Tommy Lee Jones vs. Will Smith

I recently attended Universal Studios 2008 edition of Halloween Horror Nights, and the one show that I try to make a point to see each year is “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure,” a special holiday edition of their normal show. There’s still something entertaining about two time-traveling idiots who make fun of things they have no chance of understanding while looking for excuses to party, dance, and riff on air guitars.

But more to the point, this year’s election-inspired intro to the show featured candidates McCain and Obama, and as the two ripped on one another and spoofed themselves, the opportunity for an impromptu poll presented itself as the two actors tried to get cheers for themselves from the packed audience. No issues, no platforms, nothing but what clearly looked like an short old man seemingly unable to stand up straight and a lithe black man with a commanding silhouette towering over him. The cheers overwhelmingly went to the Obama look-alike, while McCain’s doppelganger drew more boos than any actual support.

With an audience that could be assumed to be half Floridian, half tourist with more than a chunk being unable to actually vote (under-aged or non-American), it certainly felt as if this was really what the campaign had come down to: appearances. With both campaigns successfully seeding distrust into the messages of the other and diluting the facts with enough questionable fiction to make an honest intellectual assessment of either man’s credentials, experience, or intent nearly impossible, all that seems to remain is the observable. As was previously indicated to Tommy Lee Jones by Will Smith in Men in Black II, has it really all come down to “old and busted” vs. “new hotness?”

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