Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"Vote Different"

Well, I guess I'll lose my blogger license if I don't join the rest of the hep world and do a post on the YouTube pseudo-spot, "Vote Different." In case you somehow missed it, this is a short video produced by some so-far-anonymous Barack Obama fan appropriating images from an apparently legendary 1984 Apple ad introducing the Mac, and identifying Hillary Clinton with the Big Brother of the Orwell classic. When I finally looked at the thing earlier today, it had already obtained well over a million hits, having gone "viral" several days ago.

But the buzz over the spot, which is spilling over into the MSM, is what's really big, with some commentators suggesting that this kind of political non-ad ad content may be the defining development of 2008, building on the infamous Swift Boat ads of 2004, which started with a modest buy and then went viral over the internet and other secondary media.

It's obviously a blow for truth, justice and the American way if some obscure schmo can show up the Media Consultancy in this way; maybe it will even drive down the cost of political campaigns.

There's only one problem: "Vote Different," for all its striking images, doesn't really provide much in the way of actual content. Some excited viewers seem to think it provides a brilliant intergenerational commentary on Obama's Too Cool For Details challenge to the boring, establishment HRC. But I can't see anyone changing their minds about either candidate based on staring at this spot: if you don't already pretty much hate Hillary, you're as likely as not to be annoyed by her depiction as Big Brother, entrancing an army of slaves with soporific talk.

Indeed, I'm a bit amused that all the lefty bloggers who are praising "Vote Different" don't stop to note that the video arguably trades in the standard Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy "meme" about HRC as a dangerous totalitarian figure--a Red Queen who wants to take away our freedoms.

As someone who likes both Clinton and Obama, I hope this sort of metaphorical differentiation between the two candidates is not the shape of things to come.

UPDATE: Turns out Matt Yglesias made the same point yesterday about the Red Queen treatment of HRC. Sorry for the redundancy. But it is worth noting that quite a few of the commenters at Matt's site basically said they agreed with the Right's ridiculous take on HRC--for diametrically opposed reasons, of course.
-- Posted at 12:15 PM | Link to this post | Email this post

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