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In the film Ghost (nothing but top-notch entertainment in this LJ) there's this ghost played by the intriguing Vincent Schiavelli who lives in the subway, jumping from train to train. By turns curmudgeonly, affable, terrified and crazed, he shows Sam Wheat how to affect the physical world -- to hit a barrier, kick a can and so on.

Then towards the end his brain seems to slip off whatever ledge it was clinging to. "Who are you! What do you *want* from me?!?" he screeches before taking a running jump into the nearest subway car.

I feel much the same way sometimes when I see my "friends of" list.

Hello! Whoever you are. :::waves perkily, takes medication:::

(And I swear, if anyone tells me that should have been "whom", I will disembowel them and wear their intestines for an ear muffler. It's been that kind of week)

Apparently, Coke outsells Pepsi because Coca-Cola have altered our branes OMG!
When they do an MRI scan on the brains of people drinking coke, the parts of the brain that deal with memories also light up even though in taste tests Pepsi outperforms Coke -- showing that brand marketing really works Not that this has anything to do with anything, I just thought it was interesting in light of the fact that I currently drink about 20 cans of Diet Coke a week.




sophia_helix had a very interesting post the other day about how we use LJ, and in particular how those of us who got into this via a fandom use it. For some reason I could tolerate being on a list with people I loathed but knowing that they are about two degrees of LJ separation away from me makes my sphincter twitch. (I did try to search for a more comely way of putting it, but there really isn't a more descriptive one)

I'd like to bet that, armed with the journal start-date and a friends/friend of list, you could state with accuracy the route through which the journal owner came to LJ, even if their posts or interests lists no longer show any trace.

There's the odd exception — the people who have burned their old fandom trail and started again, bloggers who have shifted to LJ to keep up with other people, the focused defrienders — but for most of us, I think, the friends list/interest list shows clearly who we once were. The ghosts of fandoms past linger on in surprising ways.

The reading list is the biggest giveaway. Most have no trouble giving up old fandoms, but defriending the people who once shared them isn't so easy. Nor is it always desirable: the people who were fascinating when they talked about film noir in The X-Files or mechanisms of storytelling on Buffy the Vampire Slayer remain interesting when they're talking about anything from anime to how they take their coffee in the mornings.

Unless they decide to switch the discussion in their LJ to something that my brain cannot wrap itself around, all the time -- which for me, is real, living people used in stories -- they'll remain interesting. (I can't be convinced about RPF. I've read a bit of it and found some wonderful writing and very imaginative uses of the medium but it just *bothers* me and I don't want to read it any more.)

Sometimes it works another way and you will be prompted to reconsider a book, movie or TV series that you might never have come to any other way. LJ friends suggest something is good, and that prompts a closer look.

To borrow TdF terminology for a second, it's as though LJ acts as a fannish peloton, with imaginative recs and links taking you in the same direction as your friends list. You ride along in the slipstream, until you're up to speed enough with the new fandom to participate from the front for a while.

However, sometimes there's nothing left once the common language of fannish enthusiasm has gone. Without that Rosetta Stone to enable you to make sense of each other, you exist in a spirit of mutual, slothful indifference and post-skipping.

Which is to say, feel free to defriend when your interests have shifted. I'm cutting the reading list myself, for reasons of time.

These days I find I want to read more LJs of people who know about the Eurovision and Terry Wogan's awful syrup and who Chorlton and the Wheelies are and why Man United are so irritating and why Peter Mandelson should be strung up by the goolies and beaten with stale baguettes. A perspective from abroad is invaluable and fascinating but sometimes I neither know nor give a double-handed toss about people like Dave Matthews, Martha Stewart or Ryan Seacrest, none of whom could score a free drink in my local, much less raise a crowd.

(A couple of years ago, back when Dave Matthews was trying to be popular in the UK, a music magazine took him out into Leicester Square and set him to busking. Most people just walked by, save for some American students who got his autograph and piccies and were generally gobsmacked and delighted. Some things do not translate)

Speaking of things that do not translate: Barack Obama.

