Thursday, 11 March 2010

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This is excellent news!! For Palin!! For whatever reason, Google Reader’s “Explore” option recently started lumping all political sites together irrespective of orientation, which means that even time I try to find new, interesting voices, I’m bombarded with new, interesting-for-the-wrong-reason-but-potential-blog-fodder voices. For example: We believe the TV show [Sarah Palin]’s producing with Mark Burnett on the wonders of Alaska will be Reaganesque in its reach of regular people. For something written by “such good writers,” that sentence is uglier than it is stupid. The majority of Americans won’t appreciate a show about “the wonders of Alaska” for the simple reason that Americans only watch things about Alaska when its bears eat tourists. Don’t believe me? Consider Christopher Nolan’s career: Batman Begins: $205,343,774 Insomnia: $67,263,182 The Dark Knight: $533,316,061 When his films take place in Alaska, their domestic gross drops, on average, very large numbers because Americans don’t believe that states whose moose-caribou population density (1.11/sq. mi.) outstrips its population density (1.03/sq. mi.) count as America. The idea that a successful Palin campaign could be initiated by a show about 700,000 moose and caribou picked to live in a state and have their lives taped to find out what happens when they stop being polite and start getting real—there’s wishful thinking, then there’s whatever that is. This too: If [the show is] informative, well-produced, and showcases Palin’s Alaska, we believe it will become a cultural phenomenon. We foresee Alaskan imagery everywhere in 2011. Which is a wonderful setup for the Palin brand in 2012. Late 2010-early 2011 is also when Palin’s next book is due: a policy book on American Virtues. That will be coupled with a book tour that should end round about February 6th, 2011, the day we believe Palin will announce her presidential run. Essentially, the tour bus she uses for the book [American Virtues] will just be slightly rebranding as PALIN 2012, instead of American Virtues. Chances are, “American Virtues” will actually be her campaign motto. We can see the branding and marketing already at work. These people should not be mocked for claiming 1) that Palin will write a book by her lonesome, 2) that it will be policy-oriented, or 3) that people can write policy books about virtues: they should be pitied for the wistful tones in which they imagine the subtle repurposing of a tour bus in terms of branding, because people who daydream in ad lingo about campaign slogans are the saddest people in the world. Then there’s the fact that, on principle, dreamers this dumb deserve pity: Palin’s playing 11th dimensional chess that RedState’s not seeing, because it’s so focused on Romney, or dazzled by his Mattel-produced hair. She’s operating a fully-formed multimedia strategy designed to counter Dr. Utopia’s razzle dazzle and media darling status. Follow that RedState link and you’ll find a discussion of a post at the Daily Caller that warms my heart: [I]t is very important to point out that something like this may already be Palin’s plan (for the record, I have shared almost...
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Stuff White People Like Stealing Considering that two Jews from the Bronx, Bill Finger and Robert Kahn (Bob Kane) created Batman two Jews in Cleveland, Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster, created Superman a Jew from Washington Heights, Mortimer Weisinger, created Green Arrow and co-created Aquaman another Jew from Washington Heights, Stanley Lieber (Stan Lee), teamed up with a Jew from Brooklyn, Jacob Kurtzberg (Jack Kirby), to create the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Hulk, the Silver Surfer, the Black Panther, Galactus, Doctor Doom, and Iron Man a few decades earlier, a Jew from Rochester, Joseph Simon, had also partnered with Kurtzberg, and together they'd created Captain America another Brooklyn Jew, William Eisner, is possibly the most important comic artist ever (dayenu); arguably invented the graphic novel (dayenu); wrote two of the most influential theoretical books about comics (dayenu); and has the award for creative achievement in the medium named after him would it be fair to say that white people stole superheroes from the Jews the same way they'd stolen rock 'n roll from black people?* *Not really. This is territory is trod plenty and well, but it's worth rehearsing: Elvis Presley borrowed rock 'n roll from black people, and always returned as much of it as he could promptly and with gratitude. But he could never give it all back, because from the perspective of white America, it tainted him: anyone that the New York Times could call, as it did Elvis in 1956, a "blues shouter ... imbued with the spirit and style of those Negro singers" clearly had dangerous and unsavory associations. That same year, the Chicago Defender pushed the issue of this affinity to the fore in articles like "Arrival of Elvis Presley No Puzzle to T-Bone Fans," in which Presley's speech was rendered in Negro dialect: "Yew-oo ain't nuthin but a houn' dawg," the paper has him singing; later, he explains his style by saying "Ah'm jus' singin' the only way ah know how." Claiming, as Eric Lott did in Love and Theft, that Elvis was no better than a Nineteenth Century minstrel; or, as people generally do, that he stole rock 'n roll from black people, misses the point: many black intellectuals, following the lead of black musicians, not only praised Elvis for respecting their tradition, they loved the fact that, via Elvis, that tradition had been embraced by the sons and daughters of die-hard Dixiecrats. One editorial in the Defender (that I can't relocate at the moment) was a series of winks, nods, and nudges about ceremony in Tupelo at which John Rankin, reputed to be the last white man to utter the word "nigger" in anger at a black man on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, was forced to bestow some sort of honor on Tupelo's most famous son.** **I'm not sure why the footnote is that much more substantial and academic than the post it qualifies, but I figure that if I can get away with it in a dissertation,...

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