Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sorta political: O, me o, my o, look at Miss Ohio

So, I'm over reading Kausfiles and he has singled out this snippet from a guy named Richard Rushfield as a possible explainer for current politics:
[I]t seems very clear that there is no such thing as positive attention in the Twitter age; that anyone who sticks there head up is going to just have it picked apart by 100,000,000 gnats. The internet has largely become a roving lynch mob and you can’t stop a lynch mod with comedy GIF’s.
And, as I'm reading this the DailyCaller site which hosts Kaus has these teasers for trashy infotainment and one of them says, "Miss Ohio's shocking comment". Well, who can resist that sort of thing? Maybe you can. I didn't.

Anyway, Miss Ohio, her name is Audrey Bolte, was asked about movies and TV shows that show women in a positive light.
I think there are some movies that depict women in a very positive role, and then some movies that put them in a little bit more of negative role. But by the end of the movie, they show that woman power that I know we all have.
Who did she have in mind? Why Julia Roberts in her role as Pretty Woman.
Such as the movie Pretty Woman. We had a wonderful, beautiful woman, Julia Roberts, and she was having a rough time, but, you know what? She came out on top and she didn’t let anybody stand in her path.
Bolte ended up second runner up and the media are suggesting that she lost because of that answer.

I know, who cares? Except this is how the media distort reality and shape people's opinions. She was one of the top five at Miss USA when she answered that question and she ended up third.

Is it such a bad or a "shocking" answer? I mean, we're talking a beauty pageant!

For starters consider the movie. It sold women all over the word—Pretty Woman is a chick flick with a vengeance—on this fairytale of a hooker who meets a guy and they sort of each convert one another. He can buy her anything and everything he wants. He can also buy her. But, if you buy the fairytale, her sensitivity to art and the beauties of life convinces him that she is something special and they live happily ever after.

But here is the thing: It made a half a billion dollars!

Yeah, it's a feelgood fantasy but it's a feelgood fantasy a lot of women love. And it's not exactly unlike the Miss USA pageant in that regard is it? And guess what, the audience for Miss USA is overwhelmingly women.

Unrealistic? You bet but how much realistic entertainment is there out there?

And we all know this. People in movies and on TV are always better looking than their real life equivalents and they get really cool apartments and they seem to spend very little time actually working. But we make allowances for that.

As Rushfield notes, and lots of others have before him, Obama's ratings tend to go down when he gets more media attention and then rise when he is out of the spotlight.  Rushfield thinks he detects a similar problem for entertainment media:
What might perhaps be true in politics at this point absolutely holds true in entertainment, that any attention you receive only serves to inspire an even greater backlash. (e.g. Girls).  I dont think its possible any more to have hype without inspiring a greater reaction.
Hmmm? How many examples does Rushfield give us? In case you don't want to go look it up for yourself, two and half. He gives us Obama and he gives us Girls and I think he means to suggest that something similar is happening with Romney but he doesn't actually provide any evidence of it.

Anyway, it seems to me that the truth here is Obama is an unrealistic fantasy just like Pretty Woman and Miss USA. He only works for us if we aren't exposed to very much of him.  Girls too. And they both are also the most beloved unrealistic fantasies of a certain class of people.

But isn't this just a rather ordinary thing? That if you hype something up, it becomes easy for others to cut it down? Especially if that thing, like Girls for example, kinda, what's the technical word, sucks? I wouldn't say Obama exactly sucks but he has been a disappointment. In retrospect, we can now see that maybe it wasn't such a good idea to get swept up in the feelgood fantasy four years ago.

I suspect another thing here is that our betters in media and politics are disappointed that a lot of us aren't thinking, watching and voting the way they want us to anymore. When poor Miss Ohio gives the wrong answer, and the problem with her answer was political, they can punish her for it. But with diversified media, they can't stop us from liking what we want. They used to have a lot more power to do that than they do now.

And, just 'cause

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