Posts Tagged ‘Obama presidency’

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MEME WARRIORS, CULTURAL CREATIVES and GENERATION O

January 14, 2009

mail Ashley Sanders • Operation Itch Contributing Writer header

“A real revolution turns things upside down; it gets at the root of a problem or radically includes or excludes a new or old idea. What we got from Obama was not a revolution, as even a cursory study of his own centrist, American-myth-heavy rhetoric would attest. What we got from Obama was just what Adbusters (glowingly) said we got: a President who used technology to speak to us in a language we understood.”

It’s inauguration time, and you know what that means: last chance to board the bandwagon headed toward happy delusion. This time around, the Dems have even saved some space for erstwhile opponents—people who can usually keep a cool head amidst all the media hoopla. From the looks of it, Adbusters saw fit to drop their bionic anti-advertising stare and reserve a seat right next to the New York Times and a bevy of other “progressive” magazines that wanted to celebrate the reality they created.

Don’t believe me? Here is the prompt Adbusters sent out to all their meme warriors in holy expectation of the upcoming coronation (an event that, beyond being as transcendentally historical as we’ve been promised, will also usher in a whole new generation):

Meme warriors, cultural creatives and Generation O:

The outpouring of euphoria around the globe following Barack Obama’s victory has raised expectations. Like the president-elect, we (and you) have been calling for change for eight long years. On November 4th we got it, a genuine, bloodless revolution. The question now is: will it amount to anything?
Obama’s campaign benefited hugely from enlisting young voters in the cause. Obama told them that the post-baby boomer era had begun. He challenged their cynicism and spoke to them through their own media: through Facebook, through Twitter. They overwhelmingly gave him their support at the polls. And they won. They won big. Maybe now Generation O will finally drop the hipster pose and become a force to change the world.
For the next issue of Adbusters we want your thoughts and opinions on whether you think Generation O has revolutionary potential.


So I responded. (What pissed-off, media-abused leftist wouldn’t?) Here are my thoughts on the so-called Generation O.

There was something a little less than comforting about the prompt Adbusters used to solicit our thoughts on the revolutionary potential of Generation O. In their solicitation, Adbusters gave a series of givens before asking their readers to answer for the undecided: It was incontrovertible that Obama had contributed to an “outpouring of euphoria across the globe,” that he had been extending the mission of Adbusters by “calling for change,” and that his election amounted to a “genuine, bloodless revolution.” All that was decided. Agreed upon. Now the only question left was whether Generation O would “drop its hipster pose” long enough to carry the revolution forward.

I think Adbusters’ givens beg far more questions than their actual question does, and while the actual question is not whether Obama will bring change, but whether the younger generation will carry out that change, I believe the attitudes Adbusters revealed in their intro to the question are the same attitudes that will keep Generation O from possessing or exercising true revolutionary potential.
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