When it comes to propaganda, give me humor every time (if it’s done well)

A few days ago I had an e-mail exchange with Kathryn about that anti-bullying video that Cindy McCain did, which caused Kathryn to think Cindy was GREAT.

But I just found it stilted and stiff and painful to watch. Which I guess was the intent. But that painfully earnest message couched in politically correct clichés really made me not want to hear any more about the subject, however serious it is.

But then, a couple of days later, a colleague — Lora Prill at ADCO — brought to my attention the companion videos above and below.

Now — without getting into the merits of the issue either way — to me, THIS is the way to make the point. Whether I go away agreeing or disagreeing with the political point, at least I go away with a smile. And I’m therefore more predisposed to listen to these folks in the future.

Way to communicate there, guys.

8 thoughts on “When it comes to propaganda, give me humor every time (if it’s done well)

  1. Lauren

    Wow, I just watched those videos on your recommendation.

    Can I have the last four-and-a-half minutes of my life back now?

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    Those have been out for quite some time. I love ’em.

    Alec Baldwin is our national treasure, a la Stephen Fry!

  3. Phillip

    I understand what you mean about the effectiveness of different styles…and certainly the power of using humor, or a humorous touch, to make a point. For me the problem about the other video with Cindy McCain is not so much the earnestness (it IS a pretty serious subject at heart, after all), but the style, which we’ve now seen a lot of, ex., cramming in a lot of celebrities or semi-celebrities into a PSA and in doing so, trying to “hit” certain demographic targets or demonstrate the breadth of the cause (guy from America’ Funniest Videos, bunch of young people who I have no idea who they are, etc.)

    But I want to challenge you on that casual tossing forth of that overused (and usually wrongly, or meaninglessly so) phrase “politically correct.” What does that really mean, after all?

    If the point of the original video is to oppose some status quo that exists in the law, is maintained by lawmakers, within the “polity” as it were, then wouldn’t their point of view be politically INCORRECT, actually?

  4. Shannon aka Scout

    Oh you must watch Modern Family. It is the funniest show on television. Really, it is. (And then you’d know who the gay guy was, also).

  5. Brad

    Phillip, since they were speaking in clichés, I thought it made sense to used a cliché to describe it.

    I almost never use that term, because I don’t think it’s much more meaningful than “liberal” or “conservative” as they are used today.

    But what it’s trying to describe IS a real thing. It attempts to describe certain tiresome habits of thought and expression.

    I remember back in the 60s, my uncle (who is only six years older than I) and some of his college friends ironically used the term “ideologically correct” to describe things that they liked — whether there was anything ideological about it or not. It was generally said with a bit of a smirk. I liked that term better than PC, but then it was meant to express irony, and the thing we describe with the overused term “political correctness” is devoid of that.

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