I read his speech and it was good but it didn't seem that much different than the usual liberal let's all hold hands and not spy on each another, "America is the greatest" stuff that you hear from every speaker at these conventions. There wasn't a single policy promise or concrete pledge to do anything, just an interesting personal story and a lot of generalisations.

It was superior to say, one of Tony Blair's speeches in that it pretty much went subject-verb-object, rather than sentence fragment- adjective-adjective-"tough choices"-adjective-coy smoochy glance at camera but I didn't get why everyone seemed so blown away by it.

In fact, it was more like the speech given by Michael Howard after his accession to the Tory leadership in which he talked about his parents' experience as refugees from Romania, to which the general response was "I don't care if your parents waterskied from Antarctica with the help of sperm whale, you're still an illiberal git who can't pronounce people. Pee-ople, dammit, not peeeeepil"

So what was it about Barack Obama? Was it that his speech touched on the story America tells its children about their possibilities or is it just the way he tells 'em? Inquiring minds wish to know.

Comments

( 77 comments — Leave a comment )
jonquil
Jul. 29th, 2004 07:09 am (UTC)
For years now, the Democrats have either been playing into or debating the Republicans' picture of them. We may be the weirdos, but we're RIGHT, DAMMIT. Meanwhile, prominent Republicans have said "Well, there are patriots and then there are Democrats." The story has been that Democrats were far, far out of the mainstream, too weird to run the country.

Barack Obama said "We aren't the weirdos. We are Americans, too. We're patriots." He said it eloquently. Instead of meeting the opponent on their ground, he reclaimed our own.
snacky
Jul. 29th, 2004 07:38 am (UTC)
Yes, this.

And it was certainly a nice change from, "No we AREN'T lying treasonous cowards!"
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veejane
Jul. 29th, 2004 07:21 am (UTC)
I think part of Obama's being so popular is that he speaks with more verve than an oaken plank, and is nice and smart. Mostly, Democrats (heck, parties of any kind) have to settle for the best 2 out of those 3. It is sort of a relief not to be represented on the national stage by a smarmy buffoon.

Hello! Whoever you are. :::waves perkily, takes medication:::

(And I swear, if anyone tells me that should have been "whom", I will disembowel them and wear their intestines for an ear muffler. It's been that kind of week)


Formally, "Whoever you are" is correct! There is this whole thing with the deep structure of interrogatives and the transparency of the verb "to be" but I will spare you and instead just award the Gold Star of You Did It Right On The First Try And Did Not Add Unnecessary Grammatical Fillips.
infinitemonkeys
Jul. 29th, 2004 12:09 pm (UTC)
It is sort of a relief not to be represented on the national stage by a smarmy buffoon.

And the smarmy buffoon would be...?

There is this whole thing with the deep structure of interrogatives and the transparency of the verb "to be" but I will spare you and instead just award the Gold Star of You Did It Right On The First Try And Did Not Add Unnecessary Grammatical Fillips.

Bless you. I wasn't taught punctuation at school (I can only assume it was thought to be fascistic to impose other standards of punctuation on children when they could develop their own if they weren't *oppressed*)
jeviltwin
Jul. 29th, 2004 07:32 am (UTC)
In the shower this morning, I was thinking that maybe my standards are really low, but what I want in a politician is someone who can pronounce the word 'nuclear' correctly.

Much of the Republican platform at face value makes me want to harm people with toe picks; the Dems have never been in any real danger of losing my vote, but I'd be lying if I said the party hasn't deeply disappointed me on more than one occasion. This will sound terribly stupid, but part of why Obama interests me is simply that he spoke well. He had a good if not earth-shattering speech and he delivered it with style and heart.

How a person has been doing or will do the job is obviously of some greater concern -- which makes a speech a lesser barometer of skill. I realize it's pathetic, but at this point in the scheme of things, all I hope of most politicians is that, when they're speaking, they don't a.) puke, b.) spell potato with an e, c.) fall off the stage.

