Hamilton: The 2014 Pheme (fay-may) Awards
Satire: These days, it seems like there is a TV show that presents awards for almost anything you can imagine, even advertising. According to Wikipedia, “…the Clio Awards are the world’s most recognizable international advertising awards, presented annually to reward innovation and creative excellence in advertising, design and communication.” (Clio was the Greek goddess/muse of History.)
Thus far, an Internet search does not reveal a TV award show recognizing the best and the worst political advertisements shown on TV in 2014. Apparently, that’s a niche that needs to be filled. We will start by giving it a name: In Greek mythology, the Goddess of Gossip was called: Pheme, which is pronounced fay-may. If there was any, ah … dirt to be dug up concerning the Greek gods or even some of the mortals, you could count on Pheme to spread it around.
To hear gossip better, Pheme kept her hair short so it did not cover her ears. In order to keep an eye on everyone, she lived in a house with 1,000 windows. No, not Windows 1.0; however, Pheme was the NSA of her day.
Once Pheme dug up a piece of, well … you know, she would begin by whispering the gossip over and over and louder and louder. Apparently, Adolf Hitler was a follower of Pheme. In Mein Kampf Hitler proclaimed: “The greater the lie, the greater the chance it will be believed.” In ancient art, Pheme is usually depicted as having wings and a trumpet, giving rise to the practical advice: Toot your own horn before someone else uses it for a relief tube.
If this writer decided the winner of this year’s Pheme Award for the best political campaign advertisement, it would go to Congressman Roger Williams who won re-election to Texas’ 25th Congressional District with “The Donkey Whisperer.” The scene opens with Williams beside his pick-up truck, surrounded by about 40 donkeys, all wanting to be fed.
Congressman Williams talks to the donkeys as if they were human; castigating them for being welfare donkeys whose only labor is to show up when they want to eat. Williams tries to explain to the donkeys that he would like to take better care of them; however, he is so burdened with regulations coming down from Washington, D.C., that he doesn’t have the money for better feed or even to fix their teeth.
Williams concludes by threatening to trade them all in for elephants, which, in a way, foretells the 2014 GOP election landside. Congressman Williams, an Anglo, won re-election in a heavily Hispanic congressional district versus a challenger named Montoya. Readers who go to: http://www.youtube.com and search for The Donkey Whisperer can enjoy this year’s winner of the Pheme Awards Golden Trumpet.
One of the worst political Ads occurred in Colorado’s gubernatorial race. The GOP challenger was accused of being a corrupt banker. The incumbent’s ad was so blatantly false that even the left-leaning Denver Post editorialized against the ad’s outrageous falsehoods. Undeterred, the Democrat incumbent’s supporters continued to run the bogus ad over and over again. The incumbent governor narrowly won re-election and, of course, the 2014 Pheme Shield of Shame.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
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