Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Pop Culture Presidency

2 years ago no one would have predicted that we would be where we are at today saying: President Barak Obama. Obama ran a fantastic campaign, no doubt about it, but it was his ability to harness, cultivate and manipulate popular culture that gave him the win. With every pop culture megaphone blaring at 11 in everyone’s ear about Obama and his greatness his election was almost guaranteed.

Jay-Z and Maureen Dowd are just two sides of the same pop culture coin, and both were harnessed by the Obama machine.

Pop culture has come to encompass nearly every form of information around us. The nightly news, television shows, movies, music, magazines, the internet, advertizing etcetera and it is decidedly and uniformly hostile to anyone right of center. We do have talk radio but the Generation II Fairness Doctrine will take care of that.

Unfortunately over the past 40 years journalism has fallen into the pop culture net as well. Journalism is no longer done at places like the CNN and the NY Times. If I want to read about what’s going on in energy I go to NEI Nuclear Notes, If I want to know the real story on Iraq I read Michael Yon (or one of the dozens of fine military blogs). Mainstream media has just turned into another channel for the glitterati and literati to let the world know how fucking important they are and how we must be dying to hear them. Sure, I might turn into CNN if I give a fuck about how much it cost Puffy to fill up his Gulfstream V and the Times is pretty good if I want to read a character assassination piece on Cindy McCain, but that’s about it.

Just as pop culture had the ability to propel Obama to a victory, it also had the ability destroy the obstacles that stood in his way.

Remember in late August when McCain announced that Sarah Palin was his running mate? He went from being 8-10 points behind to being competitive in fuckin New Jersey for Christ’s sake! Well naturally the pop culture machine behind Obama couldn’t have that so they sent their pit bulls out and tear he to pieces they did. Tina Fey and Katie Couirc may have been two of the most effective tools in Obama’ arsenal.

And why soviet style agitprop theme in all of Obama’s campaign art? Because its so fucking brilliantly effective and simple! Think about it, the October Revolution and its genocidal progeny was able to control an entire nation of tens of millions for 70 years.

We will probably never have this control over pop culture and whatever inroads we make will take at least a generation.

There are bright spots. The American public has roundly rejected every ham handed anit-war movie that Hollywood has cranked out of the past 6 years.

Andrew Brietbart’s Big Hollywood could turn into something huge in the pop-culture wars and I would make sure to visit it every day, patronize its advertisers, comment on its stories and support it.

Even though the odds are pretty well stacked against us and people are bombarded with this shit 24/7, America remains a fairly conservative country and that gives me a lot of hope as well.


  1. I hear Kim Jong-Il has a pretty good control of pop culture in North Korea. Seems like the same type of deal now in america. Cult of personality, indeed.