OTOH, I can't help but think that a speech can show something about the person giving it that won't be found in other statistics (number of jobs created, budget balancing, tax blah blah blah, etc.). It strikes me as completely appropriate, for instance, that listening to Pres. Bush speak usually makes my skin crawl.

If the US is basically evenly divided, as all the polls suggest :cough:, I'm not really in a part of the country where that's obvious. And there are times when, here in Stock Brokerage Land, where Dems are generally believed to be shacking up with Satan and His Sparkly Gay Minions, it's hard for me to remember that the Democratic party is capable of proud intelligence. Obama sounded smart. Smart and politics do not always mix well.

There wasn't a single policy promise or concrete pledge to do anything, just an interesting personal story and a lot of generalisations.

See, that's interesting, because it never occurs to me that politicians will say anything meaningful, policy-wise, in public (and particularly when speaking to their own) at any time. I mean, when I write my Congressfolk, even the letters their poor interns they write in return -- utterly regardless of the topic -- are so carefully phrased as to basically read: "Words, words, words. This issue is very important to me. And more words."

In light of this lack of substance, style matters. It most probably shouldn't, but it does.

:sigh: This all seems very defeatist of me. But you know, most days I'm amazed that more elected officials don't just burst into flame. I guess a creaky inefficient poorly maintained machine like the government can keep cranking right along for a long time. Right? :panic face:
jeviltwin
Jul. 29th, 2004 07:35 am (UTC)
I can't help but think that a speech can show something about the person giving it that won't necessarily be found in other statistics. In any case, I think Bush's speeches tend to match his actions quite well.

Ttthpt.
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musesfool
Jul. 29th, 2004 07:38 am (UTC)
Meh. I'm American. I vote. I think the conventions are a mostly waste of time and resources, generally preaching to the converted. Nobody's going to say anything meaningful because they don't believe that's how you get elected. And right now, they're probably right.

On the LJ stuff - yes. It's fascinating to me how many SV and XMM folks still keep me around when I don't write or talk about those fandoms anymore. I, of course, amd gunshy about defriending because of the horrible experience of having people email or *whimper* ask publicly why I've done so. So I tend to not do it often, in fear of that. Of course, I also don't add people very quickly, so a lot of the reciprocal folks probably bail on me before I get around to them.
pauraque
Jul. 29th, 2004 10:57 am (UTC)
You're right, however, it's especially useful and desirable for Democrats to speak to the "converted", because many of the "converted" don't bother to vote. A great many Americans who don't vote are young and/or ethnic minorities, groups who tend to hold more liberal views, on the whole. It's in the Dems' interest to raise voter turnout by whipping people up with good speeches.

I liked Obama's speech, partly because he is a good speaker, and partly because the message of unity appealed to me. I'm not a partisan (I don't actually belong to a party), so that was the sort of thing I wanted to hear.
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se_parsons
Jul. 29th, 2004 07:39 am (UTC)
Basically, what Jonquil said. Obama, being from a heartland state (something that doesn't translate at all because you're too small to have the crazy-ass, but apparent mostly only to Americans, regional differences we do (This is not to say you don't have them. You just have OTHER ones). Obama is from somewhere where one big city and a couple of college towns sometimes allows the state to turn "blue" or Democratic rather than "red" or Republican. But we, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota can swing either way, like Pennsylvania in the east and various Southern states.

There is much more diversity of opinion in our states than in ones that lean hardcore red or blue and always have and always will becuase of a huge population of people who think a certain way (mostly due to religion, a factor that doesn't impact your politics). We live next door to the red guys. We can still see that we're mostly just like them. And the red and blue guys in our states can see that, too. But sometimes the rest of the country needs to be reminded of it, especially now when the Republicans have been claiming certain virtues that are American virtues as their sole property.

The rhetoric is: Republicans who are isolationists or America right or wrongers are the only people who are patriotic. If you believe in being a good world citizen or that other countries might have a point or, perhaps merely the right of self-governance, you are a traitor.

