Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Kenya, Publicity, and "Walk the Line"

The Kenyan constitutional referendum has been soundly defeated. What this means for President Kibaki is not clear. The BBC has a forum with comments from readers (though many of them appear to be expatriate Kenyans).

I've written about this before, but as I understand it this is not a clearly good or bad thing for Kenya. The vote prevents the presidency from grabbing more power, and this is a good thing; but there were many other progressive provisions addressing issues such as women's rights and land ownership. Kenya still needs a new constitution, just not one that will maintain the political status quo of corruption and strong-arming.

On an entirely different note, I'm looking for ways to further publicize the ED/SF Project, as fewer and fewer folks are signing on and we've yet to hit the halfway point on signups. If you know folks who haven't signed up, please bug them. (And if you yourself haven't signed up, what are you waiting for?) I'm thinking of contacting Salon and possibly Slate after the holiday, to see if we can get a mention. If you have other ideas, I want to hear them.

Now that everyone in America has seen the new Harry Potter flick (except me; I'll probably see it with my parents this weekend), you should do yourselves another favor and go see Walk the Line. I'll admit that I'm biased, because my iPod's name is "Cash is my Copilot," but I was transfixed by this film. Joaquin Phoenix is amazing--I wasn't fooled into believing he was Johnny, but I felt strongly that Johnny was there in his performance. Reese Witherspoon is one of those performers whom I convince myself I don't like all that much until I see her act again; she was superb. There is a lot of music in the film, and it's surprisingly good--and it's important, not just because of who Johnny and June were, but because the story of their courtship took place as much on stage as in private. It's a rollercoaster ride. At times there is a giddiness to the film, such as in the depiction of Johnny's early touring days with Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Elvis; at other times the darkness is palpable. I'll say no more at this point. Just go see it.


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