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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"You forced me to come to Arizona. I loathe Arizona."
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September 21 2016

Joss Whedon rejoins Twitter and launches And yes, it does have to do with the US election. There's a video you can watch. Joss is currently tweeting as @joss and is also on Facebook. And you can read about Joss' Super Pac at The Hollywood Reporter and Buzzfeed.

That video is awesome.
I'm assuming Joss directed it?
He says so on his Facebook post:

"Hey! Did I miss anything? Lol jk the world is on fire 😂 here's a thing I made"

Oh, and on twitter too, so you knew.

[ edited by Ragondux on 2016-09-21 13:25 ]
That means that Joss has directed Martin Sheen. What's his Facebook page?
I'm assuming he wrote & directed the video. He did say "here's a thing I made" though he could be talking about the project in general. The writing sure sounded like him.

As for the election, this is a terrible place to be. But between a bad option and the Apocalypse, I'd go with the bad option.
Wow. Apparently Joss made a super PAC for Hillary and donated $1 million to her campaign.
Is it still a bad option if you get a nude Mark Ruffalo scene?
Ahah. You make a good point Ragondux. I guess it's bad in a sexy way!
Just popped back in here to say: even though I'm not in the US, and as such can't contribute through my vote, I absolutely loved that. It was awesome, trademark Joss. Here's hoping it reaches it's intended goal. Not just for the US, but for all us other guys as well.

(Plus: absolutely loved seeing the purple man himself in that behind the scenes video on THR as well).
I'm actually a fan of Hillary and I wish we had a candidate half as competent as her... I liked the video, and seeing Martin Sheen, oh I miss President Bartlett.
I like the parts of the video about emphasizing the importance of voting and the quirky humor. I'd prefer they put the other emphasis on EDUCATED voting instead of which candidate people should vote for.

Now in full disclosure, I'm not a fan of either candidate. For the last 2 or 3 elections I've been hoping to see more people to support a third party that can come in and shake up our political landscape a bit.
I certainly feel more cynical after having watched that. And depressed. Lots of depressed.
i thought it was pretty funny. i don't need celebrities to tell me how to vote, but this was delightful.
Love it and crying with feels but I'm so worried so many will dismiss the ad as work of the elite and won't listen or just rage on...

I even saw a tweet dismissing intellectual elites. So if you're smart you're useless.

Please let this be the first many frontal attacks. We need more but targeting the very real issues driving people to embrace hate.
I'm not a fan of Hillary, I think her ethics and hubris would make her a worse president than any of my friends picked at random, but Sheen saying "We cannot pretend both sides are equally unfavourable" and mentioning the Supreme Court are the most important points. I think this video will fail though because, unusually for Joss, it lacks self-awareness, as the top voted comment points out.
It seemed self-aware to me, since the video has celebrities explaining why it has celebrities, a normal person explaining why it has a normal person, and then it compares itself to videos about catastrophes and diseases.
Hey Simon, the Facebook link at the top of the page to Joss' official FB page is broken. There is a BR tag inside the link. Easy to delete to get the proper URL, but figure I would mention it for anyone who doesn't understand why they are getting a "Sorry, this page isn't available" from Facebook.
I left twitter the day #ISupportHateSpeech started trending. That was also the day I smashed my very first cell phone! Fun fact.
The video is great.

The thing with Donald Trump is he makes Mitt Romney look like a great presidential candidate. The last few years in Europe has shown an alarming number of countries lurching towards parties like the National Front, with youth voter turnout being on the super side of low. You also see groups of voters who don't specify their voting preference who turn up on election day - this has been repeated throughout Europe - who swing elections.

Personally, I think vote for whoever you want - just read their manifestos, investigate what they're saying. Some of the statements in this US election -- particularly around freedom of the press, but the list of problematic areas is long -- have been really worrying. Like actual genuine worry.

