Monday, September 26, 2011

Whitmore vs. Jefferson

Thomas J. Whitmore
Fictional President of the United States played by Bill Pullman
Served: In the film Independence Day (1996)
Age during term: Pullman was 42 when the movie was released

Arena Experience — Whitmore beat James A. Garfield with 64.6% of the vote in his 1st Round appearance. While that percentage may not seem all that impressive, it should be noted that we had an all-time record number of voters that week. And given that a lot of the new voters were brought in from an unbiased source — as opposed to other weeks with abnormally high voting — we could assume that the sample size was large enough to paint a more accurate picture.

PROS: Whitmore's a young guy — possibly entered office in his 30s — who is also a twice-over war hero. He fought in the Persian Gulf War, and he led a squadron fighting off the massive alien invasion in which millions upon millions of people died. Yes, as president. So, he's ready for a fight when needed.

CONS: His pre-Arena fighting experience is less-than stellar and includes a fist fight with uber-nerd David Levinson, who survived without any permanent injuries. Also, Whitmore has a hard time commanding respect; or at least he did before he helped beat the aliens.

Thomas Jefferson
3rd President of the United States
Served: 1801-09
Ages Served: 57-65

Arena Experience — In a light-voting week, Jefferson gained about 61% of the vote against the fictional Mackenzie Allen from the show Commander In Chief. Rowing enthusiasts everywhere wept at the result.

PROS: As President, Jefferson is something of a loose cannon, as evidenced by his handling of the whole Louisiana Purchase situation, and the subsequent taxation of the United States' newest (un-represented) citizens.

CONS: Jefferson's fighting ability (outside of the arena) is about nil. He was an amazing writer, a passionate lover, but a fighter? Not so much.

The Fight
Tony: You know, on paper, this may not seem like anything of a match. On the one hand, you have Whitmore: destroyer of aliens. On the other, Thomas Jefferson, all-around smarty pants. Brains vs. brawn, only in a format that only rewards the abilities of brawn. Case closed, right? Wrong!
First, let's call Jefferson what he is: a nerd. Yes, the third president of the United States was a big ol' nerd, a nerdy mcNerditroid to the max, as it were. What's Whitmore's track record with nerds? Oh, that's right-- they punch him out. Jefferson and Whitmore are going to get into the arena. Whitmore's gonna think he has easy pickings. Then Jefferson is going to deliver a wicked one-liner, probably in French, and Whitmore will be studying his own ass, having received it from Jefferson just moments before.

Doug: Whoa! Whitmore has never, to our knowledge, gotten punched out to anyone. The story goes that David Levinson got the element of surprise on Whitmore and punched him and Whitmore punched him back. No one claimed to punch anyone out. The fight probably ended early because someone broke it up. Had they been in the Arena, things would have been different — and Levinson wouldn't have the luxury of uploading a virus to Whitmore via some mid-'90s laptop.
"Aww, crap. Give me a minute and let me Force Quit."
Jefferson was very fortunate the first time. We don't know how America's Bookworm defeated an athlete in the 1st Round, but that luck is going to end at the fighter pilot.

Tony: Well, see, that's just what Whitmore wants you to think. He's a macho fighter pilot! He's not going to want to admit he got slapped around by the Fly! So he downgrades the whole experience to "oh, we just traded punches and then it got broken up." Pride = saved. And since he didn't face another nerd in round one, he was home free!
This time, however, he faces not only a nerd, but a gangly nerd at that. Will Jefferson's lank come into play, here? Actually, I have no idea, since Whitmore isn't exactly a heavy lourde himself. Whatever. Jefferson's got this.

Doug: Oh, I see. You're saying Levinson mopped the floor with Whitmore, and now Whitmore is downplaying the fight as an elaborate cover-up. Quite the controversy EXCEPT we've never heard Whitmore even mentioning the fight. Levinson was the one downplaying the severity of the fight. If Whitmore is trying to keep the fight secret, it's because he doesn't want word getting out that he's a nerd-beater. Nerds have a pretty high voter turnout rate, and it would be political suicide to run on the "I fight nerds" platform.
And not everyone will understand their protest signs.
And are you suggesting that Whitmore does very well against Civil War major generals, like James Garfield, but fighting nerds is somehow beyond him? I'm curious as to how that works.

Tony: I can't really get in Levinson's head about the whole fight fiasco. I mean, all I know about that guy is that he's handy with an old school MacBook, and that he thinks you must go faster. Oh, and he thought he was part of something special. But I digress.
It's true that Whitmore beat Garfield like a drum. However, I would like to posit the following: for every Achillies, there is a heel. For every Superman, there is a kryptonite. For every well-placed hunter trap, there is a stealthed rogue. What I'm driving at is that everyone has a weakness. Whitmore's weakness could very well be nerds, and that's not going to go well for him.

Another weakness? Planning ahead. Which is my awkward transition to a recent article by the fine folks over at Cracked, pointing out that Whitmore might not be able to win reelection. This guy is going to beat a Founding Father in the Arena? Not bloody likely.

Doug: Okay, I suppose there is a possibility that Whitmore's weakness is nerds. But there's no real proof this is true and since we're pulling something out of thin air, I'm going to go ahead and posit that Jefferson's weakness (aside from the complete lack of fighting of experience, which history has already proven) could be widowers.

Ehh, it kind of makes sense. Jefferson's a widower, so he's knows what Whitmore is going through, so he holds back. I don't know. It makes more sense than "Fighter pilot can't beat up nerds."

As for the Cracked article, this proves nothing. Whitmore wasn't worried about re-election, he was worried about getting rid of the aliens. If he didn't get rid of the aliens, there wasn't going to be another election. He did what he could to win this war with the aliens. The only people he killed by nuking Houston were the ones who stayed in one of the nation's remaining populated cities — despite what was happening to other major metropolitan areas around the world — who were about to get vaporized anyway. So this only proves that Whitmore will do whatever he can to win.

Jefferson is Houston. And he has a problem. And I'm not talking about the abysmal Astros.
HEY-O! They were terrible this year. And I'm a Met fan, so I know terrible baseball.

The Chief: You realize the original quote was "Houston, we've had a problem," and not "Houston, we have a problem," right?

Ugh. Damn pop culture-obsessed jerks don't even know the real quote. They just go with what was in the movie. Lousy kids — Anyway, polls close Friday at 9am, MDT.

Whitmore vs. Jefferson


  1. As much as I love Jefferson, this one is a no brainer. Whitmore isn't afraid to play dirty. He pokes Jefferson in the eye, then sweeps the leg Cobra Kai style. Besides, let's look at who they both defeated.

    Jefferson- Tea drinking English pussies
    Whitmore- Alien fucking Armada


  2. Even as a pilot whitmore has training in self defense. Even coast guard soldiers have that training. I doubt jefferson has such training.

  3. Love child of Miniver Cheevy and Jenny McCarthySeptember 28, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    The wild card is that each is a product of his era.

    Whitmore: Military experience. Youth. Rugged good looks. Coddled by public health advances and industrialization. IMDB access to "Independence Day 2" cast list blocked except to premium members.

    Jefferson: Built a better mousetrap in lieu of killing mice. Survived diseases without benefit of vaccinations. Lived into his 80s in an age of high infant and child mortality, when adults often sported weird homemade dentures, and everybody — including the President — pooped outside or in a bowl.

    Based solely on my revulsion of camping, I'm bowing to the badass unencumbered by the constraints of indoor plumbing when it comes time to pop a squat. Not to mention, between the first round and now, I imagine he's had a number of good, long, relaxing private sessions in which to think about the next mousetrap.