Saturday, October 30, 2010

Simulating Rallies

I watched most of the Rally to Support Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert today. It was what I expected it to be, up to a point. Here are my thoughts*, so far:

-I heart Stephen Colbert, and now I know the reason: he looks good in an Evel Knievel suit.
-If I ever vote again, which is a BIG If, it won't be for either of the two main parties in this country. They are false... which is different from simulated. Simulated is more self-aware, and, therefore, more honest.
-Kid Rock needs to eat a sandwich.
-So does Sheryl Crow.
-DC is a really pretty place. I want to go to there.
-The most dangerous kinds of Zombies don't always look dead.
-Paranormal Activity 2 is going to haunt me for a while.
-Flash Mobs** (which range from groups gathering to Zombie Walk and/or Improv are the bees, and this rally was one big, super-prepared Flash Mob.

* Some of these thoughts are not wholly related to the Rally. So. Prepare for random.
** Dancing with Michael Jackson’s UnDead Legions, lurching into open spaces at malls and parks, sometimes “eating” victims to create new legions of the walking dead, gathering on the Washington Mall to test theories of crowd control, these flash mobs affect politics in a very open and artificial way. Each moment of entry into Guinness Book of World Records for numbers adds to the pointlessness. Each camera shot documents the empty space being performed. Each performing body draws attention to the over-performance of life in the very spaces of mass consumption invaded by these moving bodies. Like the collection of games, movies, TV shows, and songs designed to honor and re-member them, these collections of zombie bodies bring audience attention to the end of life by performing it—making it a welcoming artifice, a space of human activity and motion. Such a Zombie Style, in its Affected Political way, gives the masses an unsettling power they cannot get from more historically recognizable methods of political intervention, loudly (and joyfully) defiant of traditional Western searches for an original that never was.