Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Moving pictures

When I found this, my first thought was to slap it up on the blog and let you all* have a good laugh.

As a melange of distortions, misrepresentations and downright nonsense goes, it's pretty damn funny. My two favourite quotes:

"We've already swallowed the wedge. Where does it go next?" Some guy

"It seems there are some people in this country who can't tell the difference between self-defence and malice aforethought." Tony Martin

But there's more to this than simply a chance to sneer at both gun-nut Americans and Countryside Alliance buffoons. I found this on a US messageboard, where some guy was asking Brits to verify what is apparently a hot story on the right-wing blogs. These blogs are very popular, and are very good at passing around "stories" like this - which then make the phase-change to unkillable chain-email. But it cuts both ways - check this out:

It's quite good, isn't it? Well-researched (as far as I can tell), nicely put together, gets its point across. But it's not the sort of thing (as far as I've found) that you get much of over here. Freemania and Don Paskini can and do create similar content but (forgive me) not with quite the impact that video has. YouTube right now is filthy with political commentary of all stripes, and will no doubt become more mired in the stuff as we edge towards November. My point is that this is all pretty cool. People are already tuned in to the grammar of TV; that motivated but otherwise unremarkable people can use it to communicate their own ideas and agendas (however ill-founded) has real potential for widening the scope of political debate above the usual palace intrigue/office gossip/punch and judy stuff that we get all too often from the professionals. As I understand it, professional US news/comment hasn't even begun to look critically at John McCain - how soon before the above critique gets play on CNN?

Case in point - Hopi Sen, who I was going to name-check above until I read this bit - is asking how he can do straight to camera pieces on his blog. I hope he finds out.


1 comment:

donpaskini said...

Right on the analysis - this will do John McCain a lot of damage (good luck running as the change candidate when everyone can see the videos). Also fair point that it's something that Labour activists need to learn how to do. In an ideal world, there'd be some easy training or simple package so that non-techy people could do this. Something to think about further.