October 9th, 2008

Apollo 4 on column of fire

Verbal corruption

The proliferation of the advertising term ‘brand’ in discussions of public policy (politics) is extremely corrupting. Anyone using it should wash out their mouth with soap. But it also has me confused: if John McCain lost his ‘brand’, doesn’t that mean he became and is now a maverick?
Apollo 4 on column of fire


I’m looking at the Dow Jones Industrials and it is down about 680 points. But I think I know a way to start it rising again: impeachment. Impeach George W. Bush, watch the Dow rise. I’m not talking ouster, just impeachment. Give people reason to think the government might actually be functioning.

Ain’t gonna happen, but that’s because Nancy Pelosi is corrupt, among other reasons of lesser importance.

Update: I might specify that my suggestion is made in jest. I actually don’t know what the effect would be if Nancy Pelosi encountered an ‘angel’ who persuaded her to change her ways and try to make up for lost time.
Apollo 4 on column of fire

John McCain has not lost his "brand"

The Dow finished down 678.91 points. So much for political ‘marketing’.

I’m not complaining about having a logo, having a type system, etc. That’s all fine; those are matters one would attend to even in such matters as the design of an excellent book. Obama has used distinctive typefaces, for instance (even at least one designed by Eric Gill, which seems like a set-up that the guilt-by-association-happy Republicans have failed to fall for), while McCain has used crap. That’s great, it’s a sign of both pride in work and respect for the reader. But, despite appearances, which seem natural only because we are already corrupted (thus the Dow finished down 678.91 points, we are an endemic surveillance state where the NSA listens to you telling your family you love them and miss them (and transcribes the conversations), and we still are in Iraq for no reason), running for office is not marketing.

John McCain did not lose his ‘brand’. That is to say, he hasn’t lost his lies. What he has lost is respect. He had respect, and now he doesn’t. Poof! It’s gone. He has lost respect and he has lost affection. People liked him, now they don’t. Poof! It’s gone.

This term, ‘brand’, it comes from marketing and advertising, and it has infiltrated our political language, so that we more all the time read in the newspaper not that a politician has lost respect, nor that he has become hated, but rather that he has lost his ‘brand’—which is to say, in a case like that, that the politician has screwed up his sales pitch. But really is that so? Has John McCain screwed up his sales pitch? Who is going to look me in the eye and tell me that what John McCain has done is screwed up a marketing campaign? How disrespectful to the voters. What implicit approval of the same methods as have, likely enough, given us a plague of anorexia nervosa and who knows what else. What triviality of rhetoric.

If you feel like saying John McCain has lost his ‘brand’, go wash your mouth out, or instead tell us that what Madison and Hamilton and Jay were doing was to establish the federalist ‘brand’. It makes my blood boil to think it.