The man standing next to me outside New York's Brooklyn Museum of Art holds a PhD in English literature and a plastic, retractable light saber. He's been standing here for an hour with his eight- and six-year-old children (a young Darth and Amidala), and in the last five minutes, he's asked his masked son three times if he can "breathe in there." "We're here for the opening of the Star Wars show," the man explains, adjusting his glasses and button-down shirt pocket, checking again for his tickets. "[The museum] said costumes were encouraged."
A leathery woman with a darkening black eye smokes
cigarettes through the spaces of her missing front teeth and tells the police how
her boyfriend slapped and bit her because he didn't like her grandchildren.
Another woman tells a counselor at a shelter that she's tried to leave her
husband 15 times in the two years that she's been married to him. Still another
can't speak at all, her moans incoherent as she's wheeled out of her house on a
stretcher covered in blood, her cheek slashed into two loose flaps from the
corner of her mouth.
Colin Goldman is trying very hard to break the law. But it hasn't been easy. In the months leading up to the election, Goldman, a libertarian candidate for the California assembly, has been running an election sweepstakes. He promises a $1,000-cash prize to one lucky winner to be chosen from those who sign up on his Web site and pledge to vote for him. Goldman plans to pay from his own pocket and is scheduled to dole out the cash in a televised ceremony on election day.
Chris Hansen-Nelson's gray hair stands out in this crowd. Out of the six hundred or so Bill Bradley volunteers staying at the Nashua Boys and Girls club tonight, there are only a handful of veteran campaigners. Nelson came of age in 1972, the first year in which 18-year-olds were allowed to vote. "We were all pretty jazzed about that," he says. "We were old enough to die, and now we were also old enough to vote." In his salad days, he says, he participated in many political events, but they were mostly of the anti-establishment, down-with-the-government, burn-Nixon-in-effigy sort.
After Sony Pictures admitted this June that its marketers had invented a
film critic, other movie studios came clean with similar chicanery, such as
placing paid workers in commercials and "suggesting" quotations to journalists.
But in an age when the Internet has opened whole new worlds to marketing and
public relations--realms yet unbound by clear moral codes and legal
standards--the entertainment industry is blurring the line between fact and
fiction in ever more creative ways.