Republicans are the only people who serve in or believe in the military. (As they cut their benefits, net pay and healthcare.)

Republicans are the only people who are religious and have the blessing of God. I can't stress enough how much the appearance of religiousness factors in in the US. Democrats mostly work for Satan and are hastening the Rapture and the rule of the Beast.

Republicans are abused for their god-fearing, hard-working ways by cosmopolitan tax and spend Democrats who only stay in power by paying the lazy, worthless underclass (who are mostly brown people) with free handouts to vote for them.

Democratic politicans are rich and corrupt elite intellectuals with inherited money, while Republicans are hard-working people who earned everything they had. THINK ABOUT THIS ONE.

Republicans are the only ones that care about working Americans, so they give THEM $300 in tax cuts while giving the richest among us hundreds of thousands and cutting corporations contribution still further.

Republicans are good with money, so they run up the biggest deficits in American history and invent whole new ways of accounting and "economic theories" to explain why having a deficit is GOOD for us.

Republicans are the only ones who are strong, becuase they routinely pick fights with unstable dictators and take their shit for big corporations. This is called "liberation".

And people in the US believe this shit. TONS of them do. Or the ones that lean Democratic, but still believe in God and the capacity of this country to do the rigth thing, feel like they're being called names, which they are.

So if Obama sounds like a Republican, it's because he has to because the Republican propaganda machine has been allowed to be so very, very effective with the cooperation of Big Corporate Media and the FCC. Americans believe the propaganda, so you have to address it. You have to generalize, because they can't see subtle differences, being used to getting their news in 5 second sound bytes. it's a huge problem, this popular opinion thing.

Democrats also only think about popular opinion during elections, while Republicans work on shaping it ALL THE TIME. That's why they're winning.


cofax7
Jul. 29th, 2004 09:17 am (UTC)
SEP is right, here. The right has redefined the left, and we've let them, somehow. So the right calls us latte-drinking, volvo-driving, irreligious sodomizing America-hating tax-small-businesses-to-death satan-worshippers who value the spotted owl over working class families, who think Osama is great and Saddam even better, who want to spend working class taxes on supporting the immigrants who come in illegally and can't speak English, who want to spend our taxes on multilingual education when there's no money for schoolbooks, and who --worst of all-- aren't willing to use force when necessary to defend Americans and American interests.

And instead of saying what the left does believe, the Democratic party spends its time going, "well, we don't all drink lattes, and we do support the military --see all the defense dollars going to Pentagon contractors?-- and we do so go to church!" None of which really addresses the actual problems in the country, especially health care (the number of Americans without health care is [IIRC] 43 million, which is the population of about 14 states), or the lack of a consistent and legitimate means of repairing America's relations with Europe and the Muslim world, or the economy.

The Republicans spin their image one way, and the Democrats scramble to recover, and nobody actually deals with the issues.

Sigh. So, yeah. Obama's speech (and I haven't seen the video either) strikes a chord because he rejected the right's definitions.

And I think he's dreamy because he teaches Constitutional Law! Yes, I'm a wonk. *g*
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infinitemonkeys
Jul. 29th, 2004 05:59 pm (UTC)
a total rejection of the I'm all right, Jack, screw you thinking which for so long has ruled this country. The divisiveness and bitterness in this country is at toxic levels -- and sometimes you can't tell the players apart even if you have a scorecard. I would imagine the "We hold these truths to be self-evident" just looks like flat quotage on the paper, but the air was electric when he said it -- yes, that's what this country was made for, dammit.

From what people have been saying in this thread skein, I think this paragraph has it nailed.

I am constantly amazed that anyone at all would place the least credence in anything that Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh say. The divisions run very deep, as they used to here. I think that it's a cycle though. It won't always be like this.
coffeeandink
Jul. 29th, 2004 07:52 am (UTC)
read his speech and it was good but it didn't seem that much different than the usual liberal let's all hold hands and not spy on each another, "America is the greatest" stuff that you hear from every speaker at these conventions. There wasn't a single policy promise or concrete pledge to do anything, just an interesting personal story and a lot of generalisations.

