On Message Saturation

A quick story. When I was an undergrad a number of years ago, along with the GI Bill from active duty and the National Guard check I got for monthly drill, I also paid my way through school by being a doorman at a bar and working at a clothing store. This was around 1993-1994, and we sold a variety of stuff- Polo, Quiksilver, Birkenstocks, Mossimo, and one of the big sellers at the time was Tommy Hilfiger. Tommy was huge in a college town, even though the shirts were really expensive for the time – 42 bucks or more for a short sleeve collared Tommy. But they were the “in” clothing here in WV, and people paid top dollar for it for a while (and it was probably “in” here in WV years after it was popular in metropolitan areas).

After a while, sales of Hilfiger slowly tapered off, until the only people interested in the brand were interested in the cheaper t-shirts. The bigger ticket items didn’t sell anymore, and it was a different, more downscale clientele that were interested in the Hilfiger. By around 1996-1997, the bottom had fallen out, and the only people interested in Hilfiger anymore looked like the folks from this video that Sullivan has linked to:

It is safe to say that when these folks walk into your store looking for a Hell-fag-er t-shirt, the brand saturation of the American public is complete.

The same goes for the nonsense about Barack “Hussein” Obama at recent McCain/Palin campaign events. While it is certainly annoying, and it most definitely is not an accident, I have a hard time imagining that this nonsense will really have any impact on the race. After five million chain emails from right wing dads across the nation, thousands of blog posts by the folks like NoQuarter and the Free Republic and elsewhere, daily announcements on talk radio, everyone on the planet is pretty much aware that Obama’s middle name is Hussein. Those people who are not going to vote for Obama because his middle name is Hussein are already dressed head to toe in Tommy Hilfiger, if you will, and the market has bottomed out.

Personally, I am hoping that someone introducing McCain accidentally sees Jesse Taylor’s fake birth certificate and will call him “B-Rock the Islamic Shock Hussein SuperAllah Obama.” That would be funny. To me, the accusations of terrorist coddling and hating on the troops are a different matter, but at this point, the Hussein nonsense is accomplishing nothing but pushing the middle more towards Obama, firing up the Democratic base, and making it easier to pick out the culprits for de-licing, a hot meal, and re-education once the Obamanation Unitarian Jihad is complete on November 4th (I kid).

*** Update ***

Best comment about the above video:

Ah, the quiet dignity of small town Americans.

Heh.






70 replies
  1. 1

    You kid but given their level of teh stoopid I would push for the re-education and the de-lousing might not be a bad idea either.

  2. 2
    Krista says:

    Well, the only people in America who AREN’T aware that Obama’s middle name is Hussein are probably those who have absolutely no interest whatsoever in politics or current affairs.

    What do you think the voting turnout is amongst that group?

  3. 3
    demkat620 says:

    Delousing? Is that one of those 50 dollar an hour jobs John McCain was offering that Americans just won’t do?

    I can see his point.

  4. 4
    SamFromUtah says:

    Interesting concept, John. Maybe we should call ideas that have reached saturation like that "Hilfigers".

    I wonder who the last people to pick up the "Hussein" Hilfiger would be? Those salt-of-the-earth types in the vid are probably earlier in the distribution chain of right-wing xenophobia than they are in the one for clothing fashions.

  5. 5
    D. Mason says:

    You kid but given their level of teh stoopid I would push for the re-education and the de-lousing might not be a bad idea either.

    Two things here, first you have to be educated to subsequently be re-educated and second they might appreciate the de-lousing.

  6. 6
    gocart mozart says:

    All hail the Unitarian Jihad!

    Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States. We are Unitarian Jihad. There is only God, unless there is more than one God. The vote of our God subcommittee is 10-8 in favor of one God, with two abstentions. Brother Flaming Sword of Moderation noted the possibility of there being no God at all, and his objection was noted with love by the secretary.

  7. 7
    SamFromUtah says:

    All hail the Unitarian Jihad!

    If you think they’re bad, try being cornered by Agnostics.

