Category Archives: USA Issue Based

This is what the Tea Party looks like

This FreedomWorks – a Tea Party organisation – video is absolutely hilarious and deserves way more views than the 755 that it has currently accrued.

Highlights include:

- The 25 second long, silent, intro sequence of their logo

- The cameraman audibly whispering “Go” after he’s started filming

- The way the douchey hosts eyes flick suddenly towards the camera after said “go” whisper

- The partially drunk PINT OF BEER that interviewer has left on his desk

- The fact that they’re interviewing former choke-slam wielding WWE superstar KANE (real name Glenn) on economics.

- The weird snake illustration emblazoned on the yellow table cloth

As @MaxDickins pointed out on twitter, the only thing missing from this film is the Undertaker turning up and tombstone pile-driving Glenn through the table.

NRA advert: Protection For Obama’s Kids, Gun-Free Zones For Ours?

The National Rifle Association released an ad this week that accuses President Barack Obama of hypocrisy for opposing the NRA’s calls for armed guards in schools whilst at the same time sending his daughters to a school that employs gun-carrying security.

It’s a very clever piece of political strategy and a highly effective TV spot that seeks to re-frame the current public debate on gun-control.

The main thrust of the discussion on the issue thus far has been roughly “should the USA amend its current gun-control legislation?”.

By highlighting the fact that Obama’s children attend Sidwell Friends School, a selective Quaker private school, which pays for armed security to protects its pupils, the NRA have changed the frame of reference for the discussion to “is Obama a hypocrite? Why do his children get armed protection and mine don’t?”

If the NRA can change the terms of the narrative to being about whether or not schools should have armed guards, it will have succeeded.

By diversifying the discussion away from the black and white issue of ‘should the USA implement more restrictive legislation around gun control’ the NRA are successfully helping the media and the electorate forget about what started the whole debate: the brutal and inhumane killings that took place in Connecticut last month.

 

Who is Joseph Kony?

KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony (a Ugandan war lord known for kidnapping children for his army) famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.

This video is getting a huge amount of hype at the moment, and rightly so.  It’s an incredibly moving and inspirational video about a grass rootscampaign that has already had huge success.

As this is an election year in the USA, there will be countless numbers of pressure groups who try to make their cause an ‘election issue’.  I doubt there will be many that top this effort.

Powerful film calls for end to discrimination against gays

This is one of the more moving political videos that I have ever seen.  The film uses existing documentary footage to make an incredibly emotive call for gay rights in the USA.

Gay marriage is back in the news agenda on account of the fact that, since 2006, South Carolina (who’s Republican primary election takes place this Saturday) law has explicitly stipulated that marriage must be between a man and a woman only.

Every single Republican candidate (that stands a chance of winning), including frontrunner Mitt Romney, is strongly in favour of ‘traditional family values’ and opposes significant elements of the gay rights agenda.  Rick Perry even ran a campaign TV ad openly criticising the right for gays to join the military.

The film has already had a huge amount of traction online.  It would be ironic if the Republican Party primary election was the event that sparked a new civil rights movement in the USA.

The Day Wikipedia Went Dark – PROTECT IP / SOPA

The media is awash with chatter about Wikipedia ‘going dark’ and the potential impact of the Protect IP / SOPA legislation making its way through the US legislature.

The above video is by Fight for the future tries to explain clearly and simply why they feel we should be worried.

It’s very nicely put together with some lovely animations which means that any possible perception of hyperbole or doomsaying is removed.

 

Super Bowl anti-abortion ad due to cause storm

This advert by Catholicvote.com was banned from last year’s Super Bowl ad break (watched by 95 millions people and something of a cultural event in the USA) yet the cause is set to raise its controversial head again this year:

The former Florida quarterback and his mother will appear in a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl next month. The Christian group Focus on the Family says the Tebows will share a personal story centering on the theme ‘Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.’ The group isn’t releasing details, but the commercial is likely to be an anti-abortion message chronicling Pam Tebow’s 1987 pregnancy. After getting sick during a mission trip to the Philippines, she ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child and gave birth to Tim.”

Heather Graham stars in healthcare spot

What a massively gratuitous use of a celebrity in this ad.  A terrible, cheap looking advert.  Celebrity advertising, political or otherwise, is only usually effective when brand values overlap to create a mutually beneficial relationship that has at least an element of consumer credibility.  I can just imagine the guy selling the script using the fact that she was in Scrubs as a justification for her casting…