Hey! You stole my Thursday evening post. Kind of.

There's a lot about Obama's speech that troubled me; there's a lot about the convention that troubles me. It's rhetoric, rhetoric, rhetoric, and no solid policy; there's a great emphasis on American exceptionalism, an ideology I find pernicious; and politics and religion seem now inseparable, something I loathe more than I can possibly express. But when I listen to Obama, one of the things I hear is someone reclaiming religious language and religious obligation for the left--reclaiming it for the protection of rights and the expression of responsibilities, rather than simply for the ability to make moral decisions for other people. I still *don't like it*, and I still worry about its effects on a real pluralism and a society which must accomodate religious, racial, and cultural diversity -- but Obama reminds of the friends from college, and the friends I have now, who first taught me religion didn't have to mean repression, and it might never affect me, but good people could not only be religious and nonrepressive but religious and activist in ways I approved.

What I'm thinking about the convention now is that a lot of it is emptiness, but in that emptiness a few things stood out: (1) an emphasis on black and Hispanic voters; (2) several positive mentions of gay rights (though the compromise at this point seems to be set for this being a state and not federal issue); (3) a sense that the average American is a lot poorer than they used to be -- that the Democrats are speaking not to an assumption of prosperity and privilege, but people who are at best middle class and clinging to it; (4) a sense that the opinion of the world *matters* -- and there may be too much emphasis on America as leader and America as superpower for my taste (and I'm sure for the taste of everyone who isn't an American), but the Democrats do seem to have gotten the clue that Hey, If it's America against the rest of the world, in the long term, America's gonna lose.

I'm a lot, lot, lot farther left than the average American, and I'm not satisfied by the convention rhetoric. But I remember the last few elections, and how the Democrats watered down every fucking possible difference from the Republicans in an attempt to be centrist, in an attempt to grab votes, how they shied away from anything remotely controversial -- and maybe they're only arguing for gay rights, racial diversity, and multilateral international actions because they don't think those things are controversial anymore, but if so, then that's a thought that makes me pretty happy, too.
coffeeandink
Jul. 29th, 2004 08:01 am (UTC)
And I'd also recommend checking out video of Obama's speech, in addition to reading the transcript, if you haven't already.
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lenadances
Jul. 29th, 2004 07:59 am (UTC)
I was telling Token yesterday that part of it is that Democrats have sucked so very, very much lately that seeing someone blessed with brains, charisma, and a certain measure of eloquence is startling in the extreme. With the exception always of Our Man Howard, the Democrats have been treading carefully and looking doleful and being, in short, a completely uninspiring lot who wouldn't put forth any good ideas even if they occured to them.

So I suppose we have lowered the bar somewhat, but it's all part of the baby steps we're taking back towards standing up and acting like a proper party again. It's the equivalent of how jaw-droppingly awesome to hear Howard Dean roar "I want my country back!" last year, in a time when nobody else was saying it but we all desperately needed to hear it. Right now, what we needed was to have somebody young and strong and confident stand up and act like a damn Democrat, and Obama did it, and it was cool.

Also, well, we're a land of immigrants for the most part, and most of those immigrants came over under very stressful circumstances and had to do the dirty work once they got here and eat shit for a generation or three. Scratch the surface of an American family and you've got Obama's story-- except his story has the added benefit of being multi-cultural AND involving the American Heartland (you can't get any more Midwestern than Kansas) and, most importantly, being that golden success story that everyone wants to hear. We're suckers for it. "Son of African immigrant and Kansas girl grows up in Chicago, gets into politics, makes good." Hell of a thing, really.

