Tuesday, August 17, 2004

(7 sonnets) With Regards To [what purports to be] Candidate JIM STROCK's Summation on the American Candidate message board [where it can't be Googled]

Thanks and Thoughts at Close of "Campaign"
8/16/04 / 1:03 PM

Rather than respond separately to the many kind emails and various message board entries, I would like to send a general message.

It has been a privilege to take part in American Candidate. My already strong faith in the American people has been bolstered from the experience. The willingness of busy people to put aside a few moments and assist “candidates” taking part in simulated political exercises was amazing—all the more when one considers the low participation rate in actual elections.

It has also been a tremendous honor to get to know so many people who have responded, especially via email, to the issues I have raised. This is all the more extraordinary, because those issues often did not see the light of day in the episodes themselves. I hope to remain in touch with many of you and work together in the future.

My regret about American Candidate thus far is that it has emphasized the “reality show” entertainment aspects—choosing incidents amid huge amounts of filming to fill out preconceived “characters”. Fundamentally, that sets too great a store on the preconceived notions of the producers, and too little on what actually occurs beyond the boundaries of those preconceptions. While to an extent that can be a frustration to any participant, it is highly problematic for those who represent views that the producers do not share or fully comprehend (one of the things I have witnessed in this process is how ideologues of both sides of today’s political divide not only believe with all their being that their way is the correct way—they assume in absolute good faith that those who do not share their views or frame issues in their chosen manner are ill-informed, ill-intentioned ! or unable to divine their own best interests absent intervention.).

There were numerous significant incidents in my “campaign” that in other hands could have constituted a very different — and perhaps more interesting--picture. I regret that the producers did not present them. Based on what I have heard from numerous people, many viewers would rather have seen, for example, much more from the regrettably heavily-edited debates and other public forums, in the place of much of the interpersonal situations which were also heavily edited and provided contexts intended to be entertaining, evocative, provocative, etc.

With hindsight, having the initial exercises so heavily influenced by outside interest groups was a fateful step, even more significant than their liberal locales. Having candidates who appear in some ways different than traditional candidates—but who represent existing interest groups just as real-life office-seekers do—was a massive concession to the status quo. It meant that issues are framed the same as in actual politics, just with different emphasis (PETA, e.g., gets far more attention than its actual numbers would confer) or literally in sync with ongoing campaigns (moveon.org).
Yet it is in the reframing of the issues—and the raising of issues that are not being dealt with in today’s politics—that real change will emerge. That truly could be “revolt by remote.” Perhaps it requires the artist’s imagination as well as the filmmaker’s craft.

But then, that would have been a different show. American Candidate is a first attempt, a work in progress that, like the candidates ourselves, will hopefully continue to learn and improve as it goes forward. I credit everyone taking part in this enterprise, taking the risks of pioneers breaking new ground. I look forward to! future episodes from the relaxed vantage point of viewer!

Looking beyond, I am energized to take what I have experienced and continue my longstanding work to reform the political system, from inside and out, to help create leadership which reflects and thereby better serves the unique and heroic character of the American people at this important time of testing for our generation.


{ACS.084_01} AS GOOGLE'S IPO "dutch auction" ends
{ACS.084_02} (which claimed "the process"
they'd democratize
{ACS.084_03} though some contend that Google
just pretends),
a sad surprise ...

{ACS.084_05} ... for all who've posted speech
on Showtime's board:
{ACS.084_06} YOUR WORDS DO NOT EXIST in Google-land.
{ACS.084_07} Search engine bots are banned.
All sweat you've poured
{ACS.084_08} into composing messages is canned:

{ACS.084_09} Sealed off from common discourse.
None will find

{ACS.084_10} the word's you've written there
if they should search
{ACS.084_11} by Google-Yahoo!-MSN combined.
{ACS.084_12} They're private window-dressing.
Can't besmirch ...

{ACS.084_13} ... the Showtime brand if someone ever looks
{ACS.084_14} for phrases you have uttered in its nooks.

{ACS.085_01} That's why I've pulled Jim Strock's words
from that void
{ACS.085_02} of nonexistence into Googled light.
{ACS.085_03} The strategies of silencing deployed
{ACS.085_04} by corporations is worth time to fight ...

{ACS.085_05} ... at least by making clear that they exist.
{ACS.085_06} The problem is democracy sounds good
{ACS.085_07} and shutting people up can make them pissed.
{ACS.085_08} And corporations sure much rather would ...

{ACS.085_09} ... like not to look like they won't let you speak.
{ACS.085_10} But neither do they want your speech to hurt
{ACS.085_11} their brand. One strategy, don't let it leak
{ACS.085_12} out of a sealed container -- let it spurt ...

