If you haven’t seen the Vote Different! viral YouTube video portraying Hillary Clinton as Big Brother out of 1984 (in a mashup of Apple’s 1984 ad) you should go see it – and then watch this video where ParkRidge47 a.k.a. Phil de Vellis, who created the ad, explains how he did it and what his ideas about viral, citizen-created political videos. A major concern about the video was that it was anonymous, which caused people to worry about a lack of accountability. De Vellis points out that there is a long tradition of anonymous and pseudonymous political speech in the United States, and also that “the system worked”, in that when his video became so vastly popular, people figured out who he was. He has some great things to say about the changing media landscape and its effects on politics.
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Thanks for posting this interview, Jill. I’ve been sorting through my response to de Vellis’s ad, and I’m still not sure whether it’s doing anything new. I love the fact that it has inspired other forms of politicized production, people wanting to learn Final Cut Pro, to create viral videos. I still wonder whether his video is adding anything new to the already established image of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or whether those images are already so pre-spun that they simply participate in reinforcing those images. Clinton was *already* seen by many on the left and right as a kind of Big Brother (big sister?) figure. Still, it’s interesting to hear de Vellis talk about his intentions and the issues of anonymity.