Thursday, June 01, 2006

Johnny Cash's Song About the End of the World, The Fountain Gets a Release Date, and Turns Out Bush Stole Another One After All

A few things this Thursday. First off, how awesome is the Johnny Cash song, "When The Man Comes Around"? Very awesome, I say. Director Zach Snyder used it in the brilliant opening credit sequence to his remake of Dawn of the Dead, and I've been listening to it over and over all day. Admittedly, I'm no expert in poetry through the ages, but in my limited experience with stories in lyric form, I'd say this song is, along with Yeats's poem "The Second Coming", the most evocative depiction of the end of the world I've encountered. A creepy blending of Christian Millenialist, end-of-times imagery, with a bunch of other unsettling stuff I don't yet recognize, which make it all the creepier. So now, along with his cover of Reznor's "Hurt", I really like 2 Johnny Cash songs now. Any one know any other awesome songs or poems about the end of the world? I have an unhealthy fascination, I think, but that doesn't mean I have to suppress it.

According to, Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain has a release date now. October 16th. On the strength of the teaser, I'm still looking forward to this movie.

And, most importantly, here's a link to a story in this month's Rolling Stone by Robert F. Kennedy Jr about the 2004 election, and the apparent likelihood that the election was, in fact, stolen. Harper's ran a story some months ago about possible fraud in the 2004 election, but the scope of their piece was relegated solely to misdeeds in Ohio. In the Rolling Stone article, a great deal of statistical analysis was done and the case RFK Jr. lays out is pretty persuasive, not to mention deeply disturbing. I remember election night in 2004 very well. I remember how the exit polls favored Kerry to win by a healthy margin (even Tucker Carlson was telling his Crossfire crew that he thought Kerry was going to win), and then, for no apparent reason, the actual vote tallies came out in favor of Bush. From the RS article:

"As the last polling stations closed on the West Coast, exit polls showed Kerry ahead in ten of eleven battleground states -- including commanding leads in Ohio and Florida -- and winning by a million and a half votes nationally. The exit polls even showed Kerry breathing down Bush's neck in supposed GOP strongholds Virginia and North Carolina.(30) Against these numbers, the statistical likelihood of Bush winning was less than one in 450,000.(31) ''Either the exit polls, by and large, are completely wrong,'' a Fox News analyst declared, ''or George Bush loses.''(32)

But as the evening progressed, official tallies began to show implausible disparities -- as much as 9.5 percent -- with the exit polls. In ten of the eleven battleground states, the tallied margins departed from what the polls had predicted. In every case, the shift favored Bush. Based on exit polls, CNN had predicted Kerry defeating Bush in Ohio by a margin of 4.2 percentage points. Instead, election results showed Bush winning the state by 2.5 percent. Bush also tallied 6.5 percent more than the polls had predicted in Pennsylvania, and 4.9 percent more in Florida.(33)"

This same EXACT thing happened in the Ukraine that same year. The Russian-backed incumbent President of Ukraine stole the election from the popular challenger Yuschenko -- you remember -- the guy the Russians tried to assassinate with poison that didn't kill him, but did disfigure his face. The citizenry camped out in the square until the rightful winner, Yuschenko, was installed into the presidency. No such luck here. I think we may suffer too much from a "it can't happen here" mentality, so that the very idea that a nationwide Presidential election can't be stolen in this country. Not in America. One of the reasons we were so unprepared for September 11th, I think, was because we couldn't seriously envision something so terrible happening in our country. What's almost as troubling as the idea we've had an illegitimate president in the White House for 6 years now (with the inevitablity of 2 more years), is how the mainstream press, so often willing to maul a story to death and then worry the bones for months after, completely ignored this story at every opportunity. Kerry knew bad things had happened, but with no one anywhere willing to say his concern about the election's validity was legitimate, he had no alternative but to concede.

Anyway, it's an alarming article and worth reading. It makes you wonder if an election that we can confidently say expresses the true will of the people is even possible here, with 13,000 separate voting districts all holding, essentially, their own little elections, some of them populated with partisans who'll see their man inaugurated even if it subverts the will of the electorate.

On that happy note, I bid you adieu. Enjoy your Friday.


harwell said...

Dead space?

There we go. Interesting read, Crane. If nothing else, the Rolling Stone article raises a loud horn for continued election reform. I agree we probably need to take a serious look at the partisan nature of election boards, but I also wish our country would take further steps to actually encourage people to vote in the included reform. Why isn't election day a national holiday? It is in Australia, I believe. I don't think we should force Americans to vote, but it sure is easy not to vote isn't it? It's a shame that there will probably never be a completely secure way to allow for online voting. It would be such an easy way to have the ballot linked with the useful information needed to make informed choices.


"Preaching the End of the World" is a great song off Chris Cornell's solo record called Euphoria Morning. He's the dude who used to sing for Soundgarden and now sings for Audioslave. I don't know that it offers anything profound about the apocalypse, but I could listen to him sing your blog and still be entertained. U2 also has a song called "Until the End of the World" from Achtung Baby. Pretty good track, but again probably not be the poetry you're seeking.

It's all doom and gloom with you, isn't it?

Brian O'Malley said...

Haven't read your blog yet, but I can say this... be on the look out for...

Milliscent Bystander... Roddy.... Rita... you just wait... put all that together.... Nothing yet? Well, how about this: Toad. Thimblenose. Spike. Whitey.

Nothing? Well, how 'bout you just wait a couple months and then reconsider whether you know these words or not, homeslice.