Thursday, November 11, 2004


Resentment Inc.

This is not earth-shattering, but it occurs to me we have to keep in mind that Anger is a business now, a pretty big business. It's supposedly an 'insurgent force' into the decadent 'liberal' media world, but it's really an Establishment industry now. El Rushbo did start as an insurgent, all right - stirring up resentment in the Heartland and makin' money doin' it! Yeah, baby! Mr Mencken? "..when you hear some men talk about their love of country, it's a sign they expect to be paid for it."

Resentment Inc. Countering that is important. It's true that non-far-right radio doesn't 'do' anger as well. So? Don't do anger as your whole 'format'. Don't do their format, don't fight them on their terms. Do your own - more entertaining: more (gasp) informative, funnier, saner. Of course, do anger when it's called for and will be effective. We have to be a little more cool and cunning. Look what we're up against.

(I haven't heard any of the satellite radio shows. Has anybody? There's some promise there, maybe.)

The old Democratic party has a lingering sort of 'church/state' problem about 'mixing' marketing with politics, namely the quaint notion that an election is about facts and argument, and should be a time for civic rationality, not selling. Ever since Nixon in '68, the GOP has been an unabashed leader in using marketing in politics. Voila, Dubya, who's almost completely imaginary.

We have to face the fact that marketing is not always inherently good or bad in itself. It has uses other than conning people. It's really a new kind of communication. It's not going away, regardless. The way to fight the dangers of political marketing is to master the art, not shy away from it.

Easy for me to say. Just a thought.

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