So, this hit the wire Tuesday morning. A video full of the hippest, most culturally elite celebrities telling people to vote based on whatever issue they find super important. The notable highlight was Lena Duhnam. You can see Lil Jon, Whoopi, and some other famous people in that link. Enjoy.
(Screen frame via John Gabriel)
The single frame is certainly unflattering, but so is the whole campaign. It demeans and belittles the sanctity of voting, while pandering to a stereotype of what they think millennials will “buy”, as the industry jargon goes. David Harsanyi, an editor, pointed out that the most high profile names, Fred Armisen, was older than his curmudgeonly self.
@davidharsanyi: Fred Armisen (47) and Lil Jon (43) speak for the youth.
I’m sure he’ll put together some thoughts on the matter, he usually does have his old finger on the pulse of things.
The most relevant words, demographically speaking, came from Andre Kirell, another editor.
@AndrewKirell: @davidharsanyi …I have lots of issues with voting as it stands, but voting for a candidate over a single issue is even more bizarre to me.
@AndrewKirell: @davidharsanyi Also If I know my fellow “young people,” seeing this vid won’t make em go “Oh, yeah, we should vote.” It’s more like *cringe*
Yes, cringe is precisely what I did.
And no, it had little to do with Lena Dunham’s body image, to be honest she isn’t so shocking a sight compared to some body images openly on display on the internet. It had to do with the pandering. Clear cut pandering. For me my mind was brought back to this image.
Bill Clinton trying to look cool in the early 1990’s. Seeing how he wasn’t actually all that bad of a saxophone player (for a white boy; more pandering via self deprecating humor) and it worked, I’d say it was a better media campaign than this one.
Then again, the media is very different today. We had a more concentrated source of information in the 90’s. Networks still held heavy sway. The internet was really fringe and had factored very little. Today, it’s juxtaposed. Internet rules the day and the networks are supplementary. The best example would be the dismal interview George Bush, the incumbent in 1992, did on MTV, chronicled here in the Huffington Post.
@AndrewKirell: @GrantGambling @davidharsanyi It baffles me how many admen, etc., think pandering is somehow endearing. We just watch, cringe, and move on.
Yes, some…one, a marketing/political media professional is proud of that PSA. Probably sees it as their civic duty. To be honest, it seemed like a skit that didn’t make the airing of Portladia. It was ridiculous, which maybe was the point. Maybe it’s necessary? With short attention spans and hyper-sensitized political climate, the combination of emotion and misinformation is dangerous and unhealthy. You should vote, you should be informed, but you shouldn’t let famous people define what you, the voter, consider to be informed. One can’t go in voting on one issue, the effort to be informed is owed to the public—it’s each individual’s responsibility. Harping about politicians not doing their duty is heard daily, but each election We fail. The people who have a government: for us, by us, and of us. fail to engage in it’s well being, it’s a sad state of affairs. So, these desperate media scrambles are put forth to mobilize the youth vote, like Vote or Die, Rock the Vote, and the recent campaign is a clever ode to sarcasm #TURNOUTFORWHAT. Yes, it’s in all caps. Hence, the immediate cynicism.
Most aren’t moved in the slightest by those types of hoakie masquerades of civic duty. Perhaps that comes from the years of pandering throughout the 90’s, we’ve become immune to it.
Then again, this could work brilliantly on 19 and 20 year-olds and raise voter registration, I am on the extreme end of the millennial demographic, so I’ve already gone through the optimistic phase of life, boiled off the cynicism left behind from failed hope, and all that’s left is realism. You should really be informed and engaged—at the same time if you are voting based on only one issue important to you, you should really stay home. Harsh words, but it’s the reality of the situation. If it took a hash tag campaign to get you to vote, perhaps you should reconsider voting. It takes a lot of work to actually be informed and most in the youth vote demographic are lazy and self-centered.
I’m not telling you what to do, I’m telling you to choose wisely. Like, Kirell pointed out, it’s watch and most of us will move on unaffected. The person who made that monstrosity has already been paid, you the voter still have a choice to make. Again, choose wisely.