  8. 8
    Mnemosyne says:

    I think it’s an attempt to annoy Democrats, which is one of the right wing’s favorite games EVAH! They’ve been saying "Democrat Party" for years just to be irritating.

    You’d think that a party that wanted to stay in power would at least act like high schoolers instead of grade schoolers, but no such luck.

  9. 9
    Punchy says:

    You want delousing, I want depanting. I crave total n complete embarrassment. Show us just how prevelent the Code Browns are.

  10. 10
    gocart mozart says:

    Im not sure I really believe in agnosticism Sam.

  11. 11
    mantis says:

    "I kid" was hardly necessary (I kid).

  12. 12
    Atanarjuat says:

    The weening arrogance that just reeks from this "quick story" more than amply demonstrates why John McCain and Sarah Palin will win the Presidential election in November.

    Keep looking down your noses at all these "little people" that you summarily dismiss as not being elevated enough or intelligent enough to be in your collective elitist company. Amazingly, all of you Ayers-enabling leftists see these average people as rubes and hicks, beneath your contempt and respect, when in fact they are salt-of-the-Earth folk who love their country and wave Old Glory with pride — unlike you America-hating traitors who gleefully wave a white flag of surrender instead.

    Country First.

  13. 13
    DonnaInMichigan says:

    I did a little "polling" of my own….today…

    I decided to take a drive around my town, here in Michigan.

    At one point, you would find McCain/Palin signs up and down this one rural road. Far as the eye could see.

    Today driving down this road, they are all gone.

    A few even put up Obama/Biden signs.

    Probably not that big of a deal…but I think McCain made a grave mistake pulling out of Michigan.

  14. 14
    Nylund says:

    The the scary part. This is a democrat talking about Obama like this!

  15. 15
    gocart mozart says:

    Good snark Atanarjuat. Kudos. . . I think?

  16. 16
    BP says:

    @Atanarjuat: This comment is satire. Right?

  17. 17
    Echoes without Bunnies or Men says:

    Who here is packin’ a banjo?

  18. 18

    The same goes for the nonsense about Barack “Hussein” Obama at recent McCain/Palin campaign events.

    Maybe it’s just me, but the name "Hussein" just isn’t as scary as some people would like it to be. When Iraq invaded Kuwait and we kicked them out, that was that for most Americans. A tiny coterie of neocons wanted to go in and "finish" the job but no one else did. Then 9/11 happened and while those same whackos tried to get people fixated on Iraq, most Americans wanted to take down bin Laden.

    Now, if someone named Ted Bundy Jones or Laura Hitler wanted to run for public office, I would advise them to think twice. But "Hussein"? People who are stupid enough to think Saddam had anything to do with 9/11 aren’t going to vote Democratic anyway.

  19. 19

    @BP:

    I am pretty sure it is. The nick is well done to. just google it.

  20. 20
    gocart mozart says:

    Another threat from the Unitarian Jihad!!!

    Beware! Unless you people shut up and begin acting like grown-ups with brains enough to understand the difference between political belief and personal faith, the Unitarian Jihad will begin a series of terrorist-like actions. We will take over television studios, kidnap so-called commentators and broadcast calm, well-reasoned discussions of the issues of the day. We will not try for "balance" by hiring fruitcakes; we will try for balance by hiring non-ideologues who have carefully thought through the issues.

  21. 21

    they might appreciate the de-lousing

    If you de-louse someone like Mark Steyn or Ann Coulter, what’s left? It’s like leaving a sugar cube out in the rain.

  22. 22

    The weening arrogance that just reeks from this "quick story"

    Yeah, those veterans who work minimum wage jobs to put themselves through school are always so fucking arrogant! ! !

  23. 23
    stickler says:

    Hear the one about the Unitarian who joined the Ku Klux Klan?
    — He went around burning question marks on peoples’ lawns.

    How about the Jehovah’s Witness who converted to Unitarianism?
    — He went around knocking on peoples’ doors, for no particular reason.

