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Stateside: Mine’s Bigger Than Arnold’s

Stateside with Rosalea

End-Of-Week Musings

**Mine’s bigger than Arnold’s**

Hey, we’re not talking ego and butt, here. No sirree. I’m saying the percentage of votes won by the measure that I helped campaign for – 72 percent – is bigger than the percentage of votes won by the proposition the governor campaigned for – 71 percent.

Okay, so it’s only 1 percent difference, but his statewide Prop 58 was about saving taxpayers money, whereas citywide Measure I was about electoral reform – not a sexy beast in anyone’s book.

Please do not, however, take my giddy joy as an endorsement of direct democracy in the form of measures and propositions coming at ya from every which way. The Down Under way of using referenda sparingly is far preferable, but only works because voters actually have power over politicians. Here in the States, the system is organized so that the outcome is always assured by the party, not the voters. Speaking of which...

**F-U California**

President Bush wasted no time congratulating John Kerry on his East Coast wins in the primaries yesterday - while the polls were still open here in California. There’s nothing the prez likes more than to marginalise California Democrats, and the opportunity to rub salt in their wounds via the 6.30 news was too good to pass up.

“It seems forever since California’s votes meant anything,” said one local newsreader ruefully. Amen to that, my friend.

**F-U John Kerry**

Can’t wait to moonlight in Vermont. Hurrah! for that state’s voters who swung in behind Howard Dean even though he is no longer campaigning to be the Democratic presidential nomination. There’s no point in people from a country with a parliamentary tradition even trying to understand this nomination process; just be thankful that Vermont exists. Proud, independent-minded, unafraid to act from the heart.

When I think of Howard Dean, I think of the director David Mamet’s observation about acting that “it is probably finally kinder to the audience to subject them to untutored exuberance than to lifeless and baseless confidence.” Alas, what chance does untutored exuberance stand against the unremarkable and uninteresting ability of television to repeat things over and over again, and its unfailing boosting of lifelessness?

**No, I haven’t forgotten**

This column is late because I woke up Monday morning with a hellish sore throat, which turned out to be the effect of a lurgie I caught at the workshop I’d been at for the previous three days. At first I thought it was sore because of the eleven screams of ever-increasing intensity I had indulged in the night before.

Eleven gold Oscars, sitting on the wall; eleven gold Oscars, shiny, slim and tall. Yee-hah! God, you could almost feel through the TV the audience’s relief that they would never have to vote for a Lord of the Rings movie ever again. I was beginning to get embarrassed, and worried that New Zealand would be the new India – “outsource” is a very dirty word here, you know.

But even if you doubt whether the film industry actually is of any importance to New Zealand, it seems to be of great importance to the current head of Disney. In a somewhat weird turn of events this week, Eisner turned to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe shoot to help save him from being ditched by investor groups unhappy with the company’s performance.


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