Friday, December 20, 2013

Pajama Boy Media

Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson
A few weeks ago when Martin Bashir resigned from MSNBC after making disgusting remarks about Sarah Palin you were all up in arms about free speech, right? How MSNBC shouldn't be putting pressure on him to quit because, hey--it's just his opinion, right? (you weren't naive enough to think he quit without pressure, were you?)

Oh, you weren't? Yeah. That was disgusting. They totally shoulda got rid of him.

So then, logically speaking, you didn't take to Facebook and stand up for Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty when something analogous happened to him and he was fired for making anti-gay (and, arguably, racist) comments in a GQ interview?

Oh, wait--you did stick up for him on Facebook--but not for Bashir?

How come?

To understand what's going on, let's do the tale of two personalities. I give you: Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty and Pajama Boy from Organizing For America (Obamacare). I will do the conservative readers for Duck and the liberal ones for O-Care.

I'm also going to throw in a little George Zimmerman because why not?

You're Conservative And You Never Watched 'Duck Dynasty'
Here's a Gawker link that explains everything. Duck Dynasty is a super-duper popular A&E property that follows ZZ Top's domination of the Duck-Call world in a semi-scripted "reality TV show." Yes, you read all that right--and no, it isn't really ZZ Top--but they have beards like ZZ Top so it's all good.

If you read this blog regularly you don't watch Duck Dynasty (I'm psychic) and, until beardo opened his mouth you supported the right of a corporation to do whatever it wanted with a property once it has moved from the asset column of the balance sheet to the liability side. That was just plain free-market capitalism. I mean, we all support Right-to-work laws, don't we?

And organizing for something you believe in, either pro or con is alright, yeah? Like Chick-Fil-A day or whatever.


In fact, you (for some versions of 'you') were all like: hey, man, it's just his opinion. What's wrong with that? Can't we be open minded and have a conversation?

I dunno. Maybe we should ask Martin Bashir?

You're Liberal And You Don't Understand The Furor Around Pajama Boy
On the other hand, if you are on conservative Twitter you couldn't get enough of 'Pajama Boy' a.k.a.  Ethan Krupp, an Organizing for America volunteer who got picked to be the face of a new ad push by Organizing For America to get young people to sign up for Obamacare.
Krupp was the subject of much mockery and derision in the conserva-sphere for appearing in a onsie and trying to get you to talk about Obamacare.

Twitchy led the charge and Rich Lowery called him an 'insufferable man-child' and The American Thinker declares him a 'perpetual adolescent.' The National Review declared him 'a metrosexual hipster in a plaid onesie who wants you to spend your precious Christmas days talking to him about the president’s vision for health insurance.' Hah!

If you are a liberal you may find yourself somewhat adrift with all this furor--if so, it is because you don't recognize the absurdity of Pajama Boy as a spokesperson to reach the 'young invincibles.' The absurdity, you say? Consider this:
  1. He is, after all, sitting around in his pajamas. This is a signifier for "not doing anything important." Want proof? Ask Pajamas Media--a conservative outfit that was derided by Dan Rather as a bunch of bloggers "sitting around in their pajamas." They adopted it as a badge of honor--but they weren't literally sitting around in their pajamas.
  2. He might not actually be a "smug hipster" but he's certainly got that vibe. In his other appearance he's reclining with cozy socks on, clearly at his parent's house. Hipster--to the world at large--is not a compliment. Laying around your parent's house for the holidays is, in reality, a fine thing--but not when you're like 29 years old--especially if you're not working. No one thinks Pajama Boy is working--especially not young people who know they can't find a job.
The absurdity is that this guy is your spokesperson. He's like the worst-case-scenario. It's like having a literal welfare-queen telling people to sign up for government benefits!

If you are liberal that went right by you.

What's Going On?
What's going on is George Zimmerman got a 100k+ bid for a painting of an American flag he made with some text on it. You can defend him in court all day long--but you can't for the life of you defend that price for that painting.

Still, you aren't laughing: guy deserves a break.

He Should Be Wearing Camouflage!
If you think that's true I can, with almost 100% accuracy, predict how you voted in 2012 and how you will vote in 2016.

If you think that's easy, consider this: We don't even know who's running.

That's absurd and yet you know I can do it.

You know anyone can do it.

Why Is It So Easy? Iconography
The reason I have such amazing powers of prediction--and the reason why you either dumped your previous defense of corporate rights or your innate judgement of hipsters is because both these guys (and Zimmerman) are, to you, icons. They are representative of positions you hold.

They aren't actual people you interact with or have anything in common with in the real world. If you read this blog regularly you don't watch Duck Dynasty because that's a deep red-state thing and this is an intellectual, TL;DR blue-state-like politics blog. If you are here DD is outside your bubble.

Similarly, if you read this you don't look at Pajama Boy and go ... 'errg. That's who we're trying to sell!?' That's because he's inside your bubble.

In fact, both Duck Dynasty and Pajama Boy are really very sophisticated. Duck Dynasty is a scripted show that masquerades as reality TV. It's processed and honed to deliver its message. Robertson going off-script was a error--but it sure didn't occur on the show which has edited out some of his previous strong Christian statements.

They know what they're doing.

Pajama Boy isn't an appeal directly to young millennials so much as to their parents who want them off their health care.

But either way, the one thing you know on contact with them--just by looking--is that (a) Pajama Boy will not be using power tools and (b) he'll never vote for Mitt Romney. When you look at Zimmerman or Robertson you don't have to know anything personal about them (although in some cases we know way too much) to know that any gun taken from them would be pried from their cold dead hands (unless ordered to surrender it by the court, which Zimmerman was--icons and reality don't usually live up to each other).

Both Zimmerman and Robertson are iconic "guys on your side" (yes, Zimmerman allegedly voted for Obama--that won't happen again. Alright, smart guy, he won't vote for Hillary either).

When you connect with a person in an iconic context it's like advertising is working on you. Your critical faculties are dulled because it's speaking to something deeper inside you than the surface facts.

That's how they get you.

No comments:

Post a Comment