Since this is the last Net Worth before the presidential election - assuming it's not postponed by rain - now is the ideal time to look at some of the more wacky clips related to the campaign.
No, I don't mean soundbite-style footage of the candidates that have been exploited by the opposite party. You know the ones: Sen. John McCain can't quite get his mouth and thoughts to coordinate, or Sen. Barack Obama's words are spliced together into a power-mad rant.
Nor do I mean some of the other clips that have been flitting around the Web, like those of the Arizona senator being transformed into the cackling Penguin from the Batman rogues gallery. Or the candidates embroiled in a dance-off, thanks to digitally superimposing their heads on the bodies of others.
No, there are a few that I've come across that are just so peculiar that they demand further analysis.
At the top of the list is one a friend sent me from cnnbcvideo.com dated Nov. 7, 2008, that shows a dour newscaster reporting McCain beat Obama by a single vote.
"For many, shock soon turned to outrage as The New York Times revealed the identity of the particular non-voter responsible for Obama's loss."
And then a NYT article graphic appears with this headline:
Nonvoter Identified: Jon Niccum
Hey, what's going on here?
The newscaster's voice continues, "In just a few short days, this private citizen has become a national pariah."
Meanwhile, images of graffiti are displayed: A spray-painted sign reads "Jon = loser." A church marquee proclaims "All God's children welcome," but underneath is added "Except for Jon Niccum."
Actual footage of President Bush and Bill O'Reilly thanking me (all implied, admittedly) help maintain the illusion. As do man-on-the-street interviews with disgruntled citizens, including a Marcianne Walsh who says, "I waited in line five hours to vote with an arthritic hip. And this (bleeped expletive) lazy (expletive) couldn't get out of bed."
Of course, there really isn't a "10 million strong against Jon Niccum" movement as the minute-and-a-half video illustrates. This is just a clever and slightly unsettling bit of propaganda concocted by the left-leaning political advocacy group MoveOn.org.
To send this customized piece to your Obama-loving friends or your McCain-loving foes, all you do is type in the person's first and last name coupled with their e-mail address and let the fun begin.
That this video is aimed to please those in the Obama camp is immaterial. It could just as easily have worked from McCain's political perspective to get out the message that a lone vote might shift the outcome of an election.
(But then again, McCain admits he can't even work a computer, so it's no surprise that a comparable example of digital tomfoolery is nowhere to be found online. Apparently, that's not exactly the cutting-edge demographic his staff is trying to court.)
Yes, the video is basically a high-tech scare tactic. But it sure is a lot more entertaining than a visit from Robocall.