Monday, June 12, 2006

Laptop Oratory

I just returned from seeing the movie An Inconvenient Truth and haven't yet decided if former Vice President Al Gore was the star of the film or his silver MacIntosh laptop. Compared to the clunky bullet points and repetitive sentence fragments of the administration's PowerPoint rhetoric, it was a remarkably fluent presentation that incorporated digital presentation technology. The audience also got to see Gore modeling idealized online behavior in the mode of detective work, as he incorporated new research and revelations about political influence, such as the editing of documents about climate science by former energy lobbyist Philip Cooney. During the course of the documentary Gore read the online New York Times, surfed Google Earth, and even moved the building blocks of his digital slideshow around. Like activist subversives, The Yes Men, Gore integrated 3-D animation in with his graphs and charts, although he deployed the device both for humor (a cooking frog) and for pathos (a drowning polar bear). As the credits rolled with its animated graphics, the audience was pointed toward the project's website for more:



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