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Politics as performance art

by Migeru Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 11:07:08 AM EST

Is this what three "unscripted" debates look like?


Then again, you could say that Obama and McCain have been well-coached and are consistent in their delivery. But how about this one?

Why would Howard and Harper be expected to read form the same script?

Maybe this is the way politics is, but is this the way we want it to be?

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With a hat tip to marco and vbo.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 11:08:00 AM EST
As you say, I think we're accustomed to politicians who repeat their own talking points.

What's disturbing about the second video is it reminds us that not only are the talking points usually written beforehand by someone else... but that someone else could be far away and be writing the talking points for more than one.

Here it is Iraq... other days neo-liberal economics...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 11:54:36 AM EST
Howard sounds like he's saying, "...The community of nations required Iraq to surrender its offensive asshole." Or do I need a new headset?

The second clip is seriously funny, but I'm inclined to think that Harpers speechwriters were on a deadline that day and hoped that no one would notice their plagiarism.

After all, cover versions are quite common in the music business.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 12:33:32 PM EST
Yea, but in the music business cover versions are credited.

Exceptions would be
G Harrison ripped off P Spector's "She's so fine" for "My Sweet Lord"

P Weller ripped off Beatles "Taxman" for "Start"

Any others ??

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 12:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess.

I just have this mental image of a poor disheveled nerd of a speechwriter with liar's writer's block and 4 hours to deadline feverishly searching the Intertubes for something halfway plausible he can give the Big Man.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 02:28:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if you consider the example Sikorski gave and which I quote in the update of the Central Europe realignemt diary, the draft couléd very well have came from the US in both cases.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 03:09:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Radek Sikorski - Don't Take Poland for Granted - washingtonpost.com
Some genius at the State Department or the Pentagon sent the first official note describing possible placement of the [missile defense] facility with a draft reply attached -- a reply that contained a long list of host countries' obligations and few corresponding U.S. commitments. Natives here tend to think they are capable of writing their own diplomatic correspondence.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 03:11:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US just doesn't do diplomacy very well, do they?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 03:33:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Howard is indeed a much better speaker than Harper.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 01:12:52 PM EST
Isn't that an inevitable result of the way politics is developing ? They are becoming a professional cadre of self-referencing and well-heeled people who graduate from university, become interns and advisers, work in some related advocacy group before being parachuted into safe positions from where their career progresses.

We decreasingly see politicians who have adult experience of the real world the majority of people experience. Some, such as Obama, may see it and visit it as part of community organising, but they don't live it. Not like union reps did. John Prescott, ex UK deputy PM, may have been a desperately flawed person, but his sharp edges were a consequence of real life experiences unknowable to professional zealots such as Blair or Brown.

So, of course, they have to have their speeches written for them. They require intermediaries to coach them in resonant phrases, to provide them with themes which they repeat with voice coaches until the correctly emollient tone is achieved.

Politics was a passion, then a vocation, now it's just a profession.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 01:45:19 PM EST
Politics was a passion, then a vocation, now it's just a profession.
Which mirrors the devolution in mass media from journalist to "presenter."


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 02:28:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
These clips are at once hilarious and concerning.  They are more reflections of the electorates than condemnations of politicians.  Worse, I cannot really say that we have sunk below any previous standard.  We have only changed to accommodate new technologies.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 02:34:10 PM EST
New technologies make it easier to expose, thankfully.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 1st, 2008 at 02:42:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the general subject of politics and performance art, and specifically concerning Obama and McCain :

Here is a blog, in French (with political commentaries from myself) but the photos tell the story

The story is : "My name is Kristin, I'm fifty-two and I'm looking for work"... and finding Obama. "Princesses Peluches" street theatre company, well-known in France (and well-respected internationally in their niche) are on the campaign trail.

Globally, the artistic project is to be photographed kissing Barack Obama. (She's not doing too badly : she's kissed Michelle, and exchanged a few words with Barack the other day in Ohio. And she's got a couple of days left...)

She's also pursuing socio-economic issues on the way : demonstrating against foreclosures in Cleveland.

by alistairFr (alistairconnor at wanadoo.fr) on Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 at 09:17:50 AM EST


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