at be+cause, we think a lot about culture as a powerful vehicle and arena for change. It is also something we like to create--from producing the Tibetan Freedom Concerts to starting a clothing line to assisting other culture makers in their efforts to create positive social change. Being part of a lab (our parent company is C3 Lab), we like to innovate and experiment. This blog is where you can see it happen.
Cultural indicators in the Presidential Campaign?
UPDATE: In the continuing blurring of culture and politics this election cycle, will.i.am's video and song "Yes We Can" is currently in the running for MTV's Best Video award.
UPDATE 2: As reported on Future Majority, McCain's "celebrity" attack on Obama deployed web ads, one of which featured a clip from Wayne's World. Mike Myers, Wayne in Wayne's World, demanded that the McCain campaign remove the video from YouTube or face legal action for copyright infringement.
• Songs written about each candidate
o McCain 2
o Obama 28
• Designs on Café Press (a user-designed online merchandise company)
o McCain 17,50
o Obama 53,500
• Appearances since 2000 on cultural TV shows
o The Daily Show• McCain: 12
• Obama: 3
o Colbert Report• McCain: 0
• Obama: 1
o Letterman• McCain: 8
• Obama: 4
o Saturday Night Live• McCain: 2
• Obama: 1
• Movie appearances
A deeper look at these indicators might be useful in modeling voter behavior. If not, it definitely illustrates the connection between culture and politics. Indeed, politicians are quoting musicians , musicians are creating songs about politicians, and sometimes it is unclear who is the bigger draw.
Sources: IMDB Movie + TV Database, Cafe Press product search, Air Traffic Control Research.
there was a study done that showed that republicans, for the most part, report being happier than do liberals. we can all articulate our own snarky justifications for this, but what's interesting is that one of the key variables in the study was what they called "Rationalization of Inequality". if you can convince yourself that inequality is the product of some rational process that makes sense, chances are you're going to find it easier to feel happy.
the second was an old david brooks op-ed on how the Left's attacks on the wealthy tend to be interpreted by mid & low income Republicans as an attack on their own American Dream.
i don't know how this adds up, but i'm bored and throwing things around . . .
check out his analysis of egoism vs. altruism from harpers:
There is a great organization (or at least an organization who's frame is one that really appeals to me) called the Opportunity Agenda. We blogged about it here. America is an aspirational culture., so I can see David Brook's point, although I will have to track down the article to read more about it.
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