Friday, December 16, 2016


...for years I've been saying adam smith was wrong, people don’t do what's in their best interest but what the story makes them feel is in their best interest…we make decisions and choices not based on facts but on story elements…though hilary won the popular vote she should have crushed trump, but her story was lame in comparison because it was too complex and nuanced…as a poet and word man, trump's slogan was better, listen to the stresses (accents or beats or whatever term you want) in Make America Great Again…we can argue over what it means, go back to segregation or a time of stronger unions etc., but as language it’s forceful: the opening word is one syllable, so totally strong in its emphasis, and it’s an action verb, signifying positive activity: MAKE…the next word symbolizes whatever you want it to, but for most evokes a sense of home and patriotism and etc. AMERICA…then the strongest positive term of judgement one can give pretty much in our language GREAT…and then the last word ends on a stress, a beat: aGAIN…whereas her main slogan starts with a personal pronoun and a passive form of the least active verb you can come up with (any form of "to be") I’M…followed by a preposition, one of the least strong, or weakest word categories there are: WITH…and then another pronoun meaning no specific image or even person, though it’s implied that it’s hilary HER…MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN tells a story, I’M WITH HER is a simple declaration with no images resonating, all vague and weak and etc…STRONGER TOGETHER as her sub slogan only made things muddier…two slogans, what’s she trying to say?…look at how abstract and vague the second one is and how it uses two words that end on a non-stressed syllable, which in the old days was called a “feminine” ending, meaning weak(which is obviously sexist)...STRONGer toGETHer…and that logo, I've been saying the big H with the arrow looked like an Amtrak sign from the 1980s…

the repubs mastered the story telling aspects of propaganda and publicity years ago under Reagan’s man Lee Atwater and they’ve been perfecting it in the decades since, changing estate tax to death tax etc….the dems rely on facts and logic and reason, all of which convinces me, but for most folks, including many in my extended clan and circle of friends, what convinces them is a story that moves them to conclude what the story teller wants them to conclude...

1 comment:

tore claesson said...

I’m borrowing this, edited, from a master of communication, and colleague, Dave Trott.

“Oysters secrete a substance called nacre, or mother-of-pearl.
Generally, this lines the inside of their shell.
It covers everything and it’s not valuable.
Until a grain of sand or grit gets inside the shell.
Then the oyster’s defense mechanism begins to cover the tiny intrusive object with the nacre.
Until eventually we have what we know as a pearl.
But it couldn’t have happened without that piece of grit.
Without the piece of grit, the nacre would have nothing to wrap itself around.
That’s exactly how the best communication (advertising) works.
The piece of grit is the rational mind: the reason, the idea.
The nacre is the emotional mind: the style, the execution.
We need both, and we need them to work just like that.
The piece of grit on its own is nothing – it’s dull and boring.
The nacre on its own has no focus or meaning – it’s just wallpaper.
Reason is what we have to deliver: the grit.
Emotion is how we deliver it: the nacre.
Many people seem to believe it’s a mutually exclusive choice between rational and emotional.
They’ve heard that emotion works, so they dump anything to do with the rational.
They assume the grit and the pearl are mutually exclusive.
But if you ignore the piece of grit, you have nothing to wrap your mother-of-pearl around.
But if you want a pearl, you must have something rational, however tiny, to focus on.
To wrap the mother-of-pearl around.
But remember: no grit, no pearl.
My comment: Think whatever you want about Trump’s campaign, whether he knew what he was doing, whether he was a better communicator, and used the electorate system smarter, or whether he was just lucky; he appealed both emotionally and rationally to a whole lot of people in the places that counted to win the election. Hilary failed miserably on the emotional side. Her tagline was about her, not the us. It said nothing, other than perhaps some vague hint at voting for a woman.