Poor Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, unwittingly flung onto the national stage at the Oct 13 debate and forever known to us as “Joe the Plumber.” But it hasn’t stopped there! Now John McCain, as described in the New York Times blog, The Caucus, has encountered Joe the Florist and David the Dentist. In her Oct. 21 interview with CNN, Sarah Palin introduced us to some new characters, Jane the Engineer, Molly the Dental Hygienist and Chuck the Teacher and “all these good, hard-working Americans who are, finally were able to hear in very plain talk the other night, what Barack Obama’s intentions were to redistribute wealth.” Uh, what was that, Sarah?

It’s no surprise in a country with over 300 million people that politicians are like marketers–they view the American people as a collection of simple archetypes. Political campaigns have always looked to segmentation and demographic data to help them hone their message. And of course, there are focus groups and polls to round out the myriad of tool available to pols to better understand audiences. Maybe someday, to reflect the true color of our country, we’ll see Aishwarya the Accountant and Rashan the Fireman added to the mix.

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A couple of weeks ago I took my daughter and her friends to a 3D movie, Journey to the Center of the Earth. The story is based on the Jules Verne novel, and according to the movie site, it is the “first live action feature to be shot and released entirely in digital 3D” (this wasn’t the case for Spy Kids and Polar Express, which were not made for 3D). And a wild ride it was! Along with a compelling story of a boy and his uncle trying to find the hidden center of the earth first discovered by his father, the effects were absolutely spectacular. I don’t think I’d seen a 3D movie since, well, the 70s, though I’m at a loss for what the movie was. Suffice it to say, I remember the flimsy cardboard “glasses” with the cheap red and blue cellophane lenses. Boy has the technology changed! The glasses are much more sophisticated, sturdy and are designed to fit easily over normal glasses.

Then

Then

Now

Now

I also remember what an event it was to see a 3D movie. It almost felt cult-like, turning around to watch all the serious faces with those silly glasses. What did my daughters and her friends think of it? The fact that it was 3D hardly fazed them. There was no mention of the glasses at all. In fact, most left them on the seat! Are kids today (listen to me…kids today) so saturated with all the whiz-bang special effects available through a variety of media, that they’re totally immune to this “new” experience? I hope film makers continue to make movies in 3D, because I think they are visual gems. In fact, I did a little exploring and found some interesting thoughts on the genre. From Film School Rejects, here are the (what the author) believes are 10 classic films that would have been cool in 3D:

10. Star Wars
9. Raging Bull
8. ET
7. North by Northwest
6. Fantasia
5. Singin’ in the Rain
4. Ben Hur
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2. The Wizard of OZ
1. Citizen Kane

In addition to my routine of working, carting kids back and forth and keeping up with the laundry (oh, and occasionally catching a movie with my husband), I’ve become a fervent observer of this colorful theater called The Campaign. Who among us has not caught themselves randomly switching back and forth between CNN and Fox to catch the latest lineup of talking heads, as well as making sure we’re completely up to date on all Daily Show episodes. I now have a small circle of like-minded (are there any Republicans in Silicon Valley?) friends who constantly share media snippets and links to the latest perspective on Obama’s debating style or the undercurrent of racism that some have identified in the GOP rhetoric. This phenomenon of political theater is like nothing I’ve every experienced. Is it that much, much more is at stake for our earth and our children? Is it because it’s a first for women and blacks? Or perhaps it’s that so much media is available to us from the mainstream outlets to the mom down the block who is blogging (that would be me ☺). For example, having given the Obama campaign my email address, I logged on this morning to an appeal from Michelle Obama to tune into the first presidential debate, and oh-by-the-way, if you’re interested in hosting a debate party, we’ve got the tools for you! As a matter of fact, Michelle, I was invited to one! For me this campaign has not only drawn me to the candidates, but it has also heightened my overall awareness of the economy, foreign affairs, Iran and China.

While I’m completely engrossed in whatever I can read about the candidates and the campaign, it hasn’t become a part of my life like it has to some folks I’ve heard about who are either on the phone for hours persuading swing-voters or my friend Jen, who is going to Nevada to support the campaign. I salute you ladies and thank you for committing yourself to the cause!

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