The Deaf Claque

Because they’re worth clapping for…probably…

I Need a Brand-Aid

So. A rather depressing realization just struck me. Our political process here in the states has become, LOL like totally, dominated by brands.

Brands are simply, specifically a means of you telling me what you mean for me to see. Basically. That is to say, a brand is the personal feeling–emotional aftertaste, as Ze Frank likes to call it–that is felt when a word or phrase is heard, read, spoken, or otherwise experienced. Brands are often used to convey a complex message or feeling in very few words.

In the first paragraph above, “the brand” is responsible for the awkwardness of the presence of the valley girl expletive in the context of an otherwise…arguably intelligent…sentence.

We don’t usually think about them, but brands very much shape the decisions we make. Would you rather eat “Spew’s Potato Chunks” or “Lightly Salted Kettle Chips”? Familiarity notwithstanding, your decision is probably the latter, thanks to the concept of the brand.

I’ve been reading The Federalist Papers lately–the single most important document in American political history. The difference in methods of persuasion between then and now is unmistakable and unacceptable. To me at least. I guess.

In the The Federalist Papers, persuasion was achieved or at least attempted chiefly through a clear, content-based presentation of arguments. But now it ain’t no thang.

If you pay as much attention to politics as I, two thoughts may have crossed your minds:

1. “I pay far too much attention to politics.”


2. “These politicians talk more than an excited Valley Catholic schoolgirl but never really say anything.”

How is this tolerated you may ask? My answer to you, dear friend, would be “brands.” In the case that you don’t ask, on the other hand, my answer to you, dear friend, wouldn’t be.

Because I am authoring this essay into–this examination of–the brand, and because it is a tradition among pseudo-philosophers (and philosophers alike, I might add) I will now pull two terms out of a certain one of my human orafaces that have no real meaning. BUT! They will when I’m done with them.

The first is this: the “Explicit Brand”

The second is this: the “Implicit Brand”

By the first, I mean what we normally think of in the rare instances that we think of the meaning of brands. The feeling you get when you hear the word “warm cookie,” for example.

By the second, I mean the feeling you get when you hear a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Or a speech by Adolf Hitler. This is one of the rare instances in which those two men can stand in common example of a singular idea so I thought I might as well make use of it. Seize the moment or something. An experience can be recalled, and only in part, by the phrase “Adolf Hitler’s speech” (and explicit brand) but it is initially constructed by the experience of the speech itself–the implicit brand. (I realize “explicit” and “implicit” aren’t really the proper terms but flow is more important to me right now as I write.)

Contemporary politicians use both. Regularly. In fact I would argue that politicians almost entirely rely on brands when communicating with the general public. They give speeches, appear on telivision and radio, make visits to various locations, etc…. But, when you listen to what they are actually saying–and I’m speaking about 99% of the population of politicians in an attempt to seem legitimate by avoiding generalizations–you see that, though there is some kind of content, it is clearly not the focus of the experience.

It’s not JUST the fault of politicians though; we demand it of them.

In order to compete in the politics of a nation that has sooooo many people and is so like-totally-instant-gratification-nowly-minded you HAVE TO create a brand for yourself or you just won’t get your rep.

It’s fast food politics for a fast food nation. But as we all know, fast food isn’t good for us and if we continue eating it 24/7 we’re going to die a lot sooner than we’d like.

July 10, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. […] – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by xxDoomWarriorxx on 2008-08-03 I Need a Brand-Aid – bookmarked by 5 members originally […]

    Pingback by Bookmarks about Brand | August 25, 2008 | Reply

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