What I Did This Weekend by Tommy Brown (age 23)

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

Writing an entry about what I did this past weekend seemed rather juvenile, ergo the title. However, I did have an interesting weekend.

Friday night found me at a Democratic rally watching the debate. I wouldn’t really say that I’m a Democrat or a Republican (or much of anything else for that matter), and people who are “hardcore” one or the other tend to put me off, but there were free hot dogs and soda, so I wasn’t complaining.

Actually, it was quite fun. I think the president is… Okay, I think he’s an idiot, so it was fun to be in a crowd of people who would cheer on Kerry (the lesser of two evils, in my opinion) and jeer at Bush. There was also a keg at this rally and though I didn’t have any, many a liberal was seen tossing back the brew. The more they drank, the more raucous they became, the more they laughed at the president when he stood in awkward silence for what seemed like almost ten seconds (but was more probably only about five or so).

We were watching MSNBC (not my choice, but given FOX News’s blatantly republican agenda, I wouldn’t have watched them anyway) and some of us stayed for the commentary afterwards. While my friend and I didn’t stay for the entire commentary, we did watch long enough to see this little old woman harangue the president (for those who didn’t tune in, after the debate, the audience was allowed to mingle with the candidates, getting autographs and having their pictures taken with them). You couldn’t hear what she was saying (the commentators were busy making unfounded claims that Bush won the debate. So much for MSNBC…), but it was clear that she had something to say and she was damn well going to let him know how she felt. After a few minutes, the president seemed to decide that he would try ignoring her. When this failed to produce the desired effect, he worked himself out of the crowd and managed an “exit stage right”, flanked by several Secret Service agents.

On Saturday, one of the local theatres had a special advance-screening of Team America: World Police. Having not long ago lost faith in Hollywood films, I was pleased to see that some filmmakers haven’t lost their edge. Of course, one must bear in mind that this movie was made by the infamous Parker/Stone duo (so infamous, in fact, that when Paramount executives saw the first shot of the film (a poorly crafted puppet in front of a background of a badly drawn Eiffel Tower), one executive in the audience shouted, “Oh god, they fucked us!”).

The film’s aesthetic is described by its creators as “suppercrappynation”, a term borrowed from the “supermarionation” puppet animation method from Gerry Anderson’s ’60s TV series “Thunderbirds”. After reading Xeni Jardin’s review, I thought I was prepared for anything the film could throw my way. Nothing can prepare you for this. There were times that I was laughing so hard it caused me to cry. This is definitely one of those films where you want to order the small soda instead.

As you may have heard, the MPAA wanted to give the film an NC-17 rating due to a particular puppet-sex scene (which is one of the scenes that’s funny to the point of tears). After watching the scene, I guess I can see where they’re coming from, but I don’t agree with them. After all, there are worse things that puppets can do and the ones in Team America don’t even have genitalia. According to Scott Rudin, the film’s producer, “There’s nothing we’re asking for that hasn’t appeared in other R-rated movies, and our characters are made of wood and have no genitalia. If the puppets did to each other what we show them doing, all they’d get is splinters.” If the scene I saw on Saturday was the un-cut version, I hope it doesn’t get cut. If I did see an edited version, however, I can’t wait to see the whole thing.

All goofiness aside, the timing of a film that satirizes the war on terror and America’s unspoken role as “world police” could not have come at a better time. A bit of movie-related bad timing, however, was the passing of Christopher Reeve. John Kerry =just= mentioned him during the debate last Friday. In talking about stem-cell research, Kerry said, “Chris Reeve is a friend of mine. Chris Reeve exercises every single day to keep those muscles alive for the day when he believes he can walk again, and I want him to walk again.” Does anyone else think that, as time passed, Reeve started to look less like Superman and more like Lex Luthor?

So there you go, it all comes full-circle. Speaking of flaming liberals cooking hot dogs (get it?), I think someone said that they’d be doing it again for the debate this Wednesday, so hopefully I’ll be able to go again and score more free food.

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