how do you say “schlep” in wasp?

Today one of The Times‘ election blogs has an interesting post on viral design for the Obama campaign. Shepard Fairey’s designs have emerged as some of the most recognizable images of the two-year-long campaign, providing the visual style for a small industry of copycat productions. The culture gap between the two campaigns – in both meat- and cyber-space – is a result of the pro-Obama movement’s natural tap into the reservoir of decentralized production. When the most lively (i.e. youthful) pro-McCain online space is a production of the candidate’s own daughter, the right can hardly expect to keep up with the enthusiasm of a savvy, left-leaning generation’s first authentic political identification.

Not to take any credit from the geniuses behind the campaign’s sensational success, but the most memorable bits of campaign material came from fans, not staffers. Obama has certainly had to fight many kinds of cross-cutting prejudice in this election and the campaign has worked extraordinarily hard to familiarize the nation with That One. Last weekend, I saw a particularly jarring piece of campaign lit (that of course was produced by a state party and is not endorsed by any candidate or candidate’s committee) making this argument.

I know that this story can’t be told enough both for the cause of electoral success and to help guarantee Obama’s safety beyond the election, but I am quite glad that I didn’t have to stick that in Nashua’s doorjams. It’s straightlaced message is as easily distinguished as the lines in that white grandmother’s face. It’s definitely the northern New England version of Sarah Silverman’s Great Schlep PSA. I might be generationally biased, but I think the viral video is better.


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