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Spike Jonze's 2002 Al Gore documentary.
July 18, 2006 9:37 AM   Subscribe

A documentary about Al Gore that was never aired. "The 22-minute documentary that might have changed the entire course of the 2000 Presidential Election", it shows a very human, personable Al Gore and Tipper. I first saw it on McSweeney's Wholphin project, and now it's trickled down to google video.
posted by craniac (68 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Google video link via Boing^2
posted by craniac at 9:46 AM on July 18, 2006


Actually, filmed in 1999.
posted by craniac at 9:52 AM on July 18, 2006


From the Wholphin liner notes:

: Everyone who's seen this movie thinks it humanizes Gore in precisely the way he needed to be humanized. He got tagged as being cold and robotic, and this film shows him to be warm, very genuine, passionate even. There are a lot of people who think that if this had been shown on primetime, it could have really made a difference in the election.

SJ: I wonder. I don't know, really. I like Harold and Maude.


posted by craniac at 9:55 AM on July 18, 2006


Al...Gore...Human?...Does...not....compute....I must...but I cannot....but I muzt....zzzt ...*’splodes*
posted by Smedleyman at 9:57 AM on July 18, 2006


I watched this last night. It's amazing how much foreshadowing it contains. It almost looks like it was staged after the campaign to make a better movie.
posted by scottreynen at 9:59 AM on July 18, 2006


Looks interesting. But seriously, people need to stop fixating on things that 'might've changed the entire course of the 2000 election.'

It's like listening to someone living in a Harry Turtledove novel.
posted by verb at 10:01 AM on July 18, 2006


Personable Al Gore, maybe, but nothing ever could inspire me to think kindly of Tipper.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:05 AM on July 18, 2006


How intensely depressing.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 10:07 AM on July 18, 2006


Tipper kept me from voting for Gore in the first place.
posted by RavinDave at 10:10 AM on July 18, 2006


But seriously, people need to stop fixating

Well, I don't know if the release of this documentary constitutes a fixation, although Gore is getting lots of media attention right now, to be sure.

Had he become president, we certainly wouldn't have this idealized snowglobe to shake around and look at--instead he'd be making decisions that at least half of the country would hate.

It was depressing to watch, however, and for very tangible reasons.
posted by craniac at 10:11 AM on July 18, 2006


I really think the fixation is helpful. This apathetic, underinformed, impressionable country of ours might benefit from a little reflection on what might have been.

2006 is here, and 2008 is right around the corner. We can't have 2000 back, but I, for one, don't think it's too late to turn some of this insanity around.

I don't really see anyone else out there who's even close to as willing to take on this government by the corporations, for the corporations, of the corporations.

Maybe Gore is the guy to do it.
posted by JWright at 10:19 AM on July 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Just further proof why the ruling class did not want him in the White House. And as we see, the ruling class always gets its way.
posted by wfc123 at 10:20 AM on July 18, 2006


that whole movie picking scene was really annoying.
posted by wumpus at 10:26 AM on July 18, 2006


The 22-minute documentary that might have changed the entire course of the 2000 Presidential Election.

So, as a result of this documentary, Gore might not have won the 2000 election?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:30 AM on July 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


I don't really see anyone else out there who's even close to as willing to take on this government by the corporations, for the corporations, of the corporations.

Maybe Gore is the guy to do it.
posted by JWright at 10:19 AM PST


Hahahahahha.

There are plenty of people who file to run for President that say they will do exactly as you say.

That is why they are not leading the Demopublican/Republicrat tickets.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:30 AM on July 18, 2006


Tipper kept me from voting for Gore in the first place.

Me too, that and Gore's apparent strangeness. But aren't you sorry now? I sure am.
posted by LarryC at 10:33 AM on July 18, 2006


Pseudo-double post.

