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While theaters have recently been filled with many films that promise to entertain, few promise to educate, and even fewer do so in the thought-provoking way that Gus Van Sant’s new movie, Milk, does.
Milk tells the story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California.
The film follows Milk’s life from from the moment he decided he wanted to be a politician, to the moment he finally won a seat a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors . Milk ran unsuccessfully for political office on three separate occasions; with each attempt, he gained more and more support. Milk, however, had short-lived political career. Dan White, a fellow San Francisco supervisor, shot and killed Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk on November 27, 1978.
While each person has his or her own views on the sensitive issue of homosexuality, the film’s release could not have come at a more appropriate time. When Proposition 8 passed at the end of last year, many felt Californians had taken a huge step back in the fight for equality. Although that may very well be the case, Milk puts a face to the fight for gay rights. Harvey Milk’s touching and motivating story is guaranteed make you think a little before treating anyone poorly.
Today is brought to you by the number 42.
Why is 42 so important today? Sure, it’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything. But I bet you didn’t know that 42 is also the number of days until the 2008 General Election.
Depending on your age, this may be the first presidential election in which you are eligible to vote, and you are of course doing your civic duty by doing everything a young voter does to be as educated as possible about the issues at hand. You’ve watched The Daily Show’s coverage of Indecision 2008. You’ve seen the YouTube You Choose candidate debates. You keep up with projections on fivethirtyeight. You’ve observed the venerated and unbiased political arena that is Digg. You’ve become a member of the Facebook group of the candidate you most support.
In all seriousness, though, you might be forgetting something important. You’re probably going to college outside of the county in which you registered to vote. Have you registered to be a vote-by-mail voter in November’s General Election?
Fear not. I have collected all of the necessary URLs for you to strip away the last of your excuses not to vote in three easy steps. If you’re not a California resident, you’ll need to look up the equivalent forms for your state.
- Fill out a very short application to recieve vote-by-mail voter status for this election. You can also check a box to become a permanent vote-by-mail voter (voter-by-mail?), but if your college address keeps changing, I’d advise against it.
- Mail the application to your county elections office.
- Start reading up on this year’s propositions. You’ll get an official voter information guide in the mail as well. Think you don’t care about state propositions? Think again. Do you care about a high speed rail system spanning across the state? Do you care about the treatment of farm animals? Do you care about abortion for minors? Do you care about whether same-sex marriages will continue to be recognized?
If you’re not registered to vote, but you are a United States citizen who will be at least 18 years old on November 4, 2008, and you are not a felon or legally mentally incompetent, shame on you! You can’t let all of the money both campaigns have spent on influencing our highly prized and elusive 18-25 demographic go to waste. Besides, there are hungry kids in Africa who wish they had your ballot to cast. Fill out a registration form online here. They really can’t make it any easier for you people.
Registered to vote? Submitted vote-by-mail status? Awesome. We now interrupt this program to bring you a nonpartisan message from Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.