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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

March 5, 2008

snowjob: lessons from the other big vote

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 1:34 pm

U.C. v. G.R.S.

One candidate was quite icy, showing little emotion, and was the early choice of “party” regulars; the other was a giant and media star, with a famously positive demeanor and message. In mid-February, as early voters cast their ballots, the rivals were only one vote apart. If Barack Obama’s strategists had paid attention over the weekend, the results last night might have been very different.

You see, when the votes were tallied early March 1st, it was a rout: the candidate with rustbelt, blue-collar appeal had 66% of the votes, while the favorite of the elite college crowd only attracted 29%. It seems they can party, and caucus, and rave (and even make lots of videos), but those younguns just don’t show up when and where it counts to actually vote.

388 (29%) . . . . . . . 874 (66%)

It didn’t matter that the winner had in fact disappeared before election day. The Today’s Snowman worldwide Snowman Contest for February 2008 demonstrated once again the fundamental importance of having a big, wide base and then getting that base to the polls to vote.

march thaw
the dirty snow on top
melts last

….. by dagosan

[orig.] Now, the story behind the last-minute electoral tidal wave that catapulted the Great Rotterdam Snowman to an overwhelming victory over the candidate from the University of Colorado can be told. As an article last week in the Schenectady Daily Gazette reported, Jeff Older of Donald Drive, in the Schenectady suburb of Rotterdam, NY, built the now departed GRS, with his kids, while Chris Moskoff and a group of 12 U.C. alumni built the contender from Aspen. ‘Great Snowman’ leads in online contest: Local entry battling Rocky Mountain foe” (Schenectady Daily Gazette, by Justin Mason, February 27, 2008). Bob Eckstein (author of The History of the Snowman) has tracked the battle between the UC Snowman and GRS, who were the main contenders in his Today’s Snowman weblog February Snowman Contest. See “University of Colorado Vs. Rotterdam” (Feb. 17, 2008); “The Finger Pointing Continues” (Feb. 27, 2008).

In our posting on Feb. 24th, we told f/k/a’s readers about the contest, noting that there had been mud-slinging, with the UC crowd insinuating that a dad and his kids could not have lifted the top sections of a snowman that they claimed to be 12-feet tall. [Older rebutted that slur in the Gazette, explaining that they had taken “an atypical approach in their creation by first building a towering snow cone and then carving out the snowman.” Indeed, Eckstein drove for eight hours to measure the snowman in person a few weeks ago, and validated it’s size at a dozen feet tall.]

naughty child–
instead of his chores
a snow Buddha

….. by Kobayashi Issa – translated by David G. Lanoue

What politics? As you surely have noticed, the f/k/a Gang has been a little antsy since we sworn off political and legal-ethics punditry back on Christmas Eve, with a bit too much time on our hands. Our three-part snowman (r)evolution series was one consequence of our idle minds, and led us to discover Eckstein book and weblog. While we might have promised not to post about politics (hmmm, we did, didn’t we), we never promised not to work on a campaign in the real world, nor in another part of cyberspace. So, when we saw that the UC Snowman and GRS were only one vote apart as of Feb. 21, 2008 (see “UC vs. Rotterdam Update“), and realized that our local candidate was being slurred, and facing a bunch of web-savvy elitists, while getting no publicity here in Schenectady County, Prof. Yabut decided he had to help even the playing field (or maybe tilt it a bit).

in the howling wind
under the full moon
the snowman, headless

…….. by George Swede from Almost Unseen

[larger photo] A quick check at the Rotterdam Community Internet Forum confirmed that no one had brought up the topic of their local Great Snowman at that busy website, as of the morning of February 24, 2008, with only 5 days remaining in the election. Therefore, shortly after completing our posting on the subject, Prof. Yabut emailed Jo-Ann Schrom, the Board Moderator, to tell her about this epic battle. In a couple of hours, a new topic page appeared at the Rotterdam forum, entitled “Vote for the Great Rotterdam Snowman.” It printed the text of a couple of Eckstein’s posts about the contest, and linked to the f/k/a piece. That attention attracted the Gazette reporter, and resulted in Main Stream Media coverage. The rest is, indeed, snowman electoral history. From a virtual tie, GRS supporters gave the Rotterdam giant a 2 to 1 landslide (which is not a word usually used in polite snowperson society). (update: March 6, 2008: the Daily Gazette‘s reports on the victory of GRS, posted here.)

one smirking snowman
and one
hatless scarecrow

…………… by dagosan

What lessons? This post is already too long, and we’ve sworn not to pundificate about politics this election season. So, you will all have to draw the obvious conclusions on your own — hopefully before the spring thaw melts away any additional smiling giants. (If you have the stomach and appetite for more political punditry today, we suggest checking out Prof. Ann Althouse, who has just taken a vow of “cruel neutrality,” which might indeed be worse than either benign or malignant neglect.)

p.s. Jeff Older, the creator of The Great Rotterdam Snowman has told Today’s Snowman that “Our goal next year is to go for the tallest snowman/snow-woman in the world.” And, speaking of audiacity and hope, Bob Eckstein leaked that Jeff also “plans to build a college campus, by himself, larger than the University of Colorado, once the weather warms up. Updates will be provided here exclusively at Today’s Snowman.”

snowBuddhaChadGS – speaking of super-delegates: [ original photo by Alison Shumway, via Chad]

he’s holding one
the Buddha

…. by Kobayashi Issatranslated by David G. Lanoue


  1. great article funny yet intellectaul .keep it up guys !!!

    arul vigg

    Comment by arul vigg — March 6, 2008 @ 1:18 pm

  2. Blawg Review #150…

    David Giacalone who writes snowjob: lessons from the other big vote….

    Comment by Charles H. Green's Trust Matters — March 9, 2008 @ 11:33 pm

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