I know it's not popular to say this, but to me this is further proof on why he didn't win. I really can't believe how dorky and stitled he comes off in this video. I used to think it was a mischaracterization in the media, but if he acts this way around his family I don't think there's really any hope. Between this and Bush's cool-guy antics at G8 I'm becoming somewhat disillusioned with the responses around here. I don't know if this somewhat denial or what, but seeing Bush and Gore both unguarded and somewhat loose reminds me why the majority of Americans love Bush and not Gore. I practically have liberal tattooed on my ass but it doesn't prevent me from seeing that unfortunately the vast majority of voters don't care about minutae of policy making and will vote on likeability. Gore doesn't have it, Bush does. One is obviously more qualified and would potentially have been a much better president, but that does not change the reality of the voting booth. To me the solution seems to be to find a likeable, qualified Democratic canadite (JFK, where are you?) than educating millions of Americans on why Gore's dorkiness should be overlooked.
posted by geoff. at 10:34 AM on July 18, 2006


that whole movie picking scene was really annoying.

I'm sorry, but no crapping on this thread is allowed. It's a new policy.



Thanks.
posted by craniac at 10:36 AM on July 18, 2006


So you're saying Americans prefer dumb guys?
posted by A189Nut at 10:38 AM on July 18, 2006


Correction: I shouldn't hyperbolize and I know Bush's ratings are in the tank now -- but the point is Bush should not have won. He was grossly underqualified at the time and it should have been easy. I firmly believe that for a lot of Americans it really does come down to personality.
posted by geoff. at 10:38 AM on July 18, 2006


When Al Gore did that bit on SNL about what it would be like if he were president.... I think that was the saddest I've felt as an American.
posted by weinbot at 10:43 AM on July 18, 2006


Thats not an 'American' thing - its a human thing.
posted by sfts2 at 10:44 AM on July 18, 2006


LarryC: But aren't you sorry now? I sure am.

Why? He won without our votes and history will always footnote Banana-Boy's "selection" with that fact.
posted by RavinDave at 10:45 AM on July 18, 2006


Tipper kept me from voting for Gore in the first place.

I'da forgiven her inclusion if not for the pairing with Lieberman - mid-80s memories and Lieberman's comments in the present taken together were a little scary.

Then again - "Michael Powell." So much for picking the devil you don't know...
posted by phearlez at 10:50 AM on July 18, 2006


Even without seeing this mini-documentary, if I'd known then what I know about Gore now, I would have voted for him instead of the chimp from Texas.

I wish he'd release An Inconvenient Truth under a CC license.
posted by mrbill at 10:52 AM on July 18, 2006


I have to say, Rehnquist's reasoning as to why a recount wouldn't be done (there's no guarantee that any individual's vote will actually be counted) makes me think that the whole "democracy in America" experiment has been quietly shelved in 2000. Still, he has eternity in hell to think about what he's done.
posted by clevershark at 10:52 AM on July 18, 2006


I know it's not popular to say this, but to me this is further proof on why he didn't win. I really can't believe how dorky and stitled he comes off in this video. I used to think it was a mischaracterization in the media, but if he acts this way around his family I don't think there's really any hope.

Exactly. I felt the same way. To me he seemed even more stilted and "robotic". I don't know why people think he comes off as 'humanized' in the film, I really don't.

I don't really see anyone else out there who's even close to as willing to take on this government by the corporations, for the corporations, of the corporations.

Maybe Gore is the guy to do it.


Gore practically wrote the DMCA. Get real
posted by delmoi at 10:54 AM on July 18, 2006


What about An Inconvenient Truth? I was amazed at just how relaxed and personable Al Gore has become (and funny!). I don't remember much about the 2000 election (debates-wise) so I can't really comment on how Al Gore was then (I was barely too young to really be following things), but as I see him now he certainly doesn't fit the stiff, robotic, dorky labels that have been assigned him.
posted by yuletide at 10:59 AM on July 18, 2006


Gore practically wrote the DMCA. Get real
posted by delmoi


????
Really?
I'm not buying it unless someone shows me.
Supporting evidence please?
I'm not totally uninformed on the subject and this is the first time I've heard THAT charge.
posted by nofundy at 11:11 AM on July 18, 2006


NEWSFLASH: He was *always* relaxed and funny. The whole "wooden, robotic and unlikeable" thing was a construct of the Republican National Committee, which the media repeated ad nauseum until the sheeple were effectively programmed to believe it was true.

