Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mrs. Plumber's Just Sayin'

What is up with the "Joe Sixpack/Joe Plumber" thing?

Somewhere on high it has been determined that popular appeal equals working-class appeal, which manifests as a plumber named Joe holding a six-pack of beer. These spin doctors are like bad anthropologists or aliens from another planet attempting to describe incomprehensible life forms. Ummm, maybe working class people don't want to be seen as a solid mass of plumbers with beer. Just sayin'.

Or maybe I'm the bad anthropologist here. Who is it after all who listens so raptly to the pearls of wisdom that drip from the A.M. radio?

The candidates, both of them, all of them, have no freakin' idea what it is to work for a living. When I say work I mean snaking a toilet or pouring concrete in the dead of summer. Work that requires a beer for anesthesia afterwards. How the Republican party managed to appeal to the working class in the first place is a real mystery. Maybe because TV is the other requisite anesthesia, and media is dominated by those very, very few protecting their wealth. From whom? From the rest of us (translation: that pesky working class).

It's encouraging, I guess, that some energy is going into popular appeal. Maybe it's an indicator that our votes actually count for something after all. We can only hope. I can hardly WAIT for election day to be over already.


pmn34 said...


Surely you are not suggesting the TV media's message is that of the Republican party?

Indie said...

Six corporations - Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) control almost all U.S. media. General Electric owns NBC but that chunk is relatively minor. You do the math.

Republican party? More accurately I will just say conservative interests, which have come to be synonymous with Republican party since 1981. 'Conservative' means maintaining status quo without change. The word appeals to fearful traditionalists in the public, but it means something very, very different to those who control almost all the wealth in our country; it means holding onto wealth. It is absolutely against the interests of the ordinary working person trying to get ahead or just stay solvent.

pmn34 said...

as usual the question wasn't answered, I asked about the message not who owned the companies.

Indie said...

"As usual"?? I have an as usual?

Your question: Is the TV's message that of the Republican party? I guess the way I have to answer it is to say that the Republican Party's message is that of Fox News. Right?

Do you find it suits your ideologies better than say CNN? That's because each one has a partisan bent. News is not supposed to have a partisan bent, but we have forgotten that thanks to what the television makes "normal" for us.

As for your exact question, how about this example: coverage of the 911 attacks and the Iraqi war. The media coverage connected them exactly as the Republican party wished, as somehow related, the invasion justified, neatly leaping over the disconnect that some American's still saw: that Afghanistan was the real home of Al Qaida. That the Iraqi invasion was just Bush Junior carrying forth Dad's legacy. The media gladly overused the vague term "war on terror," meaningless hyperbole that it was. A term had-crafted by the Republican Party.

So yes. I am suggesting that.

Indie said...

"hand-crafted" I mean.