Friday, October 17, 2008

Video Game Voters, Pesky Plumbers, and CosmoGirl's Coda

The debates are over and now we can vote! Soon! Please? It will distract us from constantly checking how our meager savings are being decimated by the still-plunging Dow. Besides, we have to take what's left of our home equity line of credit to start shopping, though, given the economy, the Election Eve tree will look more like the True Value discount aisle.


Hey, Iraq! Long time no see! So, um, hows about we hang around 'til 2011? Right now that's the tentative agreement the U.S. and the Iraqi government have reached for a withdrawal. Since this is likely the first step in what will no doubt be a long journey to pull out, we're really begging someone to do a proper editorial on this development and the possibilities it holds for global and domestic security. C'mon, guys, we know you've got it in there somewhere.

The latest war between man and the money he hath wrought has turned to emerging markets around the world. Expect to hear more talk of the threats facing globalized economics in newly industrialized countries in the next weeks. Perhaps even mentions of debt forgiveness may find its way into the mix (you hear that, Bono?).

Newspaper endorsements are right around the corner, and it's pretty safe money that Obama will be raking them in heavily this time. No surprises there. However, we'll be looking anxiously at the language used by editors to define McCain and the GOP as the hateful right wing mailings sink lower and lower. Oops -- they're ahead of us! Here's the Post's "go, go Obama!" nearly full-page piece.

The Week That Was

While Obama and McCain shamelessly pandered to fancy millionaire plumbers (no we won't repeat his name -- for once a plumber is going to have to wait for us to call back), George Packer provided one of the most insightful pieces on "economy-first" voters this week in the New Yorker. Get your heads out of the Beltway clouds, flacks and flackettes, to see a more reliable window into the swing states.

We'd like to point out instances of responsible journalism (for a change). If you're curious about what actually caused the crash, check out this past week's Economist editorial (the whole crazy story in a page and a half -- without the complicating factor of Dem/Repub finger pointing), the Washington Post's series, and the New York Times editorial.

If you had any doubt how powerful the Obama's campaign ad money is, they've recently purchased space on, get this, 16 video games. Digital billboards -- jeez, people may vote for this guy just to see what he'll do for re-election. In response, McCain has vowed to follow Donkey Kong to the gates of hell.

As for messages, the desperate new Republican Party triangle is: Fannie/Freddie/Clinton/Obama caused the crash; ACORN plans to steal the vote; and (sotto voce and only in deep red states) Obama is a terrorist.

The economy sucks, so -- BUY STUFF!!! That's what plenty of companies are trying to tell you these days, although they might be using a slightly more subtle approach. The financial crisis of late has been the perfect advertising tool for the likes of Burger King, Denny's and even Brooks Brothers, whose recent ad says, "Just as our ad stated in the 1940's, during these uncertain times Brooks Brothers is still the investment you can trust." Don't buy stocks; buy pants. Priorities, people!

Chris Buckley, the man who has conservatism hardwired into his DNA (no, seriously, it's the latest fad in genetic science), is now backing Obama following his resignation from the National Review. Yes, folks, now even the Buckleys aren't conservative enough anymore. The TR Historical Society is ghostwriting a posthumous endorsement from Herbert Hoover to go along with this one.

It isn't a new idea, but it's getting more and more popular. In the same vein as that creepy Wendy's ad we mentioned a while ago, another corporate giant jumped into viral video marketing with both feet -- and hit bottom fairly quickly. This time it was Ruby Tuesdays, with their video of a mistaken demolition of a neighborhood "Chici's" instead of one of their older chain restaurants. Um, is this supposed to be post-modern messaging? It's going over our heads.

Oh no, CosmoGirl is going under! Now 16 year-old girls will have to switch to Cosmo in order to find out about life's kinky knickknacks and domestic disappointments. Sigh, they grow up so fast, don't they? See you at the nail salon, ladies.

We really cleaned up last week. Palin was pummeled in Philly and, more importantly, the European banks found solidarity behind an innovative plan to preserve the liquidity of their own banks. Gotta keep that momentum going... See you next week!


Anonymous said...

Yo, TR dawgs, check out how Ruby Tuesdays faked blowing up the wrong restaurant. I'm thinking PR/marketing etc is changing super fast in the new post-ironic Internet culture.

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