this morning, i shuddered to find myself not hating the entirety of something kathleen parker had written. this op-ed on the whole "Fill-in-the-Candidate Girl" viral video phenomenon lacked any point with which i could stridently disagree.
i almost did not know what to do. my brain started to spark and sizzle - there was a dangerous short in there somewhere. but honestly, i find it hard to argue with observations like this:
Once discovered on YouTube, of course, it's a short shimmy to the news shows, where producers are so bereft of actual news -- or so convinced that bumper sticker America can't concentrate long without a sex infusion -- that a hottie helps fill the gaps left vacant by retired generals lulled to sleep by the sound of their own voices.
or, though it dangerously skirts a blame-it-on-the-young-sluts rationale, this:
As these new forms of communication continue to emerge, we will continue to be deluged by every hot new thing. But some of us miss every old thing -- the quieter lessons of adults delivered without a rhythmic thump, and a moment or two free of libidinous tease...The attention-seeking, self-important desperation that drives today's virtual world is boundless and, apparently, boundary-less.
i have to say - and god, how it literally pains me to do so - the woman has a point. this shit is embarrassing. obama girl, a woman found on an internet modeling site, singing and dancing at the behest of marketing dudes whose "political humor" enterprises are hoping to be the "next big thing" because...well...who doesn't want to be the next big thing? and, upon grabbing such a consummately postmodern brass ring, who doesn't subsequently run that shit into the ground? as much as i disliked obama girl, when i heard about obama girl vs. giuliani girl hard on its heels i nearly cried from frustration - the WaPo succinctly describes the cognitive dissonance thusly: "the girls engaging in this political debate are also having a pillow fight, choreography that causes them to twist every which way in their tight tees, short shorts and high heels."
political commentary? beer commercial? who knows - who cares!
people: this shit is old. old. i am honestly at a loss as to how a 32-year-old "digital strategist" can put a pretty girl in a bikini on film and end up having his efforts heralded as innovative cultural discourse. in fact, it is the least innovative marketing tactic i can imagine. what should be more surprising, i guess, is that it took until 2007 to explicitly sexualize a political campaign.
me and kathleen parker stand here, brows furrowed. mine doubly so, due to her puzzling presence on my side of the fence. file it under You Know Things Are Bad When...