October 30, 2004

Digital Media 2004

by Nick Montfort · , 2:24 am

I guess it shouldn’t amaze me, but it does. The Bush campaign’s use of digital media and the “Internets” seems to have so far involved digitally cloning supporters, sending emails to coordinate the suppression of the minority vote, and of course blocking the world from reading its website. They also have a new game, as I’ve mentioned on here already, which is accessible globally thanks to Water Cooler Games.

Meanwhile, those who favor Kerry (or just want any president who hasn’t already led the country into a war based on a lie) seem to be using digital media, and urging others to use it, in quite different ways. Michael Moore is recruiting a “video army” to document attempts at election fraud. The previously apolitical Eminem offers for free download a video that is not to be missed, “Mosh,” calling for an army as well. (Daily Kos has a great writeup on the politics of “Mosh” and its relationship to games like Grand Theft Auto and movies like Fight Club, by the way.) It heartens me that some people are rising to the occasion of the election, even as others attempt to keep 23,000 citizens from voting and (in my own city) try to move the polling places of black voters out from under them:

Race played a role in at least five of the requests, according to Matt Robb, the Republican leader of the 48th ward in South Philadelphia. Robb said he allowed his name to be used because those polling places are in neighborhoods he doesn’t wish to visit.

“It’s predominantly, 100 percent black,” said Robb, who is white. “I’m just not going in there to get a knife in my back.”

It’s a crazy world when Michael Moore and Eminem are what I need to restore my faith in humanity, but I’m grateful for whoever provides just enough spark that we need to proceed.