After my post about Rudy Giuliani
, which was admittedly quite negative, I thought it might be nice for me to post about one of the GOOD things to come out of all this pre-election hoopla:
The awesome barrel of crazy that is Mike Gravel.
Now, I realize that his campaign videos have been making the rounds lately, appearing over at Dvorak Uncensored
and Reason's Hit and Run
blog, but I want to get in on the action and post them here as well.
First, we have 'Rock,' the shorter and better of the two:
There's just something so utterly pleasant about this video, despite it's high creep-out factor and potential pretentiousness. Perhaps this pleasure stems from the fact that I've secretly been waiting my whole life for a legitimately, yet harmlessly, crazy mainstream presidential candidate. Honestly, haven't you? And nothing says crazy like a video of a grumpy old man staring at you for over a minute, then randomly picking up a large rock and heaving it into a pond before slowly walking away with his back to the camera. At some point, after watching the clip for the third or so time, with Gravel's disgruntled, squinting eyes glaring back at me, I was compelled to call my family and weep. Is that strange?
Next we have 'Fire':
Now, see, while the last clip might have FELT excruciatingly long and slow, 'Fire' actually IS excruciatingly long and slow. However, 'Rock' is comprised of a single take (no doubt owing a debt to the great Andrei Tarkovsky's
technique of 'sculpting in time'). 'Fire,' showcasing a new awareness of cinematic style, features a few cuts. The first takes us from a shot of Gravel gathering firewood to a close-up of Gravel, sitting opposite us across the campfire. The next cut, interstingly, brings us to a point-of-view shot from Gravel's perspective. Now, we're looking down at the campfire as it crackles and burns. And we CONTINUE looking down at the campfire, from Gravel's point-of-view, for the next 7+ minutes. My theory is that, by allowing us to share his gaze as he stares, unblinking, into this fire, Gravel is communicating to us that he is, in fact, the type of crazy S.O.B. who stares, unblinking, at fires for long periods of time. Honestly, he could be a pyromaniac, which would certainly be an interesting quality in a Commander-In-Chief.
The only other possibility of which I can conceive, after watching these two clips, is that Mike Gravel has become a performance artist and is merely performing an installation, not actually running for president. And, in all seriousness, that's just as good in my opinion. I'm only disappointed that he can't use the corpse of Marcel Duchamp
as a running mate, since Duchamp was born outside of the US. Also, as a corpse, he may not qualify;
I'll have to check the Constitution. Edit: No dice
Be sure to take a look at the various parodies and video responses to these Gravel clips, particularly 'Rock.' I'm half motivated to make one myself, although my idea would involve tossing the rock into the water, watching it for a moment, then calmly walking out into the water, submerging completely and remaining under the water until it's safe to assume I've drowned. Given the generally filthy state of the bodies of water near me, and my own personal aversion to coming down with bizarre water-borne diseases, I'll probably have to give that a pass.