English 518 Course Blog

April 13, 2007

“Photoshop for Democracy”

Filed under: Uncategorized — spiders8 @ 3:02 am

Living in a time when information moves so fast like a sea surrounding us, facing the challenges of getting students to stay focused, and witnessing the decline of those institutions in our society that were once viewed as “the pillars of our society,” our young voters show the lack of interest in excerising their democratic right to vote.  Some people just have had enough of the lack of political ethics where distrust is prevalent like a cancer in the democratic arenas of leadership.  The language of our candidates seem foreign to our young voters when they see candidates saying one thing and actually doing the opposite of what they heard them say.  The practice of wearing a suit and a tie for example looks good and positive, but it does not change the individual inside of the suit for a male candidate nor a two piece dress suit for the female candidate.  Despite the attire of the candidates, their language spoken in campaign speeches is also foreign to the young voters.  Our young people must be able to connect to the candidates and know just who they really are, and what they represent.  Too bad, that some of the candidates often suffer from SMD, Selective Memory Disorder, after they are elected to an office of leadership.  Our own history texts and the media constantly reminds us all of that.  No American stakeholders young or old likes to relive history repeating itself over and over.  Perhaps a good way to actively engage our young voters to become educated, register and vote could be through the use of parody.  Pop culture is a very real part of our society.  “Many young people still complain that most political leaders don’t speak, act, or dress like anyone they encounter in the world around them” according to Henry Jenkins.   Parody utilized can be both entertaining, connecting and motivate our young people to get politically active and exercise their democratic right to vote for the most qualified candidates. 

I like the statement made by Henry Jenkins.  ” As we move into the twenty-first century, American politics may be fusing with contemorary forms of popular culture to create a new image of what democracy looks and sounds like.  I am not sure we have found that voice yet.  But if we look closely, we can see groups trying to re-invent political rhetoric.  Young people’s votes are being rocked, hip hopped, and smackdowned.”

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