Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Swiftboating and Showboating

These two YouTube videos highlighted by Siva Vaidhyanathan have fundamentally different rhetorical appeals, although both are designed to put the judgment of Republican candidate John McCain into question.

The first video borrows from many of the conventions deployed by the now-defunct Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which presented what were supposed to be fellow veterans' critical points of view on the Vietnam heroism of John Kerry for a well-funded Republican PAC.

The second, like many cooking videos on YouTube, alludes to a DIY aesthetic but one in which "McCake" can be made with soy sauce, Listerine, and Scotch. It also uses an aesthetic that replicates the appearance of nineteen-fifties educational films.

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