Sunday, October 26, 2008

Welcome to the Hypothetical Future

A thoroughly amusing and flashy take on the "Dewey defeats Truman" photo irresistibly taken from Steven Stark's Boston Phoenix article

Searching through this week’s Romanesko archives, I came across not one but three inventive articles which all take a considerable leap to focus on events that decidedly did not happen, or haven’t happened yet. On, a Seattle-based Northwest news site, self-professed Republican John Carlson spins a fairy tale where Palin is actually a Democrat, and as a result she receives glowing raves from the supposedly liberal media. His bias is devastatingly obvious, and as a result his mocking tone shows through and damages the effectiveness of his hypothetical, and by the time you reach the bottom of the page and he declares that he’s “long active in Republican politics,” it’s hardly a shocker. More interestingly, Steven Stark of the Boston Phoenix pens a piece about McCain’s shocking victory, published November 5th, 2008. Stark imagines that “the tsunami of youth support” for Obama never actually goes to the polls, but rather “the over-65 crowd who turned out as if the election were a five-o’clock dinner special.” Stark’s imagination runs wild, and he receives an angry comment from a poster known as theliberalcrab, who purports to have written a more interesting version of the November 5th story on his blog where Obama is the victor, and even revisits his own post to applaud his foresight (he modestly titles his post “Wow – Am I A Seer?”). My question is, is any of this relevant? Does anyone read this and find it moving or influential, or is it all just fluff? Sure, that’s a memorable and amusing graphic above, but does it have any effect on those reading these publications, or any others?

1 comment:

M. Dery said...

"My question is, is any of this relevant? Does anyone read this and find it moving or influential, or is it all just fluff?"

Great question. A real balloon-burster. These things do have a tastes-great, less-filling candy floss insubstantiality---hell, downright pointlessness---to them. The authors imagine themselves to be drily witty, obviously, but these labored exercises in Karnak the Magnificent crystal ball-gazing really feel forced. Time to add a reported component to your posts. Why not shoot the authors an e-mail and ask them the questions you pose here?