Friday, August 29, 2008

American Politics and the Media: Showmanship

speaking of performances: Here I am onstage at the Wetlands Preserve
on New Years Eve 1989, a few months after my production of the
Artists For Social Change Awards.

I have personal experience with American Politics and a love of
media. I was part of the special events unit that televised the 1968
presidential election. I was a production assistant at the time in my
early 20's. I found myself in the master control room and studios of
the ABC Television Network in NYC which for me, was college. My
American Broadcasting Company experience had me working with Peter
Jennings, Jules Bergman, Howard K. Smith and other network celebrities.

I was just out of college where I majored (unofficially) in
Communication Arts. After a year of school (and cutting classes to
hang out at WCWP where I was first an engineer, and later host of
"Folk Project," which often had me setting up microphones and music
mixing my friends music live in the studio. That set the stage for my
life. Shortly thereafter, I was snapped up by ABC when looking for my
first full time job.

What I immediately noticed, after watching Obama's compelling closing
comment at the Democratic National Convention, was that the Media and
the Message were perfectly orchestrated. The VP announcement
delivered by the Republicans, was a carbon copy of the democrats
production with flags waving, cheers and yelling mixed in with rock
music theme song to create the look (of television) that American's
have come to model their lives after and be steered by.

The Republican party offered a parody of the Democratic production.
Jon McCain a mockery of what I think of as a leader announced his
running mate. How could anyone vote for a person reading from a
script - not even delivering someone else's words with inner
convection one would expect from a leader!

American politics has become a shame or at least it is when I think
of Republicans. The party producing the puppet reading the script
saw the power of Obama's wife. In a last minute move, they have
selected a woman of strength to buoy up the presidential contender -
who possibly will become the first ever female vice-president.

I see the Rep.VP push as someone who was selected to ensure political
pliability. Someone who will give way and bend (despite her
rhetoric) under control of the "big boy" powers and global elite
that are pulling the strings. "She has been far from the well oiled
Washington political machine." This suggests Republican's (IMHO)
are setting her up to have the image of a self-starter, someone not
to be pushed over, but in fact is subterfuge. I had to laugh as
McCain had to look down at his script before announcing the name of
Sarah Palin. That to me was scary (to think anyone could vote for
such a surrogate leader).

Palin from Alaska is about as far removed from the players of
Washington as possible - except if Linda Lingle, Gov. of Hawaii would
have been suggested. Linda doesn't have the needed housewife image
though. I thought it in appropriate and strange to see a presidential
hopeful kissing his potential VP. Can you imagine Bush kissing Chaney
on the cheek?

I must say, the Republican potential VP is a woman with a certain
pizzaz and sexiness, unlike Hillary. Her house-husband Todd, a
production operator of an Alaska Oil drilling rig has not a drop of
political will or experience unlike the Clinton pairing. Both
candidates seem to be puppets for the Republican elite. How American
to have a son in the army no less. Rah Rah for the military. Please!

This family of five represents the American family. There is nobody
who can NOT identify with her. A good counter measure and lever to
wedge voters and splinter Obama's race. A lot of voters won't like
him because he's black and not privileged. At least Senator Palin
speaks well. Presenting power, presence and conviction unlike her
rather lame (as a performer which counts a lot in todays world)
running partner.

You could feel the electricity and aliveness in the Democratic
production values featuring the most creative and insightful
speakers, but not with the Republican briefing so far. There is a
whole different tone and style to the rather stoic Republican
presentation. A lot to be desired.

I couldn't help but notice the Republicans mic'd the men's choir to
amplify their chant of USA USA USA trying to punch up the rather lame
"atmosphere." It was so artificial. The whole crowd was not in the
ecstatic unison like the Dems. behind Obama. I was actually annoyed
by McCain's fidgeting, did you notice? He didn't know what to do with
his hands and his unresponsive stiffness whilst standing close to
Palin looking over her shoulder at her script as she delivered it
was as artificial as his performance. I see the party players have
humorously exchanged roles. McCain is somewhat flat and picks a
vivacious woman of conviction and charisma. Clearly in the other
camp, Obama is the one who shines whilst running mate Biden is rather
low key.

BTW, I am not at all political as its always the lessor of the
evils. I can't wait for Creativity Cafe venues to act as community
town halls, to get the vote from the people themselves. After all,
the security of our Internet identities beat out the voting machines,
proven to not be tamper proof.

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