The campaign of A.D. 2010 feverishly races toward the end, and it is time to reflect upon the best political advertisements of the season. The wicked and mostly unreadable Time magazine nevertheless has a nice collection of the “Best Viral Campaign Ads of 2010.” I have listed some of them below, supplemented by a few others.
The production value shows in this advertisement for Washington’s ballot initiative1053:
This ad mocks the despicable Harry “But for me, we’d be in a worldwide depression” Reid of Nevada:
Even the Canadians have attack ads; I like the end of this one against the mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba:
Dan Freilich of Vermont creeps me out in his Old Spice parody:
Carly Fiorina of California goes that extra step with her hellish ewes:
Sean Duffy of Wisconsin is one of many GQ Republican contenders this year. His campaign site’s family pictures look like they are from a Land’s End catalog.
Duffy has six children, five of which are pictured here:
Seriously? I know that he and his wife met as reality television stars, which may be Hollywood’s form of eugenics, but aren’t Republicans supposed to be the party of fat bankers? Boss Hog was surely a Democrat, though, and with folks like Waxman, Grijalva, Frank, Wyden, and the majority of high level Democratic women (I shudder when I think back to Clinton’s cabinet of circus freaks), maybe the Donkeys are indeed the party of ugly people. Their donors, however, are the pretty people.
Anyway, did I mention that Duffy is also a lumberjack? His ad highlights his skills with campy, cheesehead humor:
In hushed tones, an Iowa lady gossips that, “Chuck Grassley has a Twitter”:
Joe Manchin shows that West Virginia Democrats aren’t like them thar pinko coastal sissies:
Democrat Scott McAdams will come in third in the Alaska Senate race, but I found his commercial endearing, especially in its honoring the late Republican Stevens:
Vermonter Len Britton’s ad features a dastardly bastard politician, who needs to have a Miss Hannigan type there to make it complete:
Pamela Gorman lost to Benjamin Quayle (Dan’s boy) in the Republican primary for Arizona’s third congressional district seat, but I still like her way with a Tommy gun:
How did Ben win? The Hoosier stock Quayles have become a little aggressive after going West:
Democrat Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota courts conservatives and mothers while showcasing her son, Zachary:
This is an effective attack ad against “Changin’ Charlie” Crist of Florida:
I really like Virginian Democrat Tom Periello’s well executed “dirtiest jobs” style ad:
Republican Mike Weinstein is running unopposed for a state house seat in Florida. I would not wish to compete against his family’s enthusiasm, either. Here is his son’s ad for his father’s campaign:
Now, that is filial devotion.
For my favorite fake campaign ad of the season, scroll six minutes into this Daily Show segment:
Oh, if only Jimmy Donn were real, he would probably win this year.
Andrew Klavan provides an enjoyable explanation of “extremism” in this election cycle:
Several years ago, irreverent Maddox, of “The Best Page in the Universe,” created a guide on “How to become an obnoxious internet cam whore in five easy steps” (rated R). It is an oldie but goodie in internet pop culture.
One of the things that make Maddox, The Onion, South Park, and pretty much all humor funny is that they reveal to us something familiar in an unfamiliar way. In their own sometimes low brow and vulgar way, they apply the power of mind and of analysis on phenomena and thereby expose something that both surprises us and reminds us of what we already knew.
By nature, we seek to know, and we delight in coming to knowledge. In art, the mind delights in recognizing meaning in form; we appreciate painting more, for instance, when it engages our reservoir of knowledge. In mathematics, the mind delights in seeing the relations involved in number. In humor, the mind delights in discovering something latently but not consciously known. We laugh at that which is surprising and at that which is absurd, but I suspect that we laugh the hardest at being surprised by the absurd revealed in our daily life. Such humor is a comic three-fer.
So, I find Maddox’s take on cam whores hilarious because his post succeeds in all three ways. It is both surprising and absurd, and it presents the phenomenon of cam whoredom with insightful mockery. The old cliché is correct; it is funny because it is true.
“I am calamity.” Excellent!
I forgot to mention that we also take pleasure in thinking ourselves superior to fools. This is a special comedic relish for arrogant bastards, and Maddox clearly appreciates indulging in this sort of humor. I admit that it is delicious to laugh at some people; my pride convinces me that they deserve the derision.
Saturday Night Live had a funny opener this past week featuring Nasim Pedrad as Gloria Allred:
Long before S.N.L. had fun with poor Gloria, The Simpsons titled her a “shrill feminist attorney” in my favorite Simpsons episode ever: “Behind the Laughter.”
The following city council proceedings from Vancouver City, Washington present the world with a Pacific Northwest version of Monica Conyers’ insanity in Detroit (see “Motor City Blues” for Conyers’ antics). The council meeting looks like a comedy sketch with stock characters and stock lines. The head of the council is a weasely pushover to officious Jeanne Harris, who seems to have perfectly fit the casting call for a neurotic, power tripping bitch. Really, it must be seen to be believed. [The original video has been removed. In its place is a news story about the incident.]
Now, to be fair to Mrs. Harris, I must say that I listened to a radio program that aired after this event on which Mrs. Harris apologized for her behavior, stating that she had never acted that way before in all her years of serving on the council. Sometimes, there are just those days. I feel sorry for Mrs. Harris if she is a generally responsible civic leader whose public service nadir on one particular evening became a viral internet hit. It is pretty rotten to have the world learn about you from watching your worst moments. If, on the other hand, she always acts like a self important local politician, she richly deserves her humiliation. Either way, it makes for some entertaining moments.
I just watched the 10:10 climate change campaign video, “No Pressure.” It is supposed to be humorous, but I find it rather creepy. I did not know who was behind it when I first watched it, and I thought that it was a parody of some enviromentalists’ totalitarian tendencies. It is English; so maybe there is an element of self-mockery in it. (warning: graphic)
All ideologues pine for those little boxes with red buttons. It is their deepest, darkest wish. Exterminate the annoying enemy, and all will be well. Did the video creators have this observation in mind? Odd.
Regardless, it was good to see Gillian Anderson, again, even if she gets blown up. I miss Dana Scully.