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Arts & Culture

Nominate '08

As a film critic, I get sent a lot of promotional items and I see a lot of promotional items that get handed out at screenings. There have been the occasional brilliant ones such as the Fargo snow-globe or the Juno hamburger phone . But more often than not a lot of the swag just makes you scratch your head - like nail files for the martial arts action film War . Huh? Did someone really think that women would come to a testosterone actioner just because War was printed on a nail file? But the current election fever seems to have inspired the studios to deliver some truly stellar promo items. So as I prepare to head out to the polls tomorrow I offer up a little bit of campaign coverage from Hollywood. For Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo , you could go on to Facebook and register to be a campaign manager and receive such campaign swag as Harold and Kumar buttons, bumper stickers, window clings, visors, beach balls and a flag pin. All adorned with pot leaves. Cool, dude. Then just the other day I stumbled upon NBC/Universal's Emmy campaign in which you can place an order for a campaign button showing your support for one of the shows they are pushing for an Emmy. So you can proudly wear a "Baldwin-Fey All the Way" to show your support for 30 Rock or a "What America Needs Most is Law and Order" or a simple "VOTE SNL." I still treasure my "McCay the Better Way" campaign materials from the Robert Redford film The Candidate back in 1972. The campaign theme may not be wildly original but it's fun to be able to show your support for movies and programs you enjoy. If you log onto the NBC/Universal site, the campaign theme is carried through on each show's... um, I mean, "candidate's" page as you can scroll through "endorsements" (i.e. glowing reviews) for each. If this keeps up we'll have Bruce Wayne running for mayor of Gotham, and Hellboy and the Hulk battling for the law and order vote. And if Indy's retiring from adventure work, maybe he'll consider filling one of the VP slots. After all when asked for his final words he did respond with a campaign slogan: "I like Ike."