|[a] Etch tu, Brutus? RF|
|[b] Detour RF|
If you think that I have anything political to say about this, think again. This blog focuses on society, culture, history, and the intersection between what people often see as irreconcilable opposites (like east and west, round and square, left and right...). Oops.
The Etch-a-Sketch is an oddly fascinating little toy. The political firestorm that has surrounded it since Wednesday morning has nothing to do with outsourcing (the little plastic sketchpad has been made in China since 2000) or economics or even union jobs in Ohio.
It is all about just doing it over.
And culture and personality. And multimedia and, well, politics. A particular Republican candidate's Rorschach moment has appeared in the form of the Etch-a-Sketch. What has fascinated me today is the way that almost everyone who has heard of the Romney campaign's etcha moment has reacted strongly. These strong reactions range from "liar" to "Kinsley gaffe" to "these sound bites are what's wrong with politics." What fewer people have pointed out, however, is that the moment truly resonated beyond almost anything since Joe the Plumber. So far.
|[c] Moment(ous) RF|
|[d] Canvas RF|
That sounds to me a whole lot like politics.
Maybe we would do well to think more generally about the relationship between statements etched into this moment or that...and longevity. The relative permanence of a particular political candidate's positions will be hashed, rehashed, and hash-tagged for days, but most words do not long linger. Readers of Round and Square, while surely holding political positions of their own (and no doubt having great fun or dismay with today's particulars), owe it to themselves to think about politics, sketches, statements, and posterity. Politics has always been, and always will be, about do-overs.
So let's think about the culture of politics just as much as we argue over the politics of culture. There is fertile ground to be tilled, here, and I venture to say that a great deal of it is all about just doing it over (and over).
|[e] Do overs (1932, 1936, 1940, 1944) RF|