Joel Klein and Russell Simmons Want You to Nag Your Parents

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New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein last week announced a fantastic new holiday: Today is the first-ever Take Your Parents to Vote Day! (Do you think Gloria Steinem gets a royalty?) And how does one celebrate Take Your Parents to Vote Day? Conveniently, there's a six-minute video starring animated versions of Klein and — who else? — hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons to explain.

What happens in the video? If you don't have six minutes to spare, here's a quick play-by-play.

The film opens with animaKlein standing in front of a blackboard, mentioning that November 7 is Election Day — "I like to call it Take Your Parents to Vote Day," he adds — and he explains that "I want you to make sure your parents are up early and ready to make a difference." Soon, animaSimmons is ringing a doorbell, asking the robot who answers if he can speak to "you parents." The apparently youthful robot, for no discernable reason, then attempts to give Simmons a copy of his demo CD. Eventually, the pair, together with youthful robot's non-robotic (and, frankly, priggishly pedantic) brother, burst into the parents' bedroom to rouse the snoring losers and urge them to go vote. Eventually the goateed father gets up and stares into the camera like a psychotic killer, and then the non-robotic, priggishly pedantic son gives a long lecture detailing what an honor it is to be an American citizen and explaining why so many people in the world wish they were more like us. Finally, the robot and his non-robot brother, together with a crew of duly multiculti friends, are out encouraging people to vote, and they once again run into animaSimmons. Cementing the important message, the film climaxes with a shot of the robot sneaking a copy of his demo into Simmons's sweatshirt.

And so now the kids know: America is the land of the free, and the home of single-minded fame seekers. And the place where educators are happy to take advantage of kids to try to get to their parents.

Hope Reeves

Take Your Parents to Vote Day [BrainPOP.com]
Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and Brainpop Release "Take Your Parents to Vote Day" [NYC.gov]