Oh, Walt Whitman, And Jeans, and Walt Whitman

I’m just going to say up front that I thank the gods I am too fat to buy Levi’s jeans, because, no matter how much I think with my brain that these new commercials are stupid and pandering and I am embarrassed for America that the poet of our soul is reduced to shilling jeans instead of being read out loud by people right before silly orgies break out, my whole soul feels compelled to buy jeans when I see them. I want people to hear Walt Whitman and think of awesomeness and coolness and hipness.  I am completely in love with knowing that everyone who sees that advertisement is hearing what could be Walt Whitman’s voice, even if they don’t know it.

How does that work?

I guess, “Behold the power of marketing.” Possible marketing is America’s barbaric yawp.

And wow, I really love these commercials, even though I shouldn’t.

The Rainmakers

You may recall, if you are old enough, how traveling con men would come into a community desperate for rain, make all kinds of vague statements and pronouncements, and take everyone’s money, and then leave town?

A lot of people in Cooper’s district are desperate for change.

But even if you never, ever listen to podcasts, even if you have no idea what Liberadio is, I’m asking you to listen to their segment with Ben Tribbett. And then come back here and tell me one concrete fact he lets out about anything other than himself. This is the executive director of Accountability Now! And he’s had meetings, but he can’t say with whom. He’s talked to Democratic politicians, but he can’t say whom. They have a strategy, but it’s vague. Yeah, they know Democrats might get redistricted out of existence, but think of it this way, maybe some of them will go on to be great politicians in other ways, but in what ways remain unclear. Oh, he’s seen Cooper with all kinds of lobbyists, eating dinner in fancy places. And of course he won’t name those lobbyists. He barely wants to tell O’Connell and Mancini the names of the restaurants.

There are three choices a person has in response to hearing this. One, these people are idiots.  They don’t really have a plan. They thought showing up here with some big names and some money and doing some hobnobbing counted as leadership.  Two, they think we’re idiots and, like the rainmakers of olden days, all they had to do is show up and make some vague promises, raise some money, and scurry on to the next town if things don’t work out.  They don’t have to be specific, because they thought we’d be so excited and distracted by their showmanship that we don’t notice that it’s all very vague and nebulous. Three, they mean well, but holy shit.

I honestly don’t know which one it is, but while yesterday I was feeling like maybe it was just me, after I listened to Mancini and O’Connell last night, I’m now convinced there’s a real problem.

It’s not an insurmountable problem, at this point, but let’s not pretend like this is all wine and roses except for a few sour grapes.

(Ha, it takes real talent to mix a metaphor that bad!)