Number 33.  This edition is for the week of November 6--12, 2000.
The eyes of the world are on Florida, and, yes, once again, for all the wrong reasons.      by Nolan B. Canova
   To my friends in other states who are wondering what took so long with this week's front page: you wouldn't believe what it's like in Florida right now, especially if you're a follower of pop culture.
   The biggest mess of a presidential election in history is coming down to what a few illiterate voters did in a small county in South Florida named Palm Beach. The short version: around 20,000 voters have been "disenfranchised" (buzzword alert) because they voted twice on a single ballot because they THOUGHT they were voting for Al Gore, but inadvertantly voted for Pat Buchanan.
   I've seen the "butterfly ballot" they referred to and are complaining about. I don't think it's THAT confusing. The problem seems to be the "punch holes" are in a common middle area between two open pages. All the holes for the candidates are squeezed in a relatively small area. BUT, the candidates names have ARROWS next to their corresponding holes. If you ignore the arrows and you go by "first, second, third hole", yes, you'll f*ck up.
   Apparently, once the voters got the "hang" of voting--around the third referendum or so--they realized their mistake and re-punched the hole for president, which, of course, invalidates their ballot. And, I understand this sort of thing is not new to that county. If it was any other election, it wouldn't matter. But as of 8:00am Friday morning (as I write this) the mandatory recounts are in, Bush still leads, but only by, like, 260 votes or something like that. I'll admit, I've never seen anything like this. It is an unnervingly close election in Florida and in the pop vote in America (100,000 vote difference). HOWEVER, there's something I should mention.......
   I hate to be a prejudice guy, but around here, that whole area--Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties--is sort of known as the (I had inserted an unflattering metaphor here, but I just might know somebody down there) of Florida. If there's gonna be some kinda weird-ass, retarded, criminally insane shake-up that makes no sense to the rest of the world, and it's coming out of Florida, you can usually assume it's another problem with (insert metaphor again, but "that area of") Florida. The area that gave us Janet Reno.
   Now we're waiting for the absentee ballots to be counted, which is only fair in such a close race. But it means history is on hold until next Friday the 17th, when those votes are tabulated.
    I'm sure all of you have been following this most extraordinary chain of events. Certainly, it's history-in-the-making on a number of levels and a marvelous time to be alive.
   I just wish Florida wasn't always on the ass-end of everything.
P.S. I guess it's only fair to inform you I voted for neither of the 2 front-runners. I am a registered Libertarian and card-carrying party member. Unfortunately for us, the Green Party's Ralph Nader campaign was more effective, and it's his 2% that sucked the election from Gore. (The Reform Party's Pat Buchanan and Libertarians' Harry Browne came away with 1% or less.) Altho I always practice what I preach, i.e., vote your conscience, I'll admit with a "gun to my head", knowing what I know now, I might've voted for Gore. The people of Palm Beach, with some irony, may get that second chance.
P.P.S.  I had planned to write reviews of a few of Fox's new season's shows in this space, but I'm no longer in the mood and it's too late in the week anyway. I apologize for my recalcitrance. I should be back in better form next week, and I'll STILL write my reviews. For now, read my trusted and entertaining columnists Mike & Matt by clicking below.


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