Monday, March 17, 2008

Eighty-Four-Minute Hate: Rove Makes Bank at UI Lecture

(Click) “Shameful!...” “War Criminal!...” “Liar!...”

And so began the Eighty-Four Minute Hate at the University of Iowa, reminiscent of George Orwell’s Two-Minute Hate in “1984,” featuring Karl Rove, former member of President Bush’s Inner Party, and those who have come to despise him.

1984: Two Minute Hate



Take this and mulitply it by Forty-Two and you have:

Abridged Video of Karl Rove’s Eighty-Four Minute Hate (filmed by Iowa Independent’s Adam Burke)



While serving under Bush, Rove, dubbed “The Architect,” was credited with helping orchestrate Bush’s campaign victories in 2000 and 2004. For his behind-the-curtain efforts, The Wizard of D.C. has been lauded as a political-strategy genius on the right, while some members on the left, who are still scratching their heads and asking themselves how Bush could get elected not once, but twice, have conceded this title.

However, not everyone has been impressed with Rove, who, for the left has metamorphosed into the Poster Boy of Hate, temporarily usurping the Throne of Hate from current Inner-Party member and reigning vice president, Dick Cheney.

And now, while the Inner Party and its chief monetary benefactors, The Military Industrial Complex, keep profiting from pumping fear and hate into the economy, Rove has left the Inner Party, at least literally, and has begun testing the private market value of hate by peddling his wares on the lecture circuit.

While the Bush administration’s Orwellian Two-Minute Hate consists of projecting interchangeable figureheads such as Osama bin Laden, North Korean Dictator Kim Jong II and Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the television screen, Rove’s has hit the road with his live rendition of Eight-Four-Minute Hate. At a nominal speaking fee of $40,000, audience members get a chance to spew their contempt for Rove in a public forum.

Such was the case at the UI when Rove took the stage and was greeted by a chorus of boos and cheers. The latter consisted of Rove’s supporters, who not only came to see Rove but to hate on the haters. The evening’s hate fest went something like this:

Heckler shouts question at Rove, who responds by attacking the question, followed by more attacks from the audience, thus inspiring Rove to attack the questioner, which drew applause from his supporters, which drew boos from his haters, and the cycle repeated itself as the hate momentarily subsided until the next round of hate began.

The Architect’s plan was working. Rove had become a performance artist reminiscent of comedian Andy Kaufman, who exploited hate mongering for monetary gain. When Kaufman’s career turned to professional wrestling, in particular wrestling women, his target audience grew a certain disdain for him, yet paid to see him perform anyhow.

Andy Kaufman wrestles a 327 pound woman



Rove has adopted the same formula, but in order for this formula to be successful, you need an audience.

The UI community provided just that as members of the UI Anti-War Committee staged protests beforehand, local peace activists attempted to conduct a citizen arrest of Rove, and random audience members used the event to voice their unsolicited disdain during the Eighty-Four-Minute Hate.

And like a clown at a carnival dunk tank, Rove egged on the audience and made fun of the hecklers, oftentimes forgetting that he’s not a trained professional comedian. His attempts at witticism never rose too far above the coping crutches of the I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I caliber. The same could be true for some of the comments shouted at him from the hate groundlings, thus perpetuating the hate cycle and negating any possibility of an intelligent discourse. Granted, the latter would put a damper on Rove’s new shtick, driving down his market value on the college lecture circuit.

If the anti-Rove movement really wanted to make a statement, they should have silenced him by not showing up or attacked him with a surge of love. The profit margin for espousing love is nominal at best, unless of course you are Hallmark.

Filling up the IMU only serves to legitimize Rove and verbally attacking him plays into his hands, not to mention it does little to end the war in Iraq.

Hopefully, Rove’s lecture appearance at the UI will serve as a blueprint for what not to do for future colleges that plan on paying him to come speak at their respective institutions. The best way to usurp Rove’s power is by turning off the Eighty-Four-Minute Hate.

After all, just because Big Brother is watching doesn’t mean we have to.

(Click. White Noise.)

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