republicans have been wrong again and again and again.”

Way to go, Captain Obvious. Thanks for an update from 2004...you know, the election you let the Republicans run away with. I think you can go back and sit in the corner now. Speaking of obvious, it's readily apparent that there were only two speeches people wanted to hear. Two speeches that really mattered to the people. Two speeches that kicked major asses and set things up perfectly for tonight's close to the convention.

Let's get Bill Clinton out of the way first, because whether you like the man or not it's obvious he knows how to speak. For those of you who are fans of pull quotes, this headline from MSNBC is all you need: Clinton: 'Obama is ready' . The man put on quite a show last night, getting so much applause and reverence that he had to tell the crowd to calm down. Bill Clinton's first politically relevant (as opposed to philanthropically relevant) appearance in a while is kind of like the first drink of water after being out in the desert...apparently people are so starved of it they had to go on for five minutes.

What's most interesting though, is the fact that Clinton did what his wife, his "preferred candidate", failed to do...give us a reason to vote for Obama. One of the best parts of his speech is when he flat out dismisses the notion that Obama doesn't have the experience to lead:

"Once he got started, Clinton reached back to his own campaign in 1992, when “Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief.”
“Sound familiar?” he asked. “It didn’t work in 1992, because we were on the right side of history. And it won’t work in 2008, because Barack Obama is on the right side of history.”

No offense to the man, but if the Governor of Little Rock, Arkansas; who almost definately had no foreign policy experience and who only had to govern a state, can go on to becoming president, then a Junior Senator from Illinois should be able to succeed with the same venture. Republicans need to get the notion out of their heads that cites inexperience as a vote killer. I mean, it didn't work when the Democrats used it against George W. Bush, and he had more foreign policy inexperience than a toddler.

And of course, one of president Clinton's many oratory gifts has always been stating the obvious, but in less obvious context:

“Let’s send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America: Thanks, but no thanks. In this case, the third time is not the charm...America can do better than that.”

Sometimes, the most obvious point is the one that has to be made. It just helps when you do it in a way that doesn't insult everyone's intelligence, and this is a decent example of such a scenario.

The other big speaker of the night? Some guy by the name of Joe Biden...no one important. That is, if you're not interested in the future of the nation. (Speidi, I'm looking in the direction of your general void.) The man who's balancing out the ticket to the bright tomorrow America's being promised spoke in his official capacity as Vice Presidential nominee, and despite what looks like genuine respect for John McCain, he seems like the perfect choice to continue to carry the standard of hope that the Obama campaign has stood for since day one.

“I watched how he touched people, how he inspired them, and I realized he has tapped into the oldest American belief of all: We don’t have to accept a situation we cannot bear,” said Biden, who ended his own presidential campaign early in the nominating process. “We have the power to change it.” (Biden: McCain offers 'more of the same')

He also went on record as saying he was moved seeing Hillary Clinton speak on Tuesday. While I'd be the first to disagree that the woman doesn't seem to be able to move anything but her hyphenate last name, I would also say that this sentiment is very touching. Yeah, she's a bitch; but she's the Democratic party's bitch, so they'll continue to honor her and I guess in some way we all will...even if it's jokes at her expense.

I have to say that reading transcripts and watching the clips of Biden's speech (Joe Biden's speech at the Democratic convention - Yahoo! News), it all went very West Wing. (Early, "warm fuzzy Sorkin feeling West Wing", not "Urgent urgent urgent, John Wells West Wing)." The energy, the emotion, the anecdotes about losing his own wife and daughter...it all just hit the right note. He came off as genuine, as heartfelt, and as respectable as Jed Bartlett ever did in his term in office. Take this quote for instance:
"...Work is more than a paycheck. It's dignity. It's respect. It's about whether or not you can look your children in the eye and say: We're going to be all right."
Does that sound more like a "real politician" speaking, or does it sound like a "Sorkonian politician"? This is it...right here. No more joke running mates, no more speculation, just a ticket of hope and change. As all of you know, I'm very much a cynic and I did vote for Bush in the last election. Well, I deeply regret that, and I'm proud to be backing a ticket that this time represents security through hope and change, as opposed to war and intimidation. This is the real deal folks...Obama/Biden '08 - "Together We Can Get Back Up".

Tonight's the big show folks. The Big Three: Gov. Bill Ritter, Jr, former VP Al Gore, and of course last night's surprise guest Sen. Barack Obama himself, all go out there tonight and bat the Ninth Inning for the DNC. And I've got a feeling it'll be right out of the park.

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