Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sometimes the message is just wrong

Somethings don't get noted here.  Let's address why I ignored a campaign press release sent to the public account over the weekend and why I'm ignoring an Occupy video this week and ignored it last week as well.

Alan Grayson's campaign  sent a press release over the weekend.  Grayson is a US House Rep running for re-election.  His re-election would most likely benefit many.  For that reason, we've noted several campaign releases.

This one seemed like a sure thing because his campaign was announcing a contest -- winners would receive an original print by Joni Mitchell.

We never noted it.


The press release went on and on about the Koch brothers.

I don't know that the two are the end of the world.  I don't know that, on the left, George Soros and others are the end of the world  (not even the failed actress who married money and tries to pretend she's the Los Angeles head of the Democratic Party).

I looked at it and I was tired.

But I just couldn't get over the WTF?

Alan Grayson has many fine qualities, he has many strong and admirable positions.  Were he my US House Rep, I'd be thrilled.  (The weaker and weaker Nancy Pelosi is my rep though she doesn't serve her district -- she instead chooses to serve the White House.)

So why wasn't the campaign release -- which was a fundraising appeal -- focusing on that?

I don't vote out of fear.

I've repeatedly called out The Nation for their nonsense of declaring 2004 the torture election and insisting that the results of it would determine whether the US was Constitutional and democratic or not.

That's a lot of fear to heap on one election.  I supported John Kerry in the 2004 election -- that's in the primary and in the general election.  I believe he would have made a great president.  I know John and was happy to donate and campaign for him.  I loathed Bully Boy Bush.

But I really thought The Nation poured it on rather thick.

(Maybe they did too and now attempt to atone for it by refusing to call out Barack for all the same actions they called out Bully Boy Bush for?)

I grasp fear can be a powerful motivating tool.

It may even be a great motivating tool for fundraising.

But I'm reminded of the wise remarks of a very wise woman.  Shirley MacLaine has repeatedly and rightly questioned, for nearly two decades now, what sort of toxic sludge is left on the people by the entertainment industry when the box office is fear, fear, fear?

Yes, people want to be scared.  They also want to love. They want to cheer.  They want to feel all the emotions.

But when we present fear, fear, fear, what does that do?

Normalize it?

One of the many reasons I loathed Bully Boy Bush long before he started the Iraq War was because he used fear.  Over and over.

I'm not someone who plays with fear.  It bores me very quickly.  I have always refused to let it govern me and I think only the half-assed and the weak use it repeatedly.

Repeating, it may be a strong motivating tool for fund raising.  I doubt it, but it might be.

Even if that's the case, I think Alan Grayson, in his best moments, connects with people because he offers leadership and vision.

I went back and forth and finally decided we wouldn't note the release because I don't want to be part of a Cult of Fear.

Another thing we're not noting?

Occupy.  David DeGraw works very hard amplifying Occupy.  I will applaud him for that and for many other things.  But today we've got a video to note -- I'm not noting it -- and we were also alerted to it last week.

What's my problem?

How about that this is the third video from this group and it's, yet again, men?

We were speaking today to a group of college students and one brought up Occupy.

David DeGraw would have been shocked by the reaction.  I wasn't.

Last week, I just ignored it.  Today, with it back in the inbox and with the remarks of the students today still fresh in my mind, I'm going to go over it briefly.

Occupy has a bad reputation.

It also has a good reputation.

But when you pimp videos by  one man after another, you're touching on the bad.

When you pimp -- as they did last week and today -- Eminem, you're wallowing in the bad.

The rape issue was always swept aside at the Occupy camps.  No one wanted to seriously address it.  (If this is a new topic for you -- or if you missed it in real time -- you should refer to Tamura A. Lomax's "Occupy Rape Culture" at The Feminist Wire.)

That was a huge mistake.

Rape doesn't fade.  Acts of rape -- a small number as far  as I'm aware -- took place.

The only response the left should have mounted was an immediate No Tolerance for Rape message.

They didn't do that.  And rape does not fade.  And with Occupy in tatters (still, though DeGraw and others are trying to refuel it), there will be no easy rebuilding.

Male and female students raised the issue of rape today and drew comparisons of it to the misogynist and sexist promotions today that attempt to rebuild Occupy.

I'm real sorry, David DeGraw, but Eminem's violence against women (expressed in song) is known -- as is his homophobia.

DeGraw may be willing to look the other way on both or may just be unfamiliar with Eminem on either but young people today are not going to play that game.

You're looking at a generation that grew up post-Ellen comes out, post-Will & Grace, a generation confronted with the very real figures of suicide among at risk youth groups -- which does include LGBTs -- and Eminem's nonsense, just months ago, that he can use the f-word (f**got) because he's talking about a specific type of person is a lot like the outrageous defense some musicians -- I'm being kind and not naming but I can name if needed -- used in the seventies for their outrageous use of the n-word (they insisted they weren't talking about African-Americans, they were talking a specific type of African-Americans).

Can Eminem be involved in Occupy?

He wouldn't be my go to.

But if he's going to be one for others?

Then they're really going to need to work to round out their messengers.

When all you present are men singing and rapping, you make it clear that you're stuck in some cock rock phase of forty years ago.  And you're limiting your appeal as a result while also backing up charges that Occupy itself was dangerous (rapes) and sexist.

If you really want to restart it, you need to know what Occupy's image is among the very people you are hoping to reach.  And you need to combat the bad image that Occupy has.

 The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.