...if he acts this way around his family...

WHAT way? Oh yeah, totally robotic and wooden!!! Please.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 11:12 AM on July 18, 2006


Perhaps it was shortened dramatically, but some version of this video was shown at the Democratic National Convention of 2000. Few remember because few people watch the conventions. Another sad comment on the state of politics, even if the conventions are all dog-and-pony, like not voting for Gore because Tipper wanted to ban your W.A.S.P. records in '85.
posted by Beefheart at 11:34 AM on July 18, 2006


Isn't at least some of the footage in An Inconvenient Truth? (If it is, it seems like it would have less to do with global warming and more to do with positioning him for another run.)

I have to say, Rehnquist's reasoning as to why a recount wouldn't be done (there's no guarantee that any individual's vote will actually be counted) makes me think that the whole 'democracy in America' experiment has been quietly shelved in 2000.

I don't think the Supreme Court should have intervened in the recount because it went against the conservative justices' usual positions on federalism and the this-time-only restriction was bullshit, but Gore would have lost the recount anyways. The recount was only in certain counties due to state law. Some newspapers examined the recount possibilities after the election and found that Gore would have won a recount using more lenient standards, but would have lost the more restricted recount that was actually at stake. The voter errors didn't help, either.

There were plenty of things wrong with the 2000 election in Florida--the expanded felony rolls, restrictions on voting, Katherine Harris' conflict of interest, the incompetent design of some ballots--but Gore would have lost even if the Supreme Court didn't get involved.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:35 AM on July 18, 2006


The Al Gore depicted in this video did feel more relaxed to me than the Gore that was depicted in one-minute interviews on the morning news back then (his state of relaxation, though, wasn't a problem for me). I still hate Leiberman (not a problem in a future campaign, one may hope), and I have problems with Tipper (then again, I have problems with my own wife). Basically, I am looking for reasons to support Gore, should he decide to run in 2008.

And then, the director decided to end this video with an anecdote about Gore's buddy who couldn't spell or use English grammar, whose dismal chances for success Gore thought sad. In which Gore uses the phrase "could care less". Sounds like a built-in commercial for Bush! What the hell?! Aaargh!!!

I'm writing-in the late Bertrand Russell.
posted by sighmoan at 11:38 AM on July 18, 2006


Tigger kept me from voting for Pooh in the first place.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:53 AM on July 18, 2006


Let's put this thread in a "lockbox".
posted by tadellin at 12:11 PM on July 18, 2006


Just wondering why the video was tagged with "salope" and "big tits."
posted by blendor at 12:32 PM on July 18, 2006


kirkaracha writes "I don't think the Supreme Court should have intervened in the recount because it went against the conservative justices' usual positions on federalism and the this-time-only restriction was bullshit, but Gore would have lost the recount anyways."

My problem isn't with the actual intervention or lack thereof, but with the stated reasoning, which hints that there might be a hell of a lot less to this democracy ideal than meets the eye. It clearly sends the message that you might as well not bother voting in the first place, and it was written by the Chief Justice of SCOTUS.

Anyway it's ancient history by now. SCOTUS is even more tilted to the right than it was then.
posted by clevershark at 12:34 PM on July 18, 2006


thanks, tadellin
posted by Pressed Rat at 12:53 PM on July 18, 2006


There are a lot of people who think that if this had been shown on primetime, it could have really made a difference in the election.

well, that's just dumb. It's a nice enough video, but he comes off just as Gore as he ever did. I personally don't mind it, but I don't see a difference in the way he acts here and how he came off in the elections. He's kinda dorky, in a perfectly likable way if you're inclined toward dorks.

Between this and Bush's cool-guy antics at G8 I'm becoming somewhat disillusioned with the responses around here. I don't know if this somewhat denial or what, but seeing Bush and Gore both unguarded and somewhat loose reminds me why the majority of Americans love Bush and not Gore.