    Nothin’ funnier than Unitarian jokes.

  24. 24
    paul in Kirkland says:

    John, do you have a post anywhere here that you can say signifies when you went anti-Republican?

    I’m sure there was some kind of event that I attributed to a natural occurrence – an earthquake, sonic boom, or something – that was really the reaction of the right blogosphere to that post, so I’d love to read what you consider to be the post where you flipped.

  25. 25
    jrg says:

    The Hilfiger analogy is a very good one. In the tech business, we might call the "Hussein" tactic "commoditized", and the Dem strategy "disruption".

    Pretty much everyone that will buy into the "Hussein" B.S. has bought into it. There are no more buyers…. A market comprised of consumers having an average I.Q. of 90 is not vertical enough to give McCain the victory he needs.

  26. 26
    Daniel says:

    Sullivan linked to it today, but I saw it in a comment a few days ago here, baby. Don’t undersell the locals.

    Oh, and "Johnny Drama and Bible Spice" is the line of the month, as far as me and my sarcasm-loving friends are concerned.

  27. 27
    slag says:

    Those people who are not going to vote for Obama because his middle name is Hussein are already dressed head to toe in Tommy Hilfiger, if you will, and the market has bottomed out.

    I’m not entirely convinced of this. When I was registering voters last Friday night, I encountered several young undecided voters who had expressed concern about Obama’s middle name. And they really were undecided…like they didn’t even really remember that the election was approaching until we registered them to vote.

    Obviously, I tried to alleviate their concerns, but it was really hard to say whether or not I was effective. So, when they hear others–especially people with microphones–talking about his name as if it’s a legitimate issue, that gives them some sort of "Get out of Being a Racist Free" card. It makes them feel ok about voting against him even if, on some level, they know it’s wrong.

  28. 28
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    …they are salt-of-the-Earth folk who love their country and wave Old Glory with pride…
    They’d be the same sorry sons-of-bitches who refused to hire returning Vietnam veterans because "you might go off." The guy who told me that had a nice American flag pin in his lapel.
    "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."
    – Samuel Johnson

  29. 29
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    Seriously though… How tanked is that chick? Not that she wouldn’t say the same stuff sober, but really. She needs to get off the hooch and onto the Zing! (the unofficial non-alcoholic beer of Balloon-Juice).
    Although, I do find the "Ay-rabs" pronunciation somewhat endearing.

  30. 30
    Allan says:

    Wow, Atanarjuat. Too bad the McCain campaign has shut down its blogging operations. You could have made big bucks freeping the web for Gidget and the Geezer. Of course, you would have had to relocate to Bangalore and work out of one of Carly Fiorina’s offshore sweatshops.

  31. 31
    Geeno says:

    In the words of the great Kurt Vonnegut, "Unitarians don’t believe in anything. I am a Unitarian."

  32. 32
    comrade rawshark says:

    Those people who are not going to vote for Obama because his middle name is Hussein are already dressed head to toe in Tommy Hilfiger, if you will, and the market has bottomed out

    Packed up wrapped up and put away. Stop it John, you’re killing them.
    Well done. Did you take a writing course over the summer?

    Next person who tells me blogs are written by losers who live in their parents basement is getting this post in their inbox right quick.
    Not all opinions are equal.

  33. 33

    @Atanarjuat: Shoot I even leave the front door open at night just in case the terrorists need a place to hide out when they are being pursued by the Forces of Good.

  34. 34
    TheFountainHead says:

    Tommy Hilfiger is actually an incredibly apt analogy. Wasn’t he the one who had all his clothes made on the Mariana islands? You know the ones of Abramoff fame? And isn’t he now bankrupt?

  35. 35
    HumboldtBlue says:

    I’m wearing my Member’s Only jacket and a pair of designer jeans at this very moment. Maybe I’ll plant the flag of surrender in bad 80’s fashion.

  36. 36
    Josh Huaco says:

    Someone should tell these hillbillies that McCain means ‘Son of Cain’ and see what happens.

