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February 04 2008

Eric Balfour (Buffy's Jesse) Appears in Will.I.Am's Political Music Video - "Yes We Can" - In Support of Obama. YesWeCanSong debuted last Friday night, it was produced by Black Eyed Pea's Will.I.Am, who has brought together a whose-who list of Hollywood and musical celebrities to raise awareness and their voices in support of Obama.

The song is a compilation of several of Obama's speeches throughout his candidacy formed into a powerful song for change.

Celebrities featured include: Scarlett Johansson, Tatyana Ali, John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Kate Walsh, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Adam Rodriquez, Kelly Hu, Amber Valetta, Eric Balfour, Aisha Tyler, Nicole Scherzinger and Nick Cannon.

I thought that was him when I saw it this weekend--but how sad is it that he was the only one I recognized?
I didn't even know who Will.I.Am is. Am I supposed to know these things? Who dictates this things? Also out of that list BrownCoat_Tabz posted I've only heard of three people. So is this the US celeb equivalent of those Peter Kay music videos?
A lot of really well known African-Americans. Will.I.Am you'd know better as one of the Black Eyed Peas.
Will.I.Am is decidedly not an obscure musical artist, although I suppose that depends on where one's musical tastes lie. :)

Also not obscure? John Legend and Herbie Hancock. IMO, this ode to Obama has very catchy tune and an inspiring message aimed at a specific - youthful - audience. I hear it's the number #1 viral video in the U.S. right now.

I always enjoy seeing "Jesse." The actor invokes the glorious beginning of my favorite TV show. I love the factoid that Joss wanted to put the actor's name and face in the main credits as one of the stars of the show - just to freak us all out more. I guess the budget didn't allow for that. (Factoid from Joss's commentary for WttH.)

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2008-02-04 19:29 ]
'Fraid I'm not familiar with the Peter Kay videos of which you speak, Simon . . . transatlantic differences, and all that.

ETA: And now that I've watched it, it is a beautiful production - although I found it an odd choice to close with the artists rather than with an image of Obama.
I didn't know very many of the people, either, but it was a fabulous video--and it effectively targets the younger voters, which is what it is supposed to do. I don't fit that demographic, as I am someone who still remembers JFK, but I still respond to the messages of hope and harmony that Obama projects, and I do hope we are coming to a positive turning point in our country.
Sounds more like a "who's that" list of celebrities.

I also loved Jesse in episode one, and I am repeatedly saddened that his character never got a mention after his death, even when Xander and Willow talked about old times.

Darla got post-mortem character development shazamit, where was Jesse's.
There was a rumour that his character was going to appear in Conversations With Dead People. If I remember right this was nixed early on cause it would have been too similar in vein to Tara's appearance (this was before Amber declined to appear).
It's fun to see Eric on other shows (Six Feet Under, 24, etc) and he was on an episode of the tattoo lady who moved to LA (she was from Miami Ink) - can't remember the title of the show now.

Yeah, if you're a fan of hip-hop or top 40 (MTV) these guys will not be "whose that?")
The song is a compilation of several of Obama's speeches throughout his candidacy formed into a powerful song for change.


Isn't "Yes We Can" from just the New Hampshire primary speech? Or was Obama re-using old speeches? I've been trying to figure out the origin of "Yes We Can" because in this video it seems like the audience already knows it. Can anyone clarify?

BTW, I adore that speech. It's pure poetry, inspiring and powerful. Wow. Obama's got a great speechwriter, and he sure knows how to deliver them.
It has been a popular rallying cry since the days of Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers. (Si, se puede)
jcs, I'm talking about the whole speech.
@electricspacegirl I know a lot of the speech elements are things Obama has said a lot during his campaign, but jcs is right - it's Si, se puede.
Any Obama supporters out there, we have a discussion about him going on the flickr. Come join in! :)
Any Obama supporters out there, we have a discussion about him going on the flickr. Come join in! :)


Ugh, I've been up all night and I probably don't have the battery power to take part right now, but I'll lurk now and come back later. Thanks, Willowy.
I'm from Illinois, and I've been lucky enough to see Obama speak at an event at the college where I work. It was a town-hall meeting, which meant he didn't have a speech prepared. He was personable, witty, smart, and had what I can only call a presidential glow--and this was about a year before he decided to run.

On topic--Whenever I see Eric Balfour in anything, I always think, "JESSE! He can hear the worms in the earth!"

[ edited by Dizzy on 2008-02-04 21:31 ]
I remember the speech being from NH but I believe it was mentioned that he had used the speech or parts of it before. Doesn't matter to me one way or the other because when I first heard the speech it moved me tremendously and that song makes it even more so. Just beautifully done!

And I also thought that was Jesse so it's nice to know it was!! I would have loved to see him make an appearance in CWDP!
The clips of Obama in the music video are all from his "Yes We Can" speech from after narrowly losing the New Hampshire primary to Hillary Clinton. I guess his theme of "Change" has threaded through his campaign - so parts of this speech probably echoes other things he's said.

The clip is incredible, but the original speech is wonderful all on its own.
I knew he looked familiar!!!!!!!!!!

OBAMA 08!

Not to get all political or anything...
:)

ETA: Re: Obama and his speechwriter. Actually, it's my understanding that Obama wrote all his speeches himself until campaigning was underway this past year. He wrote the amazing speech delivered in 2004 at the Democratic convention. Now he has a speechwriter who pretty much recycles Obama's original words and ideas, and they collaborate. In other words, those are his original words that you hear (for the most part). Hope to see you guys at flickr. I've been hoping there would be a place to post about Obama-love with other Whedonians.

