UIUC College Dems

This blog is published by the UIUC College Democrats. We focus on state and local politics, but are willing to discuss pretty much anything.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Gill's volunteer appreciation night:

Last night I attended the Dr. David Gill Volunteer Appreciation night at our Champaign office. David Gill is an emergency room physician running to unseat Rep. Tim Johnson in IL-15. In true grassroots fashion we're making the most of our money and energy even though "political insiders" don't think it's a winnable race. But progressives must stand up for their beliefs in every district, we know no "red state/blue state". So that's what we're doing.

We had some pizza, ate some brownies/frozen peaches, soda, and watched Outfoxed. I unknowingly took the last slice of pizza, but hey, ya snooze you lose (my finances are such that I rarely pass up free food). I'd say at one point there were maybe 30 people there, basically 4 seniors, a middle age couple, and about 20-25 of us college kids. After the movie the room naturally divided into those below 25 and those not, except a women who deals with healthcare issues in the area approached us and began asking us questions about local politics. She was very smart and at one point commented "What do people under 25 see their role as in a future neo-conservative world?" Well I gave a lot of thought to that and basically my answer is: either you're a lawyer, engineer, in the military or you're a bitch. Boy, I hope we never reach such a world! My thoughts on Outfoxed below...

I hadn't seen Outfoxed, I prefer "objective" to propaganda documentaries, although if I remember correctly the film's directors did try to interview Fox executives (still, it's not like that's they only "pro-Fox" source you could get). But Fox played with fire, so they were just asking to get burned. The film is basically setting up Bill O'Reilly and his lesser cohorts at Fox to look stupid or maniacal, but that's what Fox has been doing to it's competition for years and all is fair in love and war. The film inspired a new understanding of people like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Ann Coulter.

Basically you have these people who wake up, read the newspaper or watch those cheesy Morning News shows, then write an opinion on whatever they find distasteful (it's not like this would even be hard...). They then go to their radio show and repeat the same opinion, then their Cable TV show and repeat the same message, and that's in between their book tours which are just a collection of those same opinions. They have a large, collectively-wealthy, niche who can comfortably support all their advertisers and buy their books! They've created this niche by basically demonizing 49% of Americans, but what I just don't get is what do these people have to be so upset by? I remember Ann Coulter writing something along the lines "I wish I was doing as well as Cindy Sheehan" financially. But if I had to guess, I'd say Ann Coulter is already more wealthy than Sheehan will ever be. No wonder her biggest concern is Islamic terrorism, she's made a career on personally provoking it! Mean while the rest of us who aren't worthy of making millions for simply repeating our formulaic opinions over and over, again, have to worry about other things in addition to Israel and Iran. You know like school loans, depleted uranium and health care.

I really liked O'Reilly's line "Hey, I believe in global warming," it struck me with the sincerity of "I'm not homophobic I read Andrew Sullivan." Conservatives attitudes toward energy alternatives to oil and nuclear power basically amounts to "why bother?" Well we have to start some time and just imagine if conservatives got half as excited about energy inventions as compared to latest way to bomb a country into a democracy. I was also struck by just how boyishly charming George W. Bush can be, I had never seen some of that footage. Like O'Reilly and his ego-maniac ilk, I too like to write my opinions into my writing, but unlike them, I enjoy being corrected where I'm mistaken and my personal rants edited by others where they seem to think their opinions are beyond reproach. It's definitely worth renting or buying.

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