Friday, July 31, 2009

The Necessity to Define Failure Before the Next Election

Republicans and Conservatives are realizing immense and unpleasant truths: even when the Obama Presidency is patently wrong and patently failing, the critical issues and critical failures do not and will not sell themselves.

  • The media available to move opinion are biased and shifting.

  • The decisive votes cast in 2008 - and those that will be cast in 2010 and 2012 - were cast by Gen-X'ers and Gen-Y'ers whose educations were purged of context - civics, ethics, history and geography. Jon Stewart's television show is "teaching" these folks what they didn't get in school - unless someone provides a countervailing point of view in acceptable and comprehensible terms.
Gen-X and Gen-Y do not know what failure looks like.

They know only what a loser looks like.

  • What the Right should do is establish "The Of-Course Task Force" to promulgate the certainty that Obama will be a one-term failure. A cottage network must be built to describe endless reasons, rationales, scenarios and speculation to prepare people to believe it.
The Of-Course Task Force should be writing ubiquitously not just about how Obama will fail but also about what Hillary will do and how the Dixie Chicks will feel. In order to prepare Gen-X and Gen-Y, the strengths and weaknesses of those demographics must be accepted and utilized - the obsession with entertainment and celebrity, as well as the confusion and hunger for something that makes sense.
  • There are only two scenarios for the preservation of the American Republic - swing voters are prepared or panicked. Unless our republic is going to be wagered on the likelihood of panicking swing voters with war or terror or economic disaster, the task of the Right now is to define (but not illustrate) failure. The present reality is that internet propaganda, counter-intelligence and counter-propaganda have been and are handled much more deftly by the Democrats.
The face of failure must be presented in a hundred ways, so that voters will expect to see it, will know to look for it and will recognize that failure when they see it. Issues and events must be made obvious (the "of course!"). The preaching of a campaign (even an extended campaign like 2008) will not affect those not already prepared to change their minds.
  • A long, patient and focused program is called for to alter the context of the coming campaigns - by making what is now unthinkable into what is expected and, thereby, self-evident and obvious. Somewhere in-between unthinkable and obvious is the point where things become "edgy" where late-night comedians and pundits think they are clever. Jon Stewart suggesting that Democratic appointees might pay their taxes is an illustrative and constructive step.
Three years is enough time to accomplish these changes; one year is probably not. The 2010 election will turn on panic or it will not turn.

UPDATE: Michael Barone supplies opinion and statistics from the Nov. 3, 2009, election on the peculiar patterns of younger voters.

Monday, July 27, 2009

This post is just for fun.

These are just photographs I picked of people laughing or smiling.

As an exercise, 1)list three thoughts about each of the photographs and then 2)estimate what percentage of the population of the United States would have radically dissimilar thoughts upon seeing these same photographs. Who recognizes the Dalai Lama as a religious figure or a political figure or at all? Age and sex will produce varying observations about Denise Milani. What proportion of Americans under 50 know anything about Albert Einstein? Now that the election of 2008 is over, what do most Americans think of Hilary Clinton? The world we live in is far more fractured than we often have time to consider.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Aesthetics . . .Memetics . . .& . . .Mammon

The card above is a typical business card. Perhaps the name is overly large, but this is a sole proprietorship and the proprietor has both the right and the role to play.

How, then, does the card on the right differ? It gets in your face, as they say. Your eye remains on the card, rather than falling off the bottom as one's eye does with the card above (and with most cards, because of how the white space dominates).

The typeface on the card on the right is called Broadway and it conveys the legendary energy of the theater and of New York. It fills the space - all of the space. The placement of the symbols in the corners (just outside of the vertical line of the name) keeps your eye on the card. The contrasts of black, grey and bright colors imply a variety of activity and information.

At the top, the typeface is sans-serif - modern and cool, understated, sophisticated, if you know the code. If you don't, it's just another card.

Here, on a 7 piece of paper, you have an example of how information can be communicated . . .or not.

Scale these insights to the United States' 300 million people, whose differences emanate from age, education and culture, and the fracturing of "mass communications media" to the point where what remains "in common" demands attention.

Consider the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on advertising and politics - most of which pass by most people completely unnoticed. Consider what that people "know" and act upon without ever realizing where the "information" originated.

Introducing . . .ta! da! . . Memetics & Marketing!