[ edited by April on 2008-02-04 23:35 ]
In re: inspirational writing, Obama is nothing if not a fantastic writer. Anyone read his "Dreams of My Father?" Whether you support him for prez or not (I'll admit I do), his writing skills are hard to deny. He's gifted that way.

Back to the Jesse character: as onthemightofprinces said, it would have been great to have had Xander and Willow mention in S7 losing Jesse. Maybe it'll still happen in S8? That'd be a great tip of the hat to devoted followers of the Buffy story.
All I know about the US election is what Jon Stewart has told me but the appealing thing about Barack Obama from an outsider's perspective is that when he starts a sentence, you get the distinct impression that he's got at least a basic idea of how it's going to end - after the last 7 years that is a genuinely refreshing change ;).

I know about 6 of the names on that list (and i've heard of Amber Valetta but i've no real idea who she is or what she does) so I guess it's not quite as parochial as the Peter Kay video (only seen '[Show me the Way to] Amarillo', the Comic Relief one - SNT, you'd probably recognise most of the participants, it was kind of a retro nod in some ways with folk like Ronnie Corbett, Parkie, Jimmy Saville, Jim Bowen etc. And, obviously, Shaun Ryder and Bez ;).

Nice video, nice idea, good words.

(even if JFK's pledge to go to the Moon was more about cold-war propaganda than the spirit of exploration and power of positive thinking ;)
ETA: Re: Obama and his speechwriter. Actually, it's my understanding that Obama wrote all his speeches himself until campaigning was underway this past year. He wrote the amazing speech delivered in 2004 at the Democratic convention. Now he has a speechwriter who pretty much recycles Obama's original words and ideas, and they collaborate

True. He has a small team now. Well, true that he used to write his own speeches. It looks like he hired speechwriters not long after the 2004 election.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-02-05 00:13 ]
Saje, yes, all of the candidates in this one are more articulate than Bush. So would be a group randomly selected from holders of driver's licenses, but it's a small mercy.
Don't forget it's the speech-writers job to comb over every word of dialogue to be spoken to ensure it contains nothing which could be construed as offensive to any minority/majority groups.

For example, it would not be a great idea to say: "Our army could **** the cattle **** ******** *** ***** Ghandi *** ****** **** pencil ****** up **** ****** **** ******* *** before the dust settled on the chess championship" - obviously because it would be offensive to people in the stationary trade.

The speech-writer would make sure something like that didn't slip through the cracks.
Thanks for the links, Sunfire. What an interesting process Obama and Favreau have got going. Now I must go watch his memorable speeches, because I missed them.
I had been floating along in the political abyss until this year. I found some inspiration. And this video energizes even more. So much so I blogged specifically about this video. Great job by Wil. Even better to have those we know in it. I knew most of those in the video and how can you argue with Scarlett?
esg, one of my new favorite sites for past speeches is American Rhetoric (link to Obama's 2004 DNC speech). I discovered the site a few weeks ago. Among other things, it has audio from MLK's Mountaintop speech. It's amazing.

I'm getting strangely politically obsessed even though I was/have been so jaded after 2000 and 2004 that I registered unaffiliated when I moved states, and I can't even vote tomorrow. I guess I'm overcompensating for my ballotlessness.
Thanks, Sunfire. I'll check them out.
All I know about the US election is what Jon Stewart has told me .....
Saje | February 04, 23:54 CET


Saje, add Real Time With Bill Mahr to that and trust me, it's all you need to know about the U.S. political process. Our mainstream media is a joke, controlled .... down to the last so-called independent "local" newspaper here in the tropical backwater of Hilo, Hawaii .... by four mega-corporations.
(And since said mega-corporations marginalized John Edwards out of the race, I'm a semi-reluctant Obama supporter).

.... all of the candidates in this one are more articulate than Bush. So would be a group randomly selected from holders of driver's licenses, but it's a small mercy.
dreamlogic | February 05, 00:38 CET


As would be a group randomly selected from those who couldn't get a drivers license because they couldn't pass the written test.
Bitter and cynical? .... nah, not me ;-)

Yay Eric Balfour, who was awesome in Six Feet Under and excellent in the short-lived Convictions, also with J. August Richards.
Saje, add Real Time With Bill Mahr to that and trust me, it's all you need to know about the U.S. political process. Our mainstream media is a joke ...

Ah, i'll check that out, cheers Shey. I actually thought his show was axed because he said the wrong thing at the wrong time and drew the ire of the wrong people ?

ETA: Wikipedia tells me that was 'Politically Incorrect'.

Yep, obviously bearing in mind that 'A Daily Show' ( ;) cherry picks clips for comic effect, the mainstream reporting seems to a) be in a very similar vein and b) attempt at every opportunity to drum up a story where none exists, particularly about the Democrat candidates (for instance I expected Hillary Clinton to be in floods of tears the way that was reported but when I actually saw it ? Not so much). Pundits on actual news analysis segments (not the 'editorial' shows like that O'Reilly one where anything's fair game since it's presented as just his opinion) also seem to be much more insulting than i'm used to (though I haven't watched much of Fox News in fairness).

Unbalanced reporting is becoming the norm everywhere of course but at least I know where biases lie with the UK press/TV.

[ edited by Saje on 2008-02-05 12:46 ]

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