« PREVIOUS ENTRY
You type, it talks
NEXT ENTRY »
Porn in your car
Ah, interactive democracy. It appears that the Republicans have become a bit jealous of the remarkable things that Democrats like Howard Dean have been doing with Internet technology. So the Bush/Cheney folks decided to set up their own super-fun interactive tool — a slogan generator. You can input a few words of text and it will immediately produce a poster with your slogan floating above the Bush/Cheney logo. It’ll even give you a PDF of it, suitable for printing and displaying in your window.
Here’s where it gets fun. The political blog Wonkette discovered this little tool, and decided to see if the Bush/Cheney folks had banned any words. She quickly found out that it won’t let you make a poster with the words “penis” or “Prince of Darkness”. It also won’t let you make one reading “Not Hitler!”, or “910 Days Since Last Terrorist Attack”.
However, it does accept “homophobe” and “racist” — as Wonkette readers discovered as they raced over to check it out. They also found that it’ll accept “queer,” “faggot,” “fascism”, “evil,” “lying,” “scum,” and “sodomy”.
Interestingly, if you’ve got a popup blocker, you’ll have to disable to get the generator to work.
UPDATE: Well, it seems as if the fun was a little too much for the Bush/Cheney team. As Chris — who used the Sloganator to produce a totally hilarious poster himself — pointed out, they’ve already removed the field where you enter your own slogan; you can only use their prepackaged slogans now.
Of course, a cynic might find this whole incident deeply metaphorically appropriate. Bush and Cheney, it seems, are very committed to interactive democracy and having you involved in the polity … so long as you say precisely what they want you to. It’s interesting that Dean, who ran a campaign so insanely open that anyone could organize anything without approval from head office, never got culturebombed this way. Of course, Dean also failed miserably in his bid for public office, while Bush and Cheney clearly know their way to the Oval Office. So perhaps that’s the real lesson here: The main path to electoral success is to get the voting public to shut the hell up.
(Thanks to Misha for this one!)
I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).
El Rey Del Art
Frankly, I'd Rather Not
The Shifted Librarian
Howard Sherman's Nuggets
Donut Rock City
The Antic Muse
Techdirt Wireless News
Corante Gaming blog
Corante Social Software blog
Arts and Letters Daily
Alan Reiter's Wireless Data Weblog
Viral Marketing Blog