Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Jingle all the way

Peak oil
The White House's dire warning on climate change was overshadowed by Monica Lewinsky's first interview in 10 years, telling us that she and Bill were both consenting adults and knew what they were getting into, as if it should matter at this point.  However, the Republicans would rather dredge up the "soiled dress" than address an energy bill, which was shelved long ago for lack of any bipartisan support.

You might remember how important it was to the GOP back in 2008 and again in 2012 to open up federal land for more oil drilling, as it seemed we weren't fully tapping our resources.  Since then we have seen a great increase in fracking, deep-water drilling, and other controversial methods of oil and gas extraction to meet energy needs.  No matter how hard scientists and engineers try, conservatives just can't seem to wrap their minds around wind and solar energy, despite numerous state initiatives which have yielded positive results.  The GOP policy remains Drill, Baby, Drill!  Here's Sarah telling us about energy security.

At some point you would think conservatives would wake up to the reality that oil is not the answer to all our energy needs.  It seems they still view the world in these 1964 terms, when the reality today is a diversity of energy sources suited for different situations to reduce our dependency on oil.  We have the technology, we just seem unwilling to put it to use.  Maybe we need a new Six Million Dollar Man to make the pitch.

It seems that only on such simplistic terms can one address these issues.  Citing figures and presenting charts has little impact, unless you use a voodoo stick.  Democrats need to come up with catchy ways to get their message across, as Republicans and independent businessmen have done.  The Dems need to tap into the great reservoir of American television and pull out some catchy tunes from the past, like My Mother the Car, and adapt it to electric cars.  Instead of a 1928 Porter, one can use this 19th century Lohner-Porsche, which was the first manufactured electric car, to illustrate that this technology is nothing new and just as easy to relate to.  Here's a sleeker American electric car from the 1920's, which makes that 1928 Porter look like a car your grandmother would have driven.

Yep, one has to think in terms of jingles these days, which reduce complicated ideas down to tunes or phrases that linger in the head, often defying attempts to shake them out.  Jingle advertisement was the staple of American television for decades, and still works today, judging by all the recurring memes one sees on facebook. Democrats need to come up with appealing jingles with links to broader messages that might draw interested parties.

If the White House is going to issue a dire warning, set it to the music of Barry McGuire's Eve of Destruction.  You are going to be accused of demagoguery anyway, so give Americans something they can relate to, not some new report no one will ever read.

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