Notes from the back row 

Movies and politics

This town is kind of at a crossroads (well another crossroads, we blew through the last one in such a money-hungry, growth fueled rush that most people didn’t even notice it.) So like the kids in the South Park movie, it’s time to get political. Time to vote on Nov. 19 th .

As far as movies and politics go, the best one out there is 1999’s Election , by far the best high school movie since Heathers and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. While the film only covers a high school students’ council election it does contain enough lying, cheating, underage sex scandals, lesbian stalkers, and underhanded political strategy to make a pertinent and comical statement on politics in general.

Matthew Broderick plays Jim McCallister, a teacher who loves his job. Reese Witherspoon plays Tracy Flick, the overachiever who runs unopposed for student president to please her nutso mother and because it will look good on a college resume. After Tracy is the "victim" of a sex scandal that gets his best buddy fired, revenge-minded Teacher Jim convinces honest, popular, idiot jock Paul Metzler (whose idea of a good campaign poster is ‘Metzler, You Bet-zler!") to run against her. To spice things up, Paul’s younger, angry lesbian sister runs as well, with the aim of making a mockery of politics in general.

Sincerity squares off against corruption and both nearly lose to apathy in this twistingly sharp satire that cuts deliciously through both high school politics as well as those of the adult world. These characters represent people we’ve all met at some point, perhaps even seen run for office so the story and satire work on many levels. Rent Election the night before voting day, then peruse the candidates one last time, look for similarities.

This is not to imply there are any similarities to our fine municipal candidates and if anyone cares to know where my votes are going, well here are. Mayor: Ken Melamad – if only because he obviously cares about this valley and the people who want to live in it, not just the ones looking to make some cash on the Olympics (which are gonna suck, by the way).

For Council: 1. Inge Flanagan – She’s level headed, innovative and if our town turns out half as decent and grounded as the two daughters Inge raised, then we’ve got it made. 2. Kenny Achenbach – One of the Founding fathers of Canadian snowboarding, Kenny defines thinking outside the box. This town needs some fresh ideas. 3. Nancy Wilhelm-Morden – She’s old school Whistler council, back when things were going well. Her experience is needed. 4. Jamey Kramer – Why not? This kid has a point, the service industry serfs are underrepresented in council, and there’s a shitload of us. Plus I liked his TV show on Cable 6.

My last two votes are tricky and undecided. Doug Lundgren is as well informed as anyone. Steve Jiu can see we’re gonna need solutions for all those crappy winters global warming is bound to bring us. Chris Quinlan is hard-working and eager (and a good guy, even if he is a stage actor).

It’s a tough gig to pick just six, but please take the time to do it on Nov. 19. And if you’re new to town or haven’t figured out that the human brain seeks patterns and will create them in almost anything The Dark Side of Oz is playing the same night at the Rainbow Theatre.

Now you know what to do with all that acid left over from Halloween. Vote first.

AT VILLAGE 8 Nov. 18-24: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; Walk the Line; Chicken Little; Zathura; Legend of Zorro; Jarhead; Derailed . Starting Nov. 23: Rent; Yours, Mine and Ours.

AT RAINBOW THEATRE Nov. 17-18 and 20-23: Into the Blue . Nov. 19: Dark Side of Oz .

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