Friday, August 29, 2008

The Power of Barack Obama

"And I'll tell you another thing: I will not be intimidated by Richard Dreyfuss."

Maybe when you saw that post title you thought I'd write something about Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last night. Something about how it left me teary-eyed (which it did, but only in my left eye, which is either politically symbolic or has something to do with allergies), or how alternately thrilling and cathartic it was to hear someone in a position of power stand on a stage in front of the world and articulate the pain, anger, sadness and outrage that everyone who loves and cherishes the founding principles of this country has felt so deeply over the last eight years.

Well, I'm not going to do that. You know I don't get very personal here. But last night, after hearing MSNBC's political commentators repeatedly (and rather excitedly) invoke the name of Andrew Shepherd, the character Michael Douglas played in The American President, as they discussed Obama's speech, I checked the movie's sales rank on Amazon.

As of 10:50 PM, it was #1,389. Pretty respectable for a movie that has been on DVD for nearly a decade. By mid-morning it had jumped to #699. It currently holds spot #447, outranked in popularity by various and sundry TV shows (the fifth season of NCIS is performing particularly well for something that only my grandmother watches) and an eclectic mix of films ranging from 10,000 B.C. to Babette's Feast and the forgotten Meryl Streep/Ed Begley Jr. masterpiece She-Devil. It is, at the moment, more popular than 10 Things I Hate About You, the extended edition of The Bourne Identity and Napoleon Dynamite.

That's how powerful Barack Obama is. People are more interested in 13 year-old Aaron Sorkin-penned movies that might have influenced his speech than Julia Stiles and Jon Heder. If only he'd worked in a subtle reference to Showgirls -- maybe something about levitating nipples or Ver-sayce -- perhaps the Fully Exposed Edition of that movie wouldn't be languishing at #3,403 right now.

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