Also... well, the atmosphere on this side of the pond has been so fractured and so angry for so long that the simple concept of "We're all patriots, we're all Americans, and you can't make blanket assumptions about people based on who their state went for in 2000" is a downright gobsmacker. Yeah, it's dumb, it's something dumb that we all should know, and yeah, it's all gushy and mushy and such, but fuck it all, I like it. I was yelling much the same thing back before the war when there was a blanket opinion going on that if you were anti-war then you weren't a patriot.
cofax7
Jul. 29th, 2004 09:19 am (UTC)
Dunno if you know about this already, Lena, but apparently Howard Dean gave an amazing talk on Jim Lehrer the other night. My local tv critic said it was the best speech he's heard so far, and far far better than Dean's convention speech.

FWIW. Dunno if you can track down a transcript or video clip.
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qowf
Jul. 29th, 2004 08:16 am (UTC)
Obama knows what Clinton knew and still does: presentation may not be everything but god almighty, it's important.

He's a powerful speaker and he's got this air when he speaks of "truth". Even N, the most jaded of voters, said, "He means what he says or at least he made me believe he did." Like Mulder, when it comes to politics, I am discovering that I, too, want to believe.

There's a sorry lack of the genuine in politics. Watching Obama, you believe the country should do better, and more importantly, you believe we can. I remember during the first election, watching Clinton both live and on tape and I walked away thinking, "Jesus Christ, this guy really does CARE," and then thinking, "I'll help do the work. I'll help make it better. By god, we can *do* this."

Obama's got some of that going on. So does Edwards, but not as much. Although by the end of Edwards' speech last night, he had hit his stride. I have to admit, a lump was in my throat when he repeated, "Hope is on the way."

I can't even begin to iterate how much I want that hope. I didn't even know it until he said it and there it was, overwhelming me. I've been living in country for 4 years now, K, where it feels to me like there is no hope, that the government doesn't give a flying flip about anything except their agenda. The infrastructure, in such solid shape at the end of the Clinton administration has crumbled to dust. Things feel--out of control.

I want to hope again. Barach Obama, with the power of conviction, with his eloquence, with his obvious passion, makes me believe a day will come when I can.
infinitemonkeys
Jul. 29th, 2004 02:16 pm (UTC)
I can't even begin to iterate how much I want that hope. I didn't even know it until he said it and there it was, overwhelming me. I've been living in country for 4 years now, K, where it feels to me like there is no hope, that the government doesn't give a flying flip about anything except their agenda. The infrastructure, in such solid shape at the end of the Clinton administration has crumbled to dust. Things feel--out of control.

This I understand. I think it may be analagous to 1990-92 here, when Thatcher was booted out (and much as I loathed her, she had a kind of greatness). What was left was a bunch of corrupt boobies who sold off and privatised and dismantled things I hold dear and made huge profits and didn't seem to care that they'd been seen doing it.

And every time Labour said anything it was all "You loony lefties, you want us all to live on communes eating beancurd and drinking nothing but dandelion wine. You'll drag the economy into the dust -- when the fact was that *they'd* dumped the economy into the shitter. I was in Italy during one of the worst bouts of ineptitude and one day my quid was worth 230 lire and the *next day* it was worth 180. They were hopeless, shameless, morally bankrupt, ideologically driven fucks

~And then they got voted in again and I couldn't believe that some people were so stupid as to believe that those cretins were better than the opposition.

Now I've depressed myself.

Still, Barack Obama in 2008, eh?
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noelleleithe
Jul. 29th, 2004 08:31 am (UTC)
I feel I should point out that it's not just Democrats who were quite taken with Obama. I know my mother thinks he's great, and she last voted for a Democrat in about 1964.

Why? Well, he's the embodiment of The American Dream. He's a mixed-race, half-first-generation American with a funny name, raised largely by his grandparents. He worked his way from an enviroment that's extremely high-risk, particularly for young black men, through Harvard Law to the US Senate (presumably). He's well-spoken, well put together, charismatic, and dedicated to public service (he was a community organizer before law school and is a civil rights lawyer now). Everything he has, he's worked hard for. His story IS what America tells its children about their possibilities.

