Sunday, September 16, 2012

WE'LL BUILD A WORLD OF OUR OWN THAT NO ONE ELSE CAN SHARE. Zombie, a site best known for generating wingnut outrage over gay street fairs, does Rightblogger Routine 12:
Memo to non-leftist bloggers, reporters, and culture-shapers: TAKE THE GODDAMN GLOVES OFF.
We need hardly bother with the frankly silly notion that Zombie's fellow crap-and-spittle merchants suffer from reticence, but I'd like to know what brain-fart led to "culture-shapers."  Maybe the author was leaning toward "culture warriors," in honor of the ancient conservative rite of yelling at TV shows, then realized nobody takes that seriously anymore. "Culture-shapers" may have seemed a good modification, suggesting that the brethren can go out under cover of darkness and slip some Spanx on the culture to force it into the shape they prefer.

How to do it? The title of the post is "Narrative Wars: Slap the Honey Boo Boos with Truthaganda." Zombie is talking about "last remaining undecided voters in America," and bases his characterization on the fact that a reality TV show about hillbillies beat out some reality TV shows about rich politicians making promises to America.

That seems like a reasonable preference to me, but Zombie believes those people are dumb -- "If candy canes and wreaths start appearing in store windows and a few notes of muzak 'Jingle Bells' remain audible above the screaming toddlers, then the Honey Boo Boos figure Christmas must be coming up soon" -- and "get their information through a sort of unconscious osmosis of the general national zeitgeist."  So here's his plan:
The goal is to create an enveloping data matrix which gives the Honey Boo Boos a sort of half-aware impression that the narrative we’ve concocted for them is not simply a partisan narrative fighting for their allegiance but rather is simply the way things are. 
To that end, the headlines need to be as unsubtle as possible, but still hewing to reality — reality through our lens. 
I call this approach “truthaganda"...
I'll spare you: It mainly means recreating rightwing talking points like "OBAMA TEAM TWEETS COMMUNIST PROPAGANDA" in oversize red letters. "Even a Honey Boo Boo can get through those headlines," he says; "they’re short enough to survive the three-second attention span."

That someone actually thinks this about his fellow citizens doesn't surprise me, but I am a little surprised that he would say it out loud in a public forum. It suggests to me that Zombie is not actually concerned with influencing those voters. He's like a teenage boy who doesn't have a girlfriend and declares it's because girls prefer jerks, and so he'll be a jerk himself, and then they'll all come running. Having been a teenage boy myself, I recall that such a person is usually not seriously mapping out a seduction strategy, but looking for sympathy from like-minded loners.

And God go with him. Political blogging is fun, sort of, so long as you don't take it too seriously. If you start thinking it has an impact on actual events, that's when you're in trouble.

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