But the thing is, most americans are inclined toward frat boys. A lot of us around metafilter were always the sort of people who found the frat boys idiotic and annoying, and often found the dorks interesting and maybe even endearing, but this is not the majority opinion (note which ones are the popular kids). (not that these are the only two options - I'd rather have a dork than a frat boy, but ideally we could find someone authentically charismatic)

Plus, all the comments about whether or not he is "stiff" around his wife (and his wife's response, no honey, you're not stiff at all!) really made me cringe.
posted by mdn at 1:06 PM on July 18, 2006


tipper keeps al from being stiff.


skulks away in shame
posted by nola at 1:10 PM on July 18, 2006


I found that this was made by Spike Jonze more interesting than anything else. Personally I've always liked Gore.
posted by edgeways at 2:03 PM on July 18, 2006


It almost looks like it was staged after the campaign to make a better movie.

Funny, that's the same feeling I had while watching. As for being wooden and stiff, someone really that robotic would never choose a filmmaker like Spike Jonze in the first place.

Probably any of us would look unconvincing if a camera crew was following us around through our daily routines. (Of course, as a politician Gore was supposed to be able to fake sincerity a lot better.)
posted by LeLiLo at 3:01 PM on July 18, 2006


The stuff that happened in Florida before the election was fucked up (like having a private company with republican ties kicking off 'felons') but honestly, why even debate about 500 votes or so? If 10 million people vote and the difference is only 500 does it really matter who ultimately gets sent to the whitehouse? How can you really claim one represents the will of the people when in fact the decision at that level is more random then anything.

I do think Gore received more votes then bush in Florida, but he was trying to game the system just as much as Bush was (trying to get recounts in just a few heavily democratic counties) In fact, if we had done the recount to his specifications, he still would have "lost".

My feeling is that if an election is really that close it should just be done over until one candidate receives at least 1% more then the other (or some other margin that actually represents true lead, rather then a random lead)

Also, what's the deal with people saying things that run totally contrary to my own eyes? How can you say gore doesn't seem "wooden" when in fact, he does seem wooden to me, even in this movie (although I only watched a bit of it).

Really?
I'm not buying it [gore practically wrote the DMCA] unless someone shows me.


Heh, here's a really old metafilter post. I forgot about the clipper chip: Bill Clinton had a proposal to put chips in all consumer hardware that would do encryption, and encrypt things in such a way that the government would always be able to decrypt it (with a warrant). It would have made software encryption illegal. He didn't personally write it (obviously) but he was a big proponent at the time. The Clinton/Gore administration was just as much a authoritarian, corporatists government, they just weren't getting people killed.
posted by delmoi at 4:01 PM on July 18, 2006


Just wondering why the video was tagged with "salope" and "big tits."

Because bouncing is what Tippers do best?
posted by Sparx at 4:07 PM on July 18, 2006


I don't really see anyone else out there who's even close to as willing to take on this government by the corporations, for the corporations, of the corporations.

Just further proof why the ruling class did not want him in the White House. And as we see, the ruling class always gets its way.

Wait...what? Some of these comments astonish me. Are we talking about the same Al Gore? Gore was no rebel. He was the very definition of shut up, toe the party line, and accept your corporate campaign contributions. He didn't start acting independent until he lost and had no political career. In other words, he only rejected big business after big business stopped funding him. I'd love to vote for someone willing to take on the corporations. That's why I'd prefer someone other than Gore.
posted by unreason at 4:25 PM on July 18, 2006




Heh, here's a really old metafilter post.

You actually linked to a comment by MidasMulligan in which he puts "DMCA" as Gore's middle name? This proves what, exactly?
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:38 PM on July 18, 2006


This proves what, exactly?

Dude, he wanted to implement a chip to allow the NSA to by-pass encryption at will. It's a pretty safe bet that he's not too concerned about your digital rights.
posted by unreason at 4:52 PM on July 18, 2006


unreason, yeah. 2 + Q = Green. Thanks for clearing that up.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:55 PM on July 18, 2006


By the way, compare and contrast:
  • The Clipper Chip: implements encryption and key escrow: government agencies would have to use due process to obtain the key. This program was pursued in the full sunlight of public debate, and never implemented.
  • Bush: directs the NSA to monitor whatever the fuck they want without due process of law. Program pursued and implemented secretly and extralegally.
I'm not defending the clipper chip, but christ: have some perspective.