{ACS.085_13} ... into the global conversation flow.
{ACS.085_14} The best of both worlds if you never know.

{ACS.086_01} PERHAPS IT'S FITTING that a show not watched
{ACS.086_02} has message boards the world will never see.
{ACS.086_03} Yes, reading from all other nation's scotched.
{ACS.086_04} NO ONE in Mexico or Italy ...

{ACS.086_05} ... or China or Japan could read Struck's speech
{ACS.086_06} UNTIL I moved it here. (See that white box).
{ACS.086_07} Both Google-bots and Arabs out of reach
{ACS.086_08} of what Jim said.
The Showtime network blocks ...

{ACS.086_09} ... all public conversation from escape
{ACS.086_10} if it's been spoken in the Showtime mall.
{ACS.086_11} Illusion of free speech, but no red tape:
{ACS.086_12} Just hide whatever's said behind a wall.

{ACS.086_13} I've mixed the blocking problem.
There are two.
{ACS.086_14} The Google-blocks the one
that's worse to chew.

{ACS.087_01} NOW MOVING ON to Strock's insightful lines
{ACS.087_02} (now open to the world because they're here).
{ACS.087_03} In well-wrought rhetoric, Jim Struck defines
{ACS.087_04} the AmCan case (as well as us, I fear).

{ACS.087_05} He summarizes well the errors made
{ACS.087_06} by Cutler -- who maintained the status quo
{ACS.087_07} by following the tracks already laid
{ACS.087_08} in framing up this television show.

{ACS.087_09} Jim Strock is quite effective in his move.
{ACS.087_10} Carves gracious context for his harshest plays:
{ACS.087_11} The failure of imagination groove
{ACS.087_12} is cut within a matrix of high praise.

{ACS.087_13} He's thankful for this opportunity.
{ACS.087_14} But that won't silence him. Not one degree.

{ACS.088_01} I HAVE NO QUIBBLES with what Strock reports.
{ACS.088_02} THERE IS NO BULLSHIT that needs
canc'lling out.
{ACS.088_03} No lazy journalist who oft resorts
{ACS.088_04} to repetition of a PR shout.

{ACS.088_05} Strock knows at firsthand what we do not see
{ACS.088_06} when Amcan's edited to fit the form
{ACS.088_07} of preconception-locked reality.
{ACS.088_08} He's speaking from a point inside the storm.

{ACS.088_09} AND based upon our reading he's correct.
{ACS.088_10} The writers of this blog confirm his facts
{ACS.088_11} and his opinions have our full respect
{ACS.088_12} regarding AmCan. (Not his other tracts.

{ACS.088_13} We think Republicans will burn in hell.
{ACS.088_14} But in this case, Strock has no sulphur smell.)

{ACS.089_01} DID STROCK use our reporting to construct
{ACS.089_02} his own "self-serving" statement? If he did
{ACS.089_03} it's only 'cause we have completely mucked
{ACS.089_04} through all the facts and made an honest bid ...

{ACS.089_05} ... to tell the truest tale of this we can.
{ACS.089_06} What is our motive? "Sour grapes" because
{ACS.089_07} BOKE was not chosen as a better man
{ACS.089_08} than those selected to play for applause?

{ACS.089_09} Believe me I'd have never played along
{ACS.089_10} with this game as designed. I would have yelled
{ACS.089_11} until they did it right. They did it wrong.
{ACS.089_12} The bottom line is that I am compelled ...

{ACS.089_13} ... to go against the grain,
if there's some chance
{ACS.089_14} to cut a better path with truthful rants.

{ACS.090_01} NOW, since the world's tuned out,
what can be won?
{ACS.090_02} What battle can be fought
that's worth the time?
{ACS.090_03} And isn't it too late -- the starting gun
{ACS.090_04} was fired in the wrong place.
What good will rhyme ...

{ACS.090_05} ... or any rhetoric constructed yield?
just to guard the truth.
{ACS.090_07} Iraq's a mess 'cause we let power wield
{ACS.090_08} uncountered bullshit. It's bad if our youth ...

{ACS.090_09} ... see bullshit win the day. They'll learn to let
{ACS.090_10} the feeling of the truth just slip away
{ACS.090_11} if everyone's too scared to place a bet
{ACS.090_12} that honesty just won't get in the way.

{ACS.090_13} That no one can stand up to all the crap
{ACS.090_14} when "everyone" is hanging by its strap.

# # #


I'm grateful that Jim

summarized our argument

so we don't have to. {smile}