I know I’m not the first to write about this, but it seems that the proliferation of Obama cult-worship on the internet has reached unprecedented proportions in recent weeks, and nowhere is this more evident than on youtube and related video websites. For that reason, I’m writing this diary to serve (I hope) as a clearing house for the creepiest Obamamessiah propaganda online.
My first nominee is a video that appeared earlier this week. It features a kids choir, dressed in identical blue Obama shirts, singing of their love for the Dear Leader … err, I mean Senator Obama. The first words, sung by a brown-haired, glassy-eyed young pixie, are all you really need to know about this video:
We’re gonna spread happiness. We’re gonna spread freedom.Obama’s gonna change it. Obama’s gonna lead ’em.We’re gonna change it, and rearrange it. We’re gonna change the world.
But as creepy as the Obama kids video is, does it really have anything on American Prayer, the music video produced a couple months ago by (ironically enough) English musician and record producer David Stewart? The video features the rather jarring site of Jason Alexander (0:55), Whoopi Goldberg (1:01), and Forrest Whittaker (1:05) clasping their hands in prayerful supplication while singing vapid lyrics with various images associated with Senator Obama and his campaign floating on and off screen. The whole thing is gauzy, fuzzy, and deeply emotive. One typical stanza reads as follows:
And these are the handsWhat are we gonna build with them?This is the church you can’t seeGive me your tired, your poor and huddled massesYou know they’re yearning to breathe freeThis is my American Prayer.
Here is the video:
The thinking person may wonder, what exactly does any of this mean? But that’s the rub: there is no meaning. The American Prayer video represents what may become the next evolution in political propaganda. Ordinary propaganda encourages the audience to accept a conclusion (e.g., “Trust the Dear Leader,” or “The Jews are to blame,” or “The war was a mistake.”) without necessarily examining the argument that yields said conclusion. But with American Prayer there is no conclusion, and no argument either. It encourages the audience to embrace an aspiration for the future, which is conveniently embodied in the person of an individual, in this case Senator Obama. The message of the video is not, “Senator Obama can bring hope and change,” but rather “Obama is hope and change.
Do you think that’s an overstatement? We’ll, here’s what David Stewart, quoted in Huffington Post, had to say about his music video: “Regardless of what happens in November, Senator Obama has reminded millions of people that they have the power to connect to bigger ideas. He is, in essence, the embodiment of a new anthem for change.”
This sort of propaganda is dangerous, not because it is wrong, but because on its own terms it can never be wrong. It doesn’t ask you to accept Senator Obama’s policies, his political ideology, or even his sappy, post-partisan rhetoric. It asks you to accept him. If you do, you get hope and change. If you don’t, then you are against hope and change.