Thursday, March 03, 2005

Word of the Day: Astroturfing

Today's journey of discovery begins, as is so often the case, with an enthusiastic comment on the TCJ board:

Did you guys see Constantine yet? It's based on my favorite comic Hellblazer. I think Keanu is perfect for the part! So HOT! Anyways, there's more footage after the credits. The first time I saw it I didn't know to stay after. then my friend told me so I went to see it again.the footage after the credits is so guys need to check it out!

This reaction may strike you as implausible, seeing as how the movie has been decisively established as sucky. And other posters are not convinced. The poster's assertion sparks comments about "Astroturf", which is a brand of artificial grass. (Other brands include Tartan Turf, PolyTurf, SuperTurf (probably the best one), WycoTurf, DurraTurf, Gras, Lectron, PoliGras, All-Pro, Cam Turf, Instant Turf Stadia Tur, Omniturf, Toray, Unitika, Kureha, KonyGreen, Grass Sport, ClubTurf, Desso, MasterTurf and DLW.) Huh? Wikipedia explains:

In American politics and advertising, the expression astroturfing is used pejoratively to describe formal public relations projects which deliberately seek to engineer the impression of spontaneous public reactions to a politician or political grouping, product, service, event, etc. by many diverse and distributed individuals acting of their own volition.
The term is wordplay based on "grassroots" efforts, which are truly spontaneous undertakings.
Astroturfing is carefully designed to appear as though it is the result of popular feeling, rather than a coordinated campaign, perhaps by spin doctors, or through a front organization.
With the advent of the Internet, it has become easier to structure an astroturfing campaign, because the cost and effort to email (especially a pre-written, sign-your-name-at-the-bottom email) is so low.

The two examples given by Wikipedia are both Republican attempts to inflate the popularity of a President (Nixon and Bush Junior, respectively). Go figure.

But let's get back to Constantine. As one poster has it:

I thought Constantine was a big steaming pile of capital-C Crap. I try hard not to indulge in the "stupidity of the masses" business, but the fact that people like this seems to say that CGI has completely replaced dialogue and characterization.
The tag after the credits: Constantine stands in a cemetery near Chaz' gravestone. He places his lighter (ridiculous to have him quit smoking) on the grave and says, "You did good, kid." Chaz rises from his grave with angels wings and soars to heaven.

Good, now we don't have to see it.

(If anyone wonders why I'm blogging so much about a movie that doesn't even interest me, it's because Ugly Sammy asked me to, just before he left. And I'm operating under the assumption that it was his dying wish.)

Anyway: Astroturfing. Word of the day.


Hot chick said...

This entry is just great! I love Superblog!! Koala, you rule!!

another hot chick said...

I agree!

Anonymous said...

That's true! You ROCK, Koala! And Sammy sucks ('cause he isn't gay, right?)! Viva SB2!! You, you!

Koala Mentala said...

I'm not gay either, you boring little prick.

The Greek Princess said...

muah!! i love you koala!! hehe

Moocko said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Well, looks like you just lost a regular visitor, Mr. Mentala!

Moocko said...

Hey, fuck you, Anonymous! We don't want your "kind" here. Koala's not gay, Sammy's not gay - no one's gay here! EXCEPT YOU! And we don't like freaking fudge packers, comin' here and spreading their gay propaganda. So beat it, ya homo! We're PROUD MEN - no fucking fairies! Last week, Koala walked up to a guy who looked kind of gay and kicked his ass! So watch out! PRESIDENT BUSH RULES!

Koala Mentala said...

That's not funny.

CL Confessions said...

Cool blog!

Uncle Sammy said...

hey, My dying wish is.... I really don't know. Perhaps going out to enjoy some Brazilian sun. Good idea. Good bye crule world.

Uncle Sammy said...

I am not Gay. Anonymous people know me well.

Kilroy Trout said...

This post is confusing, however you mentioned Nixon's name which I explicitly asked you not to do.