I mentioned this the other day, but I'm tired. Tired of the whole damn thing. I can't wait for Tuesday to get here. I'll go to my little elementary school polling place, walk right by the bake sale the parents always seem to hold on election day, try to remember my precinct number, wait forever while someone tries to find my name in that log book, and then pull the necessary levers. Then I'll probably pay absolutely no attention to work since I'll be focusing my ears on NPR and maybe even some Air America before planting myself on my couch later that evening to watch the cable "news" channels and the Daily Show Election Special.
Even thinking about the stress of that day makes me feel better because at some point, it's going to be over. Whatever the reality of Wednesday 11/3 -- there's a declared, and more importantly, agreed upon winner? Or we find ourselves headed towards multiple litigations and a repeat of the drawn-out situation of 2000? -- it will actually be a new reality. Whether or not the answers have completely arrived, we'll be asking different questions because there won't be any more reports of "October Surprises" or various polling. Obviously, I hope to go to sleep sometime in the wee morning hours of 11/3 knowing that John Kerry is our President-elect, but either way, the agony of the lead-up to this election will be over.
So if you're experiencing a similar malaise as I -- the desire to not hear or think about one more talking point or piece of spin, while at the same time finding yourself completely unable to stop looking for some new piece of information -- you're wondering how to get through the next four days, right?
Some time ago, indieWire posted a story about a new web site called Films to See Before You Vote. The name of the site makes its content pretty self-explanatory. The site offers links to trailers for many of the films and also has some nationwide screening information. It discusses new films currently in release as well as classics ranging from The Best Years of Our Lives, Paths of Glory and Dr. Strangelove to Bulworth, Three Kings and Wag the Dog. It wouldn't hurt to rewatch most of the films they have listed, particularly before the election. (And at this point, I'm going to throw in another plug for Network: I remain terrified of how every year our mass media seems to become more and more similar to the satirical reality Paddy Chayefsky created in that film. Jon Stewart's comments on Crossfire remains further proof of this to my mind.)
One film also listed on the site is Peter Davis's Academy Award winning Hearts and Minds, a Vietnam War doc from 1974 that discusses a subject which, like Errol Morris's The Fog of War, is unfortunately as relevant today as it was 30 years ago. The good news is, Hearts and Minds is currently playing at Film Forum, and runs through next Thursday. Along with catching Soldiers Pay on IFC and Bush's Brain on Sundance Monday night, there are some choices of what I guess I would call "still related distractions" to get through the next couple days. Here's hoping we all make it.