[ edited by gossi on 2016-09-21 19:11 ]
For me, as a Brit who's following the US election closely, it's starting to smell like the UK Brexit referendum. With that in mind, I don't think this initiative will do anything to damage Trump's chances. It's a funny and well done video, but I don't see this kind of thing effecting the outcome. The Dems could certainly have beaten him if they had a good candidate, but with Hillary I'm not convinced. I suppose it all comes down to whether fear can be a powerful enough motivator for turnout. Enthusiasm and hope are the best way to get people to come out and vote, but with Hillary that's largely non-existent. Equally worrying, there is plenty of enthusiasm for Trump.

We live in interesting times...
Joss rocks. And we need to keep that sexist, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic megalomaniacal hatemonger out of the White House and away from the button. The people who can't see that he's by f---ing far the worst of the two candidates boggle my mind and sadden me about our country's future.
I think this has a chance of helping. It's not about changing the mind of anyone actually considering voting for Trump, It's about all those who don't want to vote for Hillary and think It's not worth it to vote if they can't get the person they want most.
This seems like having to choose a math teacher between someone who might not be actually good at math, and someone who doesn't read (and is also a pathological arsonist).

The Problem with this video is that I think it's too self aware. It's very funny to have a video with celebrities telling you what they think, that also makes fun of videos like it. No one thinks anything bad about those kind of videos usually. they had one during the Prop 8 fight, they had something with the Orlando shooting a few months ago.
But this time it made people actually think about the absurdity of taking advice from celebrities.
It would have made a great Funny-or-Die video. But in actually delivering the point they wanted... problematic.

Luckily we should be getting lots more from Joss on the subject in the next month.

P.S. a very small part of me wants Trump to win just to see how people like Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Seth Meyers and Samantha Bee react.
This is super great and everything I love about Joss. It made me feel a little hope when I haven't for a while. The same people who don't like Joss won't like this, but I'm okay with that.

[ edited by Wesbi on 2016-09-21 20:01 ]
Thanks, Matt_Fabb! Link fixed.
A non-American here as well. The world is looking towards the US more than ever, mostly in fear of what is to come. Many mistrust Hilary in major international issues like violent conflict and the environment, but most are terrified of Trump. It is a "she's the least worst" option.

I would've personally preferred Bernie Sanders and any other republican in the race (he was well liked by all. Anyone watching this now knows he would’ve won democrat, independent AND republican votes. I remember polls a few months ago that predicted as much.

But then again it is not my choice, it is Americans who have to make this choice.

What started as a joke ended as a nightmare. Here’s hoping the right (or least worse) choice, IMO, is made.

P.s. Hey Tom Link! You’re famous to us :D

P.s.2 I miss when US elections were about hope, change and inclusion rather than fear, regression and exclusion.
A very, very worthwhile cause. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the videos and hoping some manage to catch on.

I like Joss's line about democracy. I need to remember to be hopeful in democracy because after the Brexit vote I'm getting very worried that something similar could happen in the US. Many people have real, valid concerns, but somehow they're being twisted and turned into a fear that's driving voters in a seriously dangerous direction. The problem in the UK was that the far right took control of the narrative. Usual, reasonable arguments didn't make a difference to many people when it came to Brexit and the normal rules certainly don't seem to apply to Trump. Who knows, maybe a series of videos like this can make a difference? They're not going to change any Trump voters' minds but if they can get a few more people to vote for Hillary, they will be worthwhile.
Felicia Day posted Joss' video to her Facebook page and when a lot of the replies turned nasty, she edited in a great think piece in response. A great read.
No matter where you stand on the question- and I am a Hillary supporter- this video did exactly what it was designed to do, which was to draw attention. I doubt that this will exist in a vacuum, only to be a sole item with no follow up. I would anticipate that all the celebs in this video are going to go forth and amplify the message. As they use their fan bases to spread the word- and holy cow, is this ever trending on FB!- this will get additional traction. Will it sway people? If even a few, it worked. I might have done it different, but Joss did it, and that is what matters. He took a position, and he then strongly delivered his message.
I agree that this is depressing
I love the video. I've been a fan of Hillary Clinton since she was First Lady, and I hope to celebrate her victory on November 8. This isn't a choice between two bad candidates; it's a choice between a highly educated and experienced candidate with some human faults who has advocated for the poor and marginalized all her adult life and a huckster who is using bigotry and fear to get votes. As the parent of three daughters and a son who's gay, I know which one I will choose.

