fractal ethnography

Month: February, 2012

Election Talk 2: civic duty as public discourse

We made it past the three-ring circus that kicked off the Republican primaries.  Now, as the remaining candidates get closer to taking Obama head on, it’s getting ugly and we don’t have Bachmann for comic relief.  The remaining candidates are serious, and so are their supporters.  And so are the Super PACs who will flood the public discourse with the shitstorm of advertising and infotainment that will hammer down on us for the next nine months.  Steven Colbert has been doing excellent work getting us to think about this.  He argues here: If campaign contributions directly reflected election results, this year’s will be decided by 22 billionaires (that is, 22 individual donors who make up over 50% of money spent).  Following Colbert’s logic, the decision is not made by the vote but by owning the means of public discourse.  Even if you recognize this is not direct disenfranchisement (though the Republicans are doing that, too), it is fair to call it an undue influence.  In these proportions (over 50%!), these are not just injections of cash and a bit of trash-talking.

It structures the debate.  Whatever words we use to talk about the elections have traces of this money in them. Read the rest of this entry »

Election Talk 1: Dystopic Futures!

<——- Left

Mitt Romney evicts everyone and builds a fortress around the Americans for Prosperity club!  He buys the White House, installs an infinite pool.  The 99% face an unrelenting wave of natural disasters, never to hear from the government again!

Newt Gingrich steals the election, invades Iran, calls for mass arrests and indictments under DOMA, and finds the most racist ways possible to shut down public services!

Ron Paul reinstates feudalism, grants his son a fiefdom, and makes way for a new era of segregation!

Barack Obama spends all the Social Security money on drones!  Surviving watered-down reform bills are stuck in the public charade of congressional gridlock, while we slowly pass the deadline on climate change!  Jeb Bush is sworn into the White House in 2016 in 65 degree weather!

——–>Right

Mitt Romney laughs all the way to the bank, while gays marry in the streets and high school nurses perform abortions!

New Gingrich instates a “Second Lady” and replaces her twice!

Ron Paul really ruins things with Israel…

Barack ObamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAHH:SLDFKJSDFJ:DFS!  We still have a Black President!!  Panic button!  Panic button!  Panic button!