August 3, 2007

YKos '07: Picture Of Youth


First, the drama.

I had a mishap this morning with rendered my current machine virtually inoperable.  Thankfully, amidst my year’s worth of possessions, I was carting my slow and tired old PowerBook which — after a dash to the AppleStore for a power cord — is now keeping me on the air.

As I said, I’m not planning on blogging the convention … per se.  However, I did hear an excellent presentation this afternoon by F.C.C. Commissioner Michael Kopp.  He seems intent on a review of the Dow Jones take-over, although the overall Commission has barely blinked.  Also, I had the chance to ask George Lakoff if he ever thought about visual framing and visual rhetoric.  He said: “Yes, all the time” — although he “hasn’t done anything with it.”  (I told him we should have him over sometime.)

The one thing I would like to clarify, however, is this evening’s erroneous and insulting post by the NYT‘s, The Caucus trying to cause trouble between the conference, the Clinton campaign and even Mother Theresa!

  It states:

The candidates are coming to speak on stage to the roughly 1,500 people here [at YearlyKos] and then take questions in individual break-out sessions, which will have room for about 200 people each.

Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Barack Obama and former Senator John Edwards are among those coming. And, it seemed, they were all participating in the break-out sessions.

While they are all still coming for the main show, it turns out that Senator Clinton is not attending the break-out session. Her campaign says it told the Kos organizers a week ago that she would not be attending the individual session, but the organizers did not announce it until tonight, at the opening dinner. The announcement drew big boos from the audience.

But hey, this is a tough crowd. Later in the evening, they booed Mother Theresa.

As much as the stereotype is that the Kos tribe hates Clinton, here’s the story behind the booing.  Upon registering for the conference, each attendee was required to choose one break out session to attend.  In my minute to decide, I chose Hillary, figuring I owed it to both of us to experience her first-hand.  Upon hearing the announcement tonight that Ann Lewis would be doing Hillary’s break-out session instead, however, a couple hundred of us were left out in the cold.  With the Obama seats sold out, I could possibly be spending Saturday Gravel-ling.)

…And why blame it on the Kos organizers?  I can’t believe they would have set us up for the disappointment.  Also, I heard no mention of Mother Theresa.

So, on to the picture.

The evening’s session drew a crowd of perhaps a thousand people in a large ballroom.  The was plenty of visual press on hand (although I’ve found nothing on-line, as yet, to take a look at).  While keeping an eye on the pros, what caught my attention was how the Kossacks were also functioning like visual media, sneaking up close to the stage, grabbing a couple shots, then slipping away.  What was curious about this picture — which I only realized later — was how much it actually mirrored Howard Dean’s speech.

Using voting statistics, Dean discussed how a growing sense of activism among the youth is reshaping the political landscape.  (Apparently, voting in three consecutive elections turns most people into “permanent” voters.)  It was interesting to hear this while focused on this obviously motivated kid.  At one point, Dean drew a distinction between older and younger members of the party.  While the former are inspired by Kennedy and King, the younger set — to whom those figures are simply history — are inspired by the netroot-movement itself.  (I guess that makes the the tie-died t-shirt mostly ironic.)

Beyond the youth movement, however, the kid in the pro shooter’s shoes speaks to something else.  The bedrock feeling here is, far be it for anybody in Medialand to really show-or-tell what’s going on.  … And you can credit The Caucus for the (latest) exclamation point.

(image: August 2, 2007.  Chicago. The BAG)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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