Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chinese democracy 

If you have an hour to kill and your inner life is a frothy mix of post-Olympics Sinophobia and pre-election nausea, check out the documentary "Please Vote for Me." It's about a third-grade class in central China that is holding the country's first ever democratic hall monitor election.

It's amazing how quickly these cute little 8-year-olds, egged on by their parents, take to the true and brutal nature of electoral politics. Things get ugly fast.

The movie is also worth viewing just to see "Cheng Cheng," the chubby, pampered and diabolically manipulative child candidate who struts around the house in his underwear and flip-flops while rehearsing speeches denouncing his fellow children. I have no doubt that in 30 or 40 years' time Cheng Cheng will have become one of the most dangerous rulers the world has ever known.

(Future world dictator Cheng Cheng)

You can watch "Please Vote for Me" instantly on Netflix and you can see the trailer here.


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