None of which, by the way, has anything to do with whether an unlamented past commenter putting DMCA in the middle of Gore's name proves something.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:05 PM on July 18, 2006


Dude, Al Gore was getting major campaign contributions from half of the hollywood studios. You can imagine that Al Gore wouldn't have supported the DMCA if it makes you feel better, but there is no logical reason to believe that he would have opposed it.
posted by unreason at 5:08 PM on July 18, 2006


I'd also like point out that when Clinton signed the DMCA, we did not see Al Gore make any kind of statement against it. Which he would have done, had he been as upstanding and courageous as you seem to think.
posted by unreason at 5:13 PM on July 18, 2006


Has anyone ever complimented you on the perfect accuracy of your nick? Two points, which you probably will not trouble to read, let alone think about: 1) V.P.s do not speak against presidential policies. 2) You're attributing to me arguments I didn't make. I didn't say "Al Gore opposed the DMCA". I said, in brief paraphrase, "that's the lamest citation I've ever seen."
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:17 PM on July 18, 2006


Has anyone ever complimented you on the perfect accuracy of your nick?

Ah, making fun of someone's nickname. The sure sign of maturity.

1) V.P.s do not speak against presidential policies.

Oh? What was his excuse for not speaking against it during the elections, then? And if he was against it, why did he continue to take campaign contributions from the DMCA's backers?

I said, in brief paraphrase, "that's the lamest citation I've ever seen."

Except that I wasn't talking about the DMCA specifically when I made that link to the clipper chip letter. I was talking about Al Gore's status as a supposed champion of the people.
posted by unreason at 5:27 PM on July 18, 2006


Except that I wasn't talking about the DMCA when I made that link to the clipper chip letter.

And I never mentioned your link to the clipper chip letter, I mentioned a link to an old MidasMulligan comment.

Ah, making fun of someone's nickname.

Not at all. The nick is perfect. It was your reasoning I was making fun of.

Good night.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:34 PM on July 18, 2006


The reason that this video humanized Al Gore to me was that he is kind of dorky and wooden, but as you might recall, in the debates he was trying really hard to come off as likable, and it was just fake. Paiiiiinfully fake. What the video demonstrates is that although he is a dork, he really is human, and has a conscience, and is genuine. Lots of us have friends that aren't the life of the party, but are still perfectly capable people that we wouldn't mind having as our boss.

With regards to the "Gore would have sucked too" comments: good god, have some perspective. The problem with Bush isn't that he's a corporatist, necessarily -- so's Warren Buffet. The problem is that his Administration encourages cronyism, theft, corruption, and idiocy.
posted by spiderwire at 6:31 PM on July 18, 2006


By the way, compare and contrast:
· The Clipper Chip: implements encryption and key escrow: government agencies would have to use due process to obtain the key. This program was pursued in the full sunlight of public debate, and never implemented.

· Bush: directs the NSA to monitor whatever the fuck they want without due process of law. Program pursued and implemented secretly and extralegally.
I'm not defending the clipper chip, but christ: have some perspective.


Perspective? Look, Clinton wanted to put what basically amounted to a government bug in every single computer in the country, every PDA every digital device. And make things like PGP illegal. To me, that's a hundred times worse. The echelon project existed during the Clinton administration as well (which was the NSA's program with the exclusion of domestic calls). Today, if I want to keep something from the NSA private, I can encrypt it. If the clipper chip had been implemented, I'd either have to turn my keys over to the government, or risk going to jail for writing software.

Like I said, a hundred times worse, IMO.

You actually linked to a comment by MidasMulligan in which he puts "DMCA" as Gore's middle name? This proves what, exactly?

I just thought that was funny. It's hard to find information about that out there about something that old. And he did support the Clipper chip, which is worse then the DMCA.

Look, I know you all would love it if gore shared your beliefs, but he isn't anything close to an anti-corporate crusader. Give me someone like Russ Feingold, the only senator to vote against the Patriot act.

