Progressive Minds

Blogging live, from somewhere in the reality-based community. Speaking truth to power. You've entered the real "no spin zone." Republicans beware!


Bottom of the Barrel

@ 11:10 PM (111 months, 5 days ago)

According to a new AP-Ipsos poll, Idiot Son George Bush's approval rating is "stuck near the bottom."

Idiot Son's overall approval rating is 40%, while his approval on handling the economy is at 39%.

Also of note, the poll found that 47% of Americans want to see Democrats take control of Congress, compared to the 37% who say they want Republican control of Congress.

Bush's Job Approval Stuck Near Bottom

Comment(s) »

  1. Your opening qtseuion is an important one and is central to thinking about democracy. So, for example, the debate between Walter Lippmann and John Dewey revolves around precisely your qtseuion. Lippmann thinks that nothing - including the media, education, etc. - can contribute to creating a public; Dewey thinks that such factors are crucial to creating one. I think both are correct that the public does not exist per se but only insofar as it (in your words) finds itself. That will not happen spontaneously but only through channels created by organizations and institutions. So I agree with Dewey that this is why is is crucial that (scientific - social scientific - journalistic) inquiry enters into political debate. I agree too when he insists that this is a matter of art and imagination as much as conveying “information.” That is in large measure what prompts my own interest in photography. Ironically, it is Lippmann not Dewey who shows greater appreciation of photography even though he sees it mostly as an instrument of propaganda - as a tool of deception and self-deception. Perhaps that makes contact with your analogy between individuals and collectives? I think the possibilities are broader than that and hope before long to show how that is the case.So what about popular music? Can Neil Young (with or without CS&N) or, say, Springsteen call attention to political events or policies or trends in ways that make any real, enduring difference? What about lesser known artists - I think about jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas who put out an album a couple years back entitled “Strange Liberation” (a phrase taken from a 1968 anti-war speech by ML King Jr.) or the World Saxophone Quartet who have a new release entitled “Political Blues” or (switching categories) Buddy Miller including surprising numbers like Dylan’s “With God on Our Side” or his own “100 million Little Bombs” (an anti-landmine tune) on his alt-country albums? In any of those instances how would we know if there’d been any effect on an audience or individual listener? Perhaps someone should chart the sales of the recent Dixie Chicks release against public opinion numbers re: the war? Having done that how would we get at causation? I doubt musical experiments and efforts like the ones you mention can hurt (except by confirming right-wing suspicions re: popular music!), but I don’t know what “positive” effects they might have. It may be that they are diffuse and occur only over time - here I would suggest a book by Rebecca Solnit Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities. Solnit is a terrific political analysit and commentator on photography too.

    Comment by Moutapha— 2014/04/06 @ 09:13 PM — (Reply)

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