  37. 37

    But to the topic at hand I think TNC makes an excellent point. I’m pretty sure these dumbasses don’t represent everyone in Appalachia and they certainly don’t represent all Clinton supporters. Go read TNC’s post. Its worth a read.

  38. 38
    comrade rawshark says:

    Tommy Hilfiger is actually an incredibly apt analogy.

    It works for me because I’ve been saying for a while now that the republican party is the place for people who live the life we see in Tommy Hilfigger ads, the kinds of people who use the words summer and winter as verbs.

  39. 39
    Punchy says:

    I can’t tell ya how great this mobile access shit is. I ken BJ now while I teach. hot damn.

  40. 40
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    I ken BJ now while I teach.

    Something about Obama, kindergartners, and sex-ed… Ah, forget it.

  41. 41
    D. Mason says:

    Those people who are not going to vote for Obama because his middle name is Hussein are already dressed head to toe in Tommy Hilfiger, if you will, and the market has bottomed out.

    This Hilfiger analogy has brought back an extremely bad memory for me. It was in the late 90’s and I had gone to a shitty local dance club with some girl I had met. There was a guy there in full Tommy Hilfiger gear, he looked like a walking billboard, Every visible article of clothing was red white and navy blue, emblazoned with Hilfiger logos, he even had a Hilfiger belt buckle. Long, wavy, dirty blonde hair dripping with sweat(and dancing his ass off, alone), it was like a sickening 80’s commercial. When I told the girl I was with that we had to go she was pretty pissed, I knew I wouldn’t be getting laid later that night but then again, who could get it up after witnessing that just a few hours earlier?

  42. 42
    joeyess says:

    Have. Another. Fucking. Cocktail.

    Jesus.

  43. 43
    TheFountainHead says:

    absolutely agree, Punchy, being able to get my daily BJ on the bus is awesome.

  44. 44
    aimai says:

    Did you guys think that video was for real? I really thought it was fake–I think I must have plumbed the depths of my contempt for people like that and decided that they simply couldn’t really exist. besides, the guy on the front of whatever vehicle they are riding is a literal pinhead, and that’s a pretty rare condition. Are you sure this isn’t some rovian spoof?

    that being said there are lots of people in this country who can’t tell a fact from a fiction. I think John’s Tommy Hilfiger analogy is just fantastic. But what strikes me about this trio of morons isn’t that they are drunken, toothless, racists but that they belong to a much larger tribe of people who really can’t tell the difference between image and reality.

    I heard a woman talking about the debate this morning and she kept saying dreamily that "white hair kind of means experience, doesn’t it? so probably mccain is more experienced." They kept asking her whether she would vote for mccain and she couldn’t really answer. She just was sure things were tense, and she needed to be reassured, and she felt she ought to be reassured by white hair, and she was pretty sure everyone else felt the same way. So, mccain was the logical choice and the rational choice. Even though there was no rational basis for her choice. She just didn’t quite seem to grasp the difference between a name and a thing, between an image and a reality. She reminded me of those people who watched the wedding of Lady Diana and Prince Charles all those years ago and got all misty eyed about how romantic it was. Its as though they never watched that show all the way to the end and grasped that sometimes "the prince" wasn’t really all that princely, and sometimes the wedding doesn’t have a happy ending. I"ve come to think the world may be divided between people who haven’t grown up and those who have.

    aimai

  45. 45
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    Someone should tell these hillbillies that McCain means ‘Son of Cain’ and see what happens.

    I keep stressing that point, nobody wants to listen to me. Really, they are the evil ones.

    *****
    paul in Kirkland: Look up Schiavo – that was the great moment of John’s beginning his transformation

  46. 46
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    Have. Another. Fucking. Cocktail.

    Cocktails are elitist.

  47. 47
    gbear says:

    @Echoes without Bunnies or Men:

    Great name. I may change mine to The Teardrop Implodes.

  48. 48
    Comrade Nixon Hailfire Palin says:

    Maybe we should thank Faux News for the early saturation. Wouldn’t it be funny if Obama planned all along to leak this stuff to them at the right/wrong moment?