I still haven't seen or read the speech, but I'm already impressed just by how he's lived his life to this point. So I'd say it's as much about who he is as it is about the speech. The speech just brought his story to the masses.
infinitemonkeys
Jul. 29th, 2004 02:39 pm (UTC)
It's a good story. It read well. It's just that there were few actual promises in there. I suppose that's not what the convention is for in an election year though
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lilydale
Jul. 29th, 2004 08:35 am (UTC)
In the film Ghost (nothing but top-notch entertainment in this LJ)

As happy as I am that you're posting stuff, please refrain from doing so in the future if you're going to make it seem like there's something wrong with Ghost Thank you.

;-)

So what was it about Barack Obama?

I don't think I was blown away by him as many people, which may just mean that my shell of political cynicism is harder than most. I suspect, though, that I just like hearing about actual issues and positions and how things will get done rather than hearing about how golly gee it'd be nice if everybody was all happy and paid and safe and how electing me/us will make that all magically happen. That's been my problem with the entire Democratic Convention. It's like one big potato chip advertisement without any indication what the chips are made of or how I can find any in a store near me.

Uh, anyway, reading his speech, which I did first, wasn't nearly as grabbing as watching it. He has charisma and a very good orator style, something sorely lacking in most political leaders it seems. So I'd suggest watching him speak if you haven't already.
se_parsons
Jul. 29th, 2004 08:45 am (UTC)
But don't you think the lack of substance at the Convention is really yet ANOTHER reaction to the lack of substance in ALL politics right now?

As soon as anybody proposes anything substantive it is attacked by right-wing platitudes and dismissed as another way to suck money from the working class, while the substantive things the right wing does are done in darkest secrecy while the happy, happy feel-good message is poured out over FOX and the other media conglomerates.

Sadly, the lack of substance is the way politics is now being conducted because political strategists have NOT found a way to sufficiently contrast the Sensible Party from the Very Silly Party in the minds of the public used to getting all the news they need to know from FOX and NBC on TELEVISION, brought to you by Rupert Murdoch and GE/TimeWarner/Other huge corporation of your choice.
(no subject) - lilydale - Jul. 29th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - loosehorses - Jul. 29th, 2004 01:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - infinitemonkeys - Jul. 29th, 2004 01:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - noelleleithe - Jul. 29th, 2004 02:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - loosehorses - Jul. 29th, 2004 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - noelleleithe - Jul. 29th, 2004 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - infinitemonkeys - Jul. 29th, 2004 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilydale - Jul. 29th, 2004 04:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - infinitemonkeys - Jul. 29th, 2004 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
thassalia
Jul. 29th, 2004 10:24 am (UTC)
I read his speech and it was good but it didn't seem that much different than the usual liberal let's all hold hands and not spy on each another, "America is the greatest" stuff that you hear from every speaker at these conventions.

My boss, who is also English, had much the same reaction - in fact, he had a far more virulent reaction and couldn't listen, desptie his liberal and leftist leanings.

I think, in part, the appeal is so strong because he hit upon all of the ideals that we hold to, even the most liberal among us still seem to have a trace of the burning fury of idealism that embodies America in concept. WE're taught in history class that the ideas behind our country were bright and bloody and revolutionary, that this was intended as a place free from oppression and bigotry and religious persecution (and even when we get to college, or have an enlightened teacher at an earlier age), the beauty of that propoganda is pretty much set in to deep to every slide away like the top layer of jelly. It's insidious in that it inspiries us, and seeing that taken up, held out to us by someone who embodies the things we want to believe about what the concept of our country represents is pretty spectacular. (We're rabid consumers, looking at the bright and shiny, and Barak Odama just shone so brightly, selling us back the polished version of our American dream at a time when it's been so badly tarnished, and we're forced to rally behind someone who only gleams dully, but is so much better - for many of us- than the alternative. It's a way to say, okay, if I support Kerry, then in four years or eight years, I have a chance to support this other person who is bright and true:) Or at least, that's what I'm guessing, based on my own reactions, my own desire to see things change:)
infinitemonkeys
Jul. 29th, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC)
I didn't have as strong a reaction as your boss. I thought it was an interesting speech and a fascinating life story but it didn't really tell me anything.

