This is my viewpoint, from the far end of the couch...and this week I talk to Al Shearer about his new mockumentary, as well as discussing the five TV shows and movies that changed my life.
This is Al Shearer. He is The Other Black Guy Running For President.
No, really. That's the title of his new mockumentary (now available on iTunes), where a frustrated Al decides that he's going to run for President in 2012. What results is pretty hilarious, both in its gags (one of the best involves randomly inserted pictures of Kanye West) to how strange and/or ignorant some of the people Al tries to talk with are.
Why make a movie like this? "I was kind of looking at everything falling apart at the seams, watching the big banks and corporations walk over the little guy," Al told me during a recent interview. "Kind of wanting to see change and see people take a stand. I wanted to shake people up and make them away in a comedic way. Enjoy this crazy world we live in but most importantly laugh at it."
So he decided to run for President, even if it meant crashing the Iowa straw poll, or acting as a faux debt collector trying to repossess people's cars. He wanted to see just what the heck was going on here. "I loved talking to each of the possible different parties, just to see their stance and take on life and politics, and just some of the outlandish things they would say," he said. "What they thought they could do to sway me to their side. The Tea Party guy was just kind of all over the place.
"Even talking to the actual candidates at the straw poll, you could tell they were robots," he added with a laugh. "We were at Michele Bachmann's rally and she was talking about something that had nothing to do with anything and people were just cheering her on."
As if that wasn't weird enough, he says there was a randomly appearing black baby at the rally that he's still trying to figure out. "I was the only black guy at the rally, and the baby was on this guy's shoulder," he explained. "It was just sitting up there and I was like, 'What is this right now?' And then she looked over and saw me, and the baby was gone, and she started directing a lot of her speech toward me."
While The Other Black Guy Running For President is hilarious in how it pulls no punches pointing out how strange our country's political and economic scenes have become (just wait until you see what Al uses for write-in votes at the straw poll!) underneath the humor, there is a real point he's making.
"Figure out your stance on life, figure out your stance on politics, and go out and do something about it. Don't just fall victim to what the big banks or corporations dole out," he encouraged. "But figure out what it is you're being proactive about. With the Occupy movement, people were just occupying and they didn't know what they were occupying or why they were occupying. What are you occupying? Who is the leader? And a lot of people didn't know."