[ edited by ActualSize on 2016-09-22 01:23 ]
That was great. I don't see the goal so much as to try to convince people, I see it as more likely having a "get out the vote" styled impact. I'm also excited that the website has an area for "vids" rather than just "vid" meaning we should be seeing more videos in the future.

They saved Martin Sheen for perfect moment in the video. I about started clapping when he appear. Also, they worked in a little Community joke, which I appreciated (namely that Yvette Nicole Brown, one of the leads on Community, was the first person to say the word "community").
PaperSpock, if you read the buzzfeed interview, Joss says he's done a few videos that'll be released in the coming weeks. He said he's just trying different things and throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, so it'll be interesting to see the different approach taken in each video.
Toivo, there has been yuge enthusiasm for Hillary, which is why she got enough votes to win the nomination, even without the superdelegates. But enthusiasm may depend on a person's demographic. Obviously she has done less well with millennials and white men. But she's solid with women, and people of color. Even my female friends in the Philippines and Indonesia wanted me to send them Hillary T-shirts.

The big rallies that Sanders and Trump held cost much more money than smaller gatherings. Hillary has done much more of those.

My first job was at the Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs, where Bill grew up. I met Hillary in a receiving line. She is one of the most brilliant people I've ever met. In person, she is warm, caring and funny.

I'm worried about the people who are turned off by this election and won't vote or will vote for a third-party candidate, allowing the "orange Muppet Hitler" to win. Meanwhile, I've fallen in love with Joss all over again, and my, isn't he looking fit these days.
Suzie, of course you're right Hillary does have a supporter base who are excited by her, and she does better with women and older people. But the simple fact is she's less than a percentage point ahead of Trump in the average of polls at this point. Trump is a clown and his campaign has been all over the place. A good candidate running a good campaign would be comfortably ahead of him. Hillary has actually caught up with Trump in terms of historically bad unfavourable ratings in the polls. Most people don't trust her...

I can go on and bore you to death on this, but the point I'm making is that not enough people share your excitement about Hillary. She may well win, but for me it's 50/50 at this point. The whole thing has started to feel like a sequel to our Brexit vote, the parallels are uncanny in terms of what's driving voters towards each side. That was a nail-biter which the insurgent, so-called anti-establishment Brexit campaign managed to narrowly win in the end.

One of the interesting things about politics is actually how waves of change can sweep across multiple countries and regions, only here we're talking about a potential lurch to the far-right which would be a disaster.

[ edited by Toivo on 2016-09-22 02:34 ]

[ edited by Toivo on 2016-09-22 12:24 ]
I'm glad Joss is back online, I'm sorry for the reason. That we should be in a position where anyone has to explain why voting for Drumph is a bad idea, is shocking.
My internet connection is horrible right now, so I can't check out the video, but I just wanted to chime in to say: isn't it lovely to have a hero who just keeps finding new ways to be heroic? Sending love to you, Joss!
So much for the board not being political.
WheelsOfJoy, if you'd like to bring the discussion back to the more superficial aspect of the topic AND do someone a solid favor at the same time, could you help me identify the people in the video? I recognize only Iron Man dude, Scarlett J., Mark Ruffalo and President Bartlet for certain; the others, I've seen most of them, but don't know who they are, or I'm not sure--like was that Tom Lenk near the end?

(I've never been gladder to have a pseudonym ...)
I LOVE that video. The bit with Tom was my favorite part.
Yeah... can't say I'm fond of artists I like producing transparent, Appeal-to-Authority-level political propaganda pieces. But such is often the price you pay as a fan when your preference is for creators who favor symbolizing strong ideas in their artwork - it goes with the territory.

