Everyone is talking about this "grassroots" video, linked this morning by Drudge. It is a "We Are The World"-type production featuring children praising Barack Obama:
The video was produced by Kathy Sawada, a a teacher at the elite Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. Here is how Sawada describes the making of the video:
As Sunday approached, a neighbor volunteered a home. Production wizards got wind of the project and offered their help in recording it. The likes of Jeff Zucker, Holly Schiffer, Peter Rosenfeld, Darin Moran, Jean Martin, Andy Blumenthal, and Nick Phoenix rearranged schedules to participate. Holly Schiffer was able to get three High Definition cameras (Panasonic HVX250's), and an AVID editing facility. When Jeff Zucker went to pick up the camera package, Ted Schilowitz happened to be there and offered a RED camera set up on a Steadi Cam.
What we accomplished in a few hours on a Sunday afternoon embodies the nature of the Obama campaign: its grassroots inspiration, its inclusiveness, its community building. People pitched in quickly for a cause that resonated with them. There were not many conditions: "Think this is a good idea? Want to help? Great. Sunday at 12:00." At the heart of the project were 22 children and their music. The willingness of all involved to come together for them was a testament to our hope, unity, courage, joy and belief in the future represented by these children.
Bob Owens asks, "Does a concert-quality musician in an elite school in the middle of the most ego-centric city in the United States count as a "grassroots" effort?" Owens also provides some brief bios of those involved:
Here's a partial list of those who helped produce this "grassroots" effort:
- Jeff Zucker — American television executive, and President & CEO of NBC Universal.
- Post-producer (former choreographer?) Holly Shiffer.
- Motion picture camera operator/steadicam specialist Peter Rosenfeld (appropriately enough, worked in "Yes Man," a movie about " a guy challenges himself to say 'yes' to everything for an entire year."
- Darin Moran, another motion picture industry professional, who just finished filming — how appropriate — Land of the Lost.
- Andy Blumenthal, Hollywood film editor.
Grassroots all the way, baby
(UPDATE: The Politico is reporting that NBC has denied that "the" Jeff Zucker was "involved" with this video.)
But of course! In the elite Hollywood circles of the mega-rich, these folks are just your average next-door neighbors. It's kind of like Sen. Christopher Dodd thumbing through his Rolodex and calling Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo personally when he needed a home loan. Doesn't everybody have those kinds of connections?
What this is, of course, is astroturfing, an effort by a group of professionals to simulate grassroots political involvement. What you're really looking at is the brainwashed progeny of some of Hollywood's richest, most talented, and most powerful players in a carefully orchestrated demonstration of Orwellian goodthinking.
Brainwashed, you say? Read some of the hopey-changey-syrupy-smothered-in-rich-creamery-butter lyrics the kids sing:
Now's the moment, lift each voice to sing
Sing with all your heart!
For our children, for our families,
Nations all joined as one.
Sing for joy and sing abundant peace,
Courage, justice, hope!
Sing together, hold each precious hand,
Lifting each other up;
Sing for vision, sing for unity,
Lifting our hearts to Sing!
Sure, one of the kids wrote a little ditty called "We're Gonna Change The World" that appears in the video, but come on -- do you think for a minute that the Colburn School held a contest for songs praising John McCain as well? This has nothing to do with "22 children and their music." It's a group of well-connected Hollywood elites rehearsing the kind of propaganda that we will be forced to endure on TV, radio, movies, and online for the next four years if Barack Obama wins.
And for many of us, watching children performing propaganda engineered by wily adults is a bit disturbing. Captain Ed Morrisey says that the video reminded him of "Tomorrow Belongs To Me" from the movie Cabaret. If you don't know it:
I was reminded of this page from a German children's coloring book, reproduced in Time-Life's Prelude To War, p. 114:
(the child speaks:)
I know you well and love you, like father and mother.
I shall always obey you, like father and mother.
And when I grow up I shall help you, like father and mother.
And you will be proud of me, like father and mother.
I'm sure that many people will be reminded instead of Jesus Camp, and the religious indoctrination of children offered by various sheltered fundamentalist sects around the world. The difference, of course, is that religious fundamentalists pledge their allegiance to God, not to a man. They also believe almost universally that mankind is broken and lost without God's guidance. And their indoctrination is generally a private matter, taught in churches and private schools, not the kind of global effort that accompanied Stalinism, Naziism, or (I shudder as I write this) Obamaism.
The Anchoress was quite broken up by this video, and wasted no time encapsulating the efforts by Obama forces and Democrats to silence their opponents, which have been projected onto conservatives and President Bush:
To paraphrase Mark Steyn: when this many people I don’t trust are telling me something must be done for my own good…I don’t want it. I want to be far away from it.
We’re being sold a bill of goods, I think. I look at that beautiful child, with her lovely, lilting voice and her open mien, and I see lines for bread, lines for shoes, lines for meat, lines, lines, lines. I see the privileged few driving by the lines and giving the raised fist, encouraging the proletariat to “keep it real.”
There are extremists who behave in extreme ways - and with extreme hate - on both sides. The truth is the far right and the far left are so alike in their excesses that they are mirrors of each other, or twins of hate.
But we have never had such an extreme “leader” so close to the White House. Oh, I know, we’ve heard for 8 years about “the fascist Bush” but reasonable people know it’s hooey; they know that Bushbots have not actively organized to shut down liberal talk radio, they have not tried to intimidate, harass or suppress the many who have told lies and untruths about him. For all of the preening rhetoric about “Bushhitler” the ones spouting it have known full well that Bush was no fascist; that he was not going to shut them down, or make their ideas and films unavailable. They’ve known it. They know, too, that they’ve been projecting their own instincts to silence “patriotic dissent” on a guy who would never do it.
I think they won’t have to project for much longer.
She closes her post with an excerpt from Michael Radford's film version of Orwell's 1984.
God help us if that is our future.