We're rabid consumers, looking at the bright and shiny, and Barak Odama just shone so brightly, selling us back the polished version of our American dream at a time when it's been so badly tarnished, and we're forced to rally behind someone who only gleams dully, but is so much better - for many of us- than the alternative

So it's the glimpse of a future hope that's attractive? The prospect that past Kerry there's another Clinton (in the sense that he was smart, a great orator and Teflon coated, rather than the Monica sense) waiting to lead the party to a double-term victory?
(no subject) - thassalia - Jul. 30th, 2004 10:31 am (UTC) - Expand
coffeeandink
Jul. 29th, 2004 07:09 pm (UTC)
The other thing
These days I find I want to read more LJs of people who know about the Eurovision and Terry Wogan's awful syrup and who Chorlton and the Wheelies are and why Man United are so irritating and why Peter Mandelson should be strung up by the goolies and beaten with stale baguettes.

Given that I do not get a single one of those references except Man United (and I don't know why they're irritating), I would feel more worried without the anime reference. And if you defriend anyway, I'll miss all the funny and insightful locked posts, but I could hardly fail to understand it, since I do interest-based defriending all the time.

But I wanted to say, it looks like The Elephant Vanishes is headed back to London before retiring, and if you've got a chance to see it, I really really REALLY recommend it. (But it might help to read the short stories first, so you can skip some of the subtitling.)
infinitemonkeys
Jul. 30th, 2004 03:25 am (UTC)
Re: The other thing
Nah, no danger of defriending you. It's just sometimes nice to see references to things I understand automatically. To read jokes about Gordon Brown and Tony Blair's Mulder/Krycek-ish slashy love or the terrifying Jordan or Dot Cotton.

Occasionally LJ feels like being at a big party where everyone is chatting about a bunch of mutual friends, like Martha Stewart or Kobe Bryant or whatever, and I'm trying to keep up but I don't really know who these people are (or care that much, since they'll never have the least effect on my life).

(You did see the "remain interesting" bit in connection with anime, yes? *g*)

Okay: Eurovision = international song contest, renowned for awfulness/campness of songs and terribly biased voting. Hosted by
Terry Wogan = affable and very witty radio DJ who wears truly terrible syrup (syrup of figs=wig, cockney rhyming slang)
Chorlton and the Wheelies = animated series about a dragon, Chorlton, made by the people who made Dangermouse and Duckula
Manchester United = The New York Yankees of English soccer. Forever doing whinging of the "you all hate me because I'm rich and beautiful" kind
Peter Mandelson = Tony Blair's best friend. Has lost his post in government *twice* over scandals to do with his bad judgment and yet still has been given lucrative post as European Union commissioner. Byword for evil news-spinning and sliminess. Maybe the equivalent is Stephanopoulos. I don't know.

There. You didn' t need to know that I'm sure. *g*

Re: The other thing - coffeeandink - Jul. 30th, 2004 07:54 am (UTC) - Expand
thinkum
Sep. 2nd, 2004 07:41 am (UTC)
"Who are you! What do you *want* from me?!?"
For some reason I could tolerate being on a list with people I loathed but knowing that they are about two degrees of LJ separation away from me makes my sphincter twitch.
[...]
(And I swear, if anyone tells me that should have been "whom", I will disembowel them and wear their intestines for an ear muffler. It's been that kind of week)


A post could be talking about any old thing - pocket watches, sprinkler systems, the biology of aphids - and with language usage that's this much fun, be such a rollicking read that passersby are instantly addicted to the author's work.

So, what do we want? More of the same. ;-)

Hello! Whoever you are. :::waves perkily, takes medication:::

:::waves back from the bleachers:::
( 77 comments — Leave a comment )

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