  49. 49
    ThymeZone says:

    Where did we get the video of myiq2xu and his family?

    I love it when we get to know our fellow commenters.

    (((((((( BJ ))))))))

  50. 50
    WarrenTerragon says:

    Mom?

  51. 51
    gbear says:

    @Punchy:

    I ken BJ now while I teach. hot damn.

    Punchy, this one’s for you.

  52. 52
    Loneoak says:

    being able to get my daily BJ on the bus is awesome.

    DAMN! What bus are you taking?! Route 69?

  53. 53
    Kamishna ya Watu Xenos says:

    It works for me because I’ve been saying for a while now that the republican party is the place for people who live the life we see in Tommy Hilfigger ads, the kinds of people who use the words summer and winter as verbs.

    Those people would not be caught dead wearing ‘Tommy Pilferer’ clothes. I remember the first time I saw the stuff (in Eaton’s, a nice department store in downtown Montreal in 1991–I doubt they sold a single stitch of the dreck there) and it was some appalling person’s idea of a cheap Ralph Lauren. The cotton was so coarse, and the cut so awkward, the colour scheme so vulgar, that I doubt it even occurred to Lauren to consider it an intellectual property theft.

    Upper middle class blacks used to call it "Tommy Field-Nigger".

  54. 54
    The Other Steve says:

    Ok, now you’ve really pissed me off.

    I’m a techie geek guy, and according to our handbook we are required to wear polo shirts to work. I can get by with some other types of shirts occasionally, but really it has to be a polo shirt most of the time. Now fortunately there is no requirement that we wear pink shirts from the 1980s, so I usually wear black or some other dark color.

    Anyway, back to my point.

    I like Tommy Hilfiger polo shirts!

    Ralph Lauren is ok, but they’re more expensive, and the fabric is thinner and the sleeves are too tight on my bi-ceps. Now I admit that I’ve been doing the hundred pushup challenge, and my bi-ceps are pretty solid. But I ain’t the Rock or Vin Diesel either. Apparently Ralph Lauren are made for scrawny wimps from West Virginia or something.

    Also… Ralph Lauren shirts are now like $70. Even at the outlet store. But I can get Hilfiger shirts for $30 at the outlet store. Now you can call me anti-elitist if you want, but I ain’t paying $70 for a shirt!

    Now maybe some day I’ll hit the big time and can afford those French Rene Lacoste shirts… I’ve never bought one of them. But for now it’s Hilfiger.

    I do not approve of your elitist anti-Hilfiger attitude!

  55. 55
    joeyess says:

    Polish the Guillotines

    Have. Another. Fucking. Cocktail.
    Cocktails are elitist.

    Ok.

    Have. Another. Fucking. Schlitz.

  56. 56
    gbear says:

    Also… Ralph Lauren shirts are now like $70. Even at the outlet store. But I can get Hilfiger shirts for $30 at the outlet store. Now you can call me anti-elitist if you want, but I ain’t paying $70 for a shirt!

    You can get them for $5-7 bucks at Goodwill. I like J Crew shirts but hell if I’m going to buy them from J Crew. Most of my clothes come from dead people.

  57. 57
    Kamishna ya Watu Xenos says:

    I buy my polo shirts at Sal’s Clothiers (a/k/a Salvation Army) for 5$ each. So I did not mean to sound like a snob by condemning Tommy Hilfiger – just describing the contempt that true elitists (a group which I have had a lot of contact over the years) treat the brand.

    And when the brand first rolled out in 1991, it was with a really awful line of junk. Since they are still in business I am sure they are much improved. But since I rarely set foot in malls or department stores, I would not know that.

  58. 58
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    Have. Another. Fucking. Schlitz.

    Bingo.

  59. 59
    the lies to nowhere says:

    Please, someone tell me what state those hillbillies in the video live in, so I can avoid it.

    Also, anyone see the video of McCain, Cindy and Sarah from some campaign stop today? Cindy was doing a bobblehead routine while John was talking.

