Somewhere back when, I used to talk about movies on this blog. I thought I might take a look at the box office winners this year to see what I have seen and give you some of my thoughts... I went down as far as 25!

1. Captain America: Civil War - Did exactly what it needed to do. Wish that we could have seen the movie without the "civil war" that was PROBABLY planned BEFORE they got RDJ involved.
 2. Finding Dory - Not a bad sequel, but really added nothing to the overall appeal of a much better predecessor.
 3. Zootopia - One of the gems of the year. This will be rewatched if not rehashed with the eventual sequel.
4. The Jungle Book (2016) - Sorry, I could NOT get past the CGI backgrounds. I don't care what people say, the animal effects were largely ok, but I could never see past the GREEN SCREEN on this one. And a sequel?
 5. The Secret Life of Pets - STILL HAVE NOT SEEN. Good or bad?
 6. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - Edit about 45 minutes and this could have been a "good" movie. There are admirable parts, but the whole is dragged down by some silly ideas.
 7. Deadpool - The most rewatchable movie in the last five years. Hilarious, actiony. Hopefully, original.
 8. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them - I'm surprised I'm this far and have only NOT seen one of these. This Harry Potter retread was fun, but unless you are a true fan, it just does not have enough of the magic of the Potterverse to warrant caring about.
 9. Suicide Squad - Sadly, over-edited by the studio, but still insanely (literally) servicable movie that did what it needed to do. Like or hate, there is more likely to be more SS than Superman in the immediate movie future.
 10. Doctor Strange - Cumberbatch proves that he can carry this film. Slides magic into the Marvel movie universe in a believable way.
 11. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Heart-breakingly good. CGI issues aside, which I did not care about, the story carries straight into the next one and works. Best use of Darth Vader EVER.
12. The Mermaid (Mei ren yu) - Heard of this Chinese movie. Wonder if I can Netflix? Hey, it's on Starz!
 13. X-Men: Apocalypse - I can't believe how much Singer crapped the bed after earning the good will back on DOFP. Only Jungle Book had more green screen this year.
 14. Kung Fu Panda 3 - still haven't seen.
 15. Warcraft - Could not pay me to watch.
 16. Jason Bourne - I wanted to see, but once the movie opened and got trashed, I stayed away.
17. Ice Age: Collision Course - they will keep making these until Ray Romano is dead. They add just enough to keep interest and not bringing them out TOO often.
18. Independence Day: Resurgence - still haven't seen, but based on word of mouth, there is reason to believe I won't ever see.
 19. Monster Hunt - Saw this described as the biggest movie that North America has never heard of. I remember seeing the trailer, but this Chinese import never broke through.
 20. The Legend of Tarzan - still haven't seen, but have hopes considering it was by David Yates.
 21. The Angry Birds Movie - see Warcraft.
 22. Moana - Can't believe that I have not seen this one yet. 23. Star Trek Beyond - Still have not seen, but want to.
 24. Now You See Me 2 - Might watch if it comes on TBS.
 25. Trolls - Sorry Justin, but I have no interest.

 So I've seen at least half of the top 25 movies of 2016. Seven of them were made/produced by Disney and of those 6 are in the top 11. Wow.

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
Letter to Jonathan Jackson (2 October 1780), "The Works of John Adams", vol 9, p. 511

We were friggin' warned about the two party system. And we've ignored the admonition for so long, look at the election it has wrought us.

This article from JP Sottile has it nailed in the title: "2016: The Final Season of the United States Reality Show."  The article goes on to compare what we are living in as the "Jumping of the Shark" in the show.

Sadly, the truth is there and the reality to show for it: a LITERAL reality show candidate versus a woman who by most accounts has done literally almost ANY thing to be president. It's like selecting a president via Fear Factor. 

I have a teenager who just turned voting age in time for this election. Guess what she is going to do (probably): NOT VOTE. And can anyone, blame her. 

The reason I got the gumption to write this post is because Louis CK, who I normally enjoy, took to late night TV to suggest that those that don't vote are just @-holes.

Dude, clearly you have your preference, but for the rest of us that see that you have two candidates who just kinda stink- this is not an election to berate someone for ONLY seeing two evils. 

There are nearly 9 million new voters in that ball park age of my daughter who have to look at the circus this last election has turned into and wonder- "why is voting such a big deal?" They definitely do care more about who is going to win some REALITY show contest much more than this crap-shoot.

But this comes back to a two party system that is more durable than a roach and as insidious as our Founding Fathers imagined. It is the enemy of true democracy. You are seeing more and more talk about two parties killing democracy in the United States.

When are or HOW can we do something about it when it is like a Terminator-esque Hydra that just keeps coming back every 2, 4, and 6 years?

I come back to voting every election year, mainly because I am so thoroughly disappointed in the outcomes of our two-party system.
And make no mistake, it is the party system that fails us.
I talked about "how not to get out the vote" - "vote even if you are disgusted?" UGH
I've always liked this article about shaming "non-voting."
I completely agree with the author: "No one should have to justify exercising a right; rights, by definition, justify themselves. Nevertheless, for many people, not voting is an entirely rational choice: The cost of learning about the candidates and the issues often outweighs the benefit to be had from casting a ballot whose odds of making a significant difference in the outcome are infinitesimal."

And for those that argue that you have a "civic duty to vote," please lay off the doody.
I like what this guy has to say about the idea.

Just because someone has the right to bear firearms does not give them a civic duty to bear them, right?
Just because you have the right to free assembly doesn't mean you have a civic duty to assemble, unless maybe you are Captain America?

This election, more than any other, is illustrating that the move towards approximately 40% of registered voters identifying themselves as independent is the only choice. 

Will we still have an election result if all 40% just decided to forgo both options this year? Yes. 
I wish we had a protest option like the 1983 remake of Brewster's Millions, when Richard Pryor ran as "None of the Above." 
At least then, I wouldn't have to hold my nose to vote. 
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