With regards to the "Gore would have sucked too" comments: good god, have some perspective.

Uh, I'm not saying "gore would have sucked too" although he certainly would have. Look, his running mate was Lieberman ferchrissakes. But obviously the country would be better off today if Gore had been elected.

On the other hand, I have to wonder. It seems like the republican party isn't really doing that well, and bush really energizes the liberal base. So perhaps bush's presidency will be good for the liberal 'movement' and we can start nominating real liberals, rather then DLC types.

But I'm not insane, clearly the country is far worse off with Bush as president, then gore.
posted by delmoi at 7:25 PM on July 18, 2006


Yeah, beefheart, this was shown at prime time during the convention and was repeated on Cspan a few times. It got quite a bit of press too, with clips on the cable news channels. Dunno why people are insisting it was hidden or suppressed.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:29 PM on July 18, 2006


delmoi: good points all. Particularly about Lieberman. Gore vs. Bush is a no-brainer; even if Gore would have gotten behind some things I don't beleive in, they clearly weren't going to fly in this or any other political climate (roughly like Bush's Social Security plan), and on the whole he's incomparably the better man. But Lieberman vs. Cheney? Now there's a hold-your-nose-and-choose comparison: a vile little worm of a man vs. naked evil. Like choosing between Gríma and Saruman if you know your LotR lore; you'd choose Gríma (a.k.a. "Wormtongue") but you'd damn the very heavens for forcing such a choice on you.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:12 PM on July 18, 2006


Uh, I'm not saying "gore would have sucked too" although he certainly would have.

I was speaking to the "corporatist" comment above, although I think that your political calculus is not the same as mine.

But Lieberman vs. Cheney? Now there's a hold-your-nose-and-choose comparison: a vile little worm of a man vs. naked evil.

Uh, no. No, it's not. That's in fact a very, very easy choice, especially given that Cheney's role in the Bush administration is far, far different from the role that Lieberman would have played in a Gore administration. Cheney is a different sort of VP from those we've had in the past.

And even were that not the case, still not a very tough call.
posted by spiderwire at 8:44 PM on July 18, 2006


Oh wait, that was delmoi. Yeah, that's a bad argument. People saying 'Oh noes, Clinton supported the DMCA' are nitpickers, and your equivalence between a President who's not anti-'corporatist' and a President who unabashedly steals on behalf of his CEO friends is fatuous at best. Sorry.
posted by spiderwire at 8:47 PM on July 18, 2006


This is so fucking sad! What is this whole thing about Gore being dorky and stiff? He was running for a damn President, not your boyfriend. We sure got a likable guy in there now.
posted by c13 at 9:57 PM on July 18, 2006


What is this whole thing about Gore being dorky and stiff?

What, were you asleep that year?
posted by spiderwire at 10:15 PM on July 18, 2006


Year?
posted by phearlez at 1:59 PM on July 19, 2006


Tipper kept me from voting for Gore in the first place.

Yeah. Nader's wife is a fine first lad... oh wait a minute.
posted by VulcanMike at 4:22 PM on July 19, 2006



So you're saying Americans prefer dumb guys?


No, Americans want their President to be heartless vindictive pricks. When it comes right down to it they want someone who can make decisions that they can say outwardly that they don't agree with but deep down inside they know they want. Like fighting wars so they can have cheap oil. Like killing social programs for tax cuts. Americans are the most selfish people on earth and they want a President who feeds their greed.
posted by any major dude at 9:27 PM on July 19, 2006


Oh and you know what would have turned that election? A better electoral system. Here we are six years later and the only thing that has been done to change it is legislation that allows computerized voting with no paper trail. I think they had more progress in early Stalinist Russia. Expect the same results in 2006 folks. This is the only thing Democrats should have been focused on these past two years. Tell me again how we allowed it to pass that people in poor Democratic counties in Ohio stood in line for hours to vote? It took me 5 minutes. How did we let that one go?
posted by any major dude at 9:32 PM on July 19, 2006


Personally, the first thing I look for from a President is a great shoulder massage.
posted by spiderwire at 12:09 AM on July 20, 2006


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