… during this neverending collective journalistic orgasm over the Michelle and Barack knucks/bump/pound/fisting debacle, has it occurred to even just one of these idiots that this gesture is the now customary greeting in a lot of younger circles? I feel like the only substantive angle of deconstruction to leverage towards this issue has been completely overlooked: its symbolic representation of the generational turnover happening in American politics right now.
The “bump,” symbolically speaking, is right in line with the rejection among the youth of the still lingering style of bunker mentality Democratic politics offered up by the Clinton campaign. Obama accomplished something with his campaign that top-dollar operatives have sought for years: energizing young voters and getting them out to the polls. He did it by redefining the brand, and offering up an identity suitable to voters who didn’t live through Vietnam, who didn’t experience the widespread splintering of the left in the 70s, who grew up in an increasingly interconnected digital world where borders are blurring and the politics of response to the “Southern Strategy” grow more irrelevant by the day.
Perhaps pounding fists with his wife was what “kids today” might call “a shout out.” I know when I first saw the photo my only thought was: he’s one of us.
11 June 2008
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