Now - if only truly understanding that made witnessing such cringe-inducing moments significantly less unpleasant...
mozzarellademon, There were a couple of people I did not recognize, but these are the celebrities I did recognized in order of appearance: Robert Downy Jr., Scarlett Johanson, Keegan-Michael Key, Matt McGorry, Mark Ruffalo, James Franco, Cobie Smulders, Julianne Moore, Yvette Nicole Brown, David Harbour, Bradley Whitford, Ashley Johnson, Stanley Tucci, Leslie Odom, Jr, Nathan Fillion, Rosie Perez, Tom Lenk, Taran Killam, Randall Park, Clark Gregg, Don Cheadle, Neil Patrick Harris, Jesse Williams, and Martin Sheen. (That was fun to get together).

ETA: the three actresses I did not recognize - Veronica Osorio, Clea Duvall (it was a blink and you miss it appearance, which is why I couldn't tell it was her), and Tavi Gevinson.

[ edited by mossome on 2016-09-22 04:56 ]
There's something hopeful in seeing Joss step back into the spotlight to speak out, even though he might not want to be there, because he believes it's important. Good to see that there's still heroes in this world.
Yay new Joss content finally!

Fun video. It wont change anything though.
Would have been funnier with Adam Baldwin.
Bless joss for doing the right thing. He reminds americans that they have a duty to their country and to the entire world. The duty to prevent disaster from happening. The world will be watching.
Amrita: probably not.
Was finally able to see the video. Very cute. Important. But cute. Feeling a little bad for Mark Ruffalo, but not too much. ;)
I find it odd that anyone would complain about Joss making a political video when one of the people running is a reality TV star.
I agree, I think it would've been funnier with Adam Baldwin. Also, I preferred the zombie apocalypse ad he did during the last presidential election.
Update from @Joss:

Tomorrow! Me, live on for a Q&A about #SaveTheDay and our "Important" vid. So, Friday 9/23 at 2:30 EST. I'm AFRAID!
Oh boy, that will go well.

(I do want it to go well. It's just going to be so contentious and slammed with load.

[ edited by hann23 on 2016-09-22 21:15 ]
I'm so sad I'll be at work. Pesky job.....
It's an entertaining video, but it's kind of upsetting, too. It comes in a year where we had a really great Presidential candidate, who most likely really won, but we ended up with the most frightening choices imaginable. I'll vote, but I don't think my vote will really count. In my state, there is no way to know if the vote totals reflect the actual votes cast. I know this, because I tried to verify the vote counts in my county. It can't be done. I know people will take exception to this, but I will vote for Jill Stein. I have to vote my conscience and principles, even if my vote doesn't count in the end.
It is just so bad. When you go to Felicia Day's personal account and read the comments after she posted a link to this, it will make you wonder about our country- she takes such abuse there.
I think the sensibility that Joss chose to speak to in this video is very apt. Most of us, given our obviously superior critical thinking skills, probably don't know many people who are pro-Trump. But we probably all know several people who truly see Trump as horrible, but who still won't vote.

If their main reason is that they feel their vote is unimportant, then that probably reflects a deeper feeling that they don't matter to our society and culture, and that alienation is a tragedy in itself.
Nebula, your vote will count. I live in Florida where Nader voters elected Bush in 2000. I predict the same this year.
Great, but he lost me at "We can not pretend that both sides are equally unfavorable". They are and there are better options, even if the joint republican-democratic controlled committee that run the debates won't let them have a voice.
Bottom line, just make your vote count. That's the most wonderful thing. Do it!

Me? I'm voting for Alice. The Hare is just a bit too crazy for me. Just my opinion.
Madhatter, not the queen?
Garyyager, I am flummoxed that you don't see a difference between Trump and Clinton. Just as one difference, he publicly suggested that she should be shot.

[ edited by Lioness on 2016-09-25 03:25 ]
Apparently Hillary has referred to the video! Mark Ruffalo tweeted it.
I know I'm another Brit who doesn't live in the US and so who doesn't get a say in this, but for any of you who genuinely are being taken in my the "both sides are as bad as the other" shtick, you really need to see John Oliver's latest segment on The Last Week Tonight.

I can't find a link to the video that works outside the US, but as I'm really addressing people who are in the US, that shouldn't matter. Search for yourselves, or look at this one, for example (lots of places have linked to it).
Lioness that is completely false.

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