  60. 60
    Lesley says:

    If I had to choose between living next door to those three and living in Iran, I’d pick Iran.

  61. 61
    necros says:

    Oh, they have a dog! I hate to see stupid people with pets. I feel bad for the animals.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Common Sense says:

    This stuff is by no means restricted to people with a bad accent and no teeth. I heard much worse yesterday . I was watching the debate and having dinner at a bar with a friend. As we were leaving one of the other guests came up next to us to catch one of the questions. A well dressed man without a trace of an accent or slur on his speech began to speak.

    "You mind if I speak freely?’ he asked.

    "Go ahead, I’m not running," I answered.

    "That fucking nigger needs to shut the hell up and learn his place."

    He immediately went back to his table, where he was eating with his Asian wife.

    I think it’s finally dawning on some of these people that it’s really going to happen; a black guy with a funny name is actually going to be leader of the Free World.

    I wasn’t worried when Obama first declared. I actually knew people who weren’t going to vote for him because he would just get shot anyway. I blew it off, as I always figured that the Secret Service is far better at what it does nowadays and would never let someone get in a position to make a one shot kill. I also argued medicine is far better nowadays meaning it’s less likely to kill him, and he’s also middle aged in excellent health as opposed to ancient and liable to drop dead any second of a heart attack or something. I still believe this in my head. I am truly scared though that as this sinks in people will snap. And someone smart enough to pull it off may be desperate enough to try.

    It pisses me off that I have to worry about this the way I do. I can’t simply enjoy the wonder of our country truly turning a page in history. Some bigoted fucker in a restaurant has to harsh my buzz.

  64. 64

    It’s stuff like this that makes me feel bad for my state, as a fellow West Virginian I feel John Cole’s pain. WV is not all about inbred know-nothings and football and we’re not all dummies (although we do keep sending Robert Byrd back to the Senate decade after decade).

    BTW we got a Border’s in town last year so I guess that means we’re becoming more elitist.

  65. 65
    bago says:

    the mobile version is leet. I’m getting my bj on while having another cocktail, thank you very much.

  66. 66
    Barack Who's Sane Obama says:

    The funniest thing about that video is that even that woman knows Spain is our ally, which puts her one up on John McCain.

  67. 67
    testing says:

    I don’t think my comment posted before.

    The funniest thing about that video is that even that woman knows that Spain is our ally, which puts her one up on John McCain.

  68. 68
    George Smiley says:

    "That fucking n_____ needs to shut the hell up and learn his place."

    Only one possible response: "God help you."

    If you believe in God, you can at least prey that the fucker will find his way. If you don’t — it’s as bad a curse as I can think of.

  69. 69
    Chris says:

    This video could only carry on in two directions – a single-vehicle fatal quad bike accident, or the world’s scariest three-way amateur sex tape.

    Either way, i’m glad it ends where it does.

    These folk look like they have the same lifestyle that led the Russian male life expectancy down into the high 50s. Refined paint stripper booze, filterless smokes, and a diet of chemically-cured horse belly bacon and nachos from a tinned can. Am I looking down on these salt-of-the-earth good folks? You bet your sweet screwin’ the cousins ass I am.

    I have to say that in my WV visits I always had a good time and never came across anyone like this.

  70. 70
    Jasonconga says:

    For a little personal haha, I was just in the States with my "modern, classy"German chick and she went hog wild at the Hilfiger outlet by LA, spent like 220 bucks there, telling me that this 39 dollar shirt was 50 euros, which at the time, before the currency started tanking (you probably know which one) was like 75 bucks.

    Hilfiger is popular here in Germany with what I see as law students, chicer "country club like" Lion’s Club meeting type shit. She was so excited that this fantastic clothing was so cheap and loved every second of it. I haven’t wanted to wear Hilfiger (nor have I) in what I’m guessing must be at least 1994, latest.

    Anyway, she looks good in it and hopefully it’s been produced well in El Salvador and will last awhile.

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