The Music of Politics

I was watching Chappelle's Show tonight, and here's what I learned:  delivery has become more important than content, and everyone -- yes, everyone (except me and Chappelle) -- is falling for it.  Here's a funny clip.  Listen to the narrating voice:

I was sort of napping next to my fireplace when this clip came on, day-dreaming about Fenhopper's funny post, and when I heard the voice, I thought I was hearing aNOTHER political commerical about how scary Obama is or how atheist Elizabeth Dole is or how communist Bev Perdue is.  But then I heard, "Nowadays we all know that cash rules everything around us," and I looked up... that was just a little too True to be... well, true.

Here's a (true) ad that's been playing in North Carolina:

The voice of deep concern enters the ad right from the beginning -- and it's all one needs to hear.  I'm convinced that almost everyone ignores what is being said, and focuses on how it is being said.  Most people hear a scary voice and learn to associate the bad feelings that accompany it with, in this case, Elizabeth Dole.  Here's an example of an anti-Obama ad that uses the same technique.  The anti-McCain ads, targeting a different audience, use a slightly different (more sarcastic?) tone.

The point is, young people are better at picking up a tune -- it's always been that way.  And what we're dealing with here is precisely a kind of music.  People under 40 have heard the tone of deep concern too many times to automatically associate it (anymore) with danger.  Instead, people under 40 are likely to be able to pick up on the tone as an indicator of overprotectiveness or something.  And that's cool: way to go, young people.

What's frightening is that the tone of Obama's ads are not altogether different -- it is "our" music, yes... but it's still a kind of music.  And when we turn 40, the twenty-somethings are going to start hearing our ironic/sarcastic tone, a tone that will seem to appeal to us naturally (it always has), with a kind of antiquated world view.  In short, when I go into the voting booth, I'm going to wait until I hear in my head this kind of music... and I'll vote for whoever that music makes me vote for: "Money falls like an avalanche over me" (39 secs.).


fenhopper said...

that video for the secret gives me angina of the soul.


Casey said...