Lost in translation

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, July 2nd, 2009 - 7 comments
Categories: activism, labour - Tags: ,

Dear Labour

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes my attention span isn’t the greatest. Between Twitter and Facebook and texting it’s frankly a wonder I have time for much of anything else.

I’m mostly in a hurry and I think that’s probably part of the reason I often don’t know what you’re trying to tell me. It’s frequently too long, too complicated or both.

Check out the video I made. It’s put together from clips of three different Obama budget speeches. It’s five minutes long but stick with it (maybe turn off that Blackberry first).

Having watched it just once I suspect you’ll have no problem filling in the gaps below. Give it a go.

  • Obama has _________ a massive deficit.
  • But he has a plan to ___ __ __ ____ by the end of his first term.
  • The budget includes ___ ________ dollars in deficit reductions over the next decade.
  • Despite some tough cuts his budget is an ________ ____-_____ for the future.
  • Because so many americans are just one _______ or _______ _________ away from _________ there’s money for healthcare reform.
  • And because the countries that out-______ America _____ will out-_______ it ________ there’s investment in education.
  • He’s planning on making green energy the __________ kind of energy and sparking the ______________ needed for job creation in related industries.
  • The budget doesn’t raise tax on families making less that $___,000 a year by a ______ ____.
  • __% of working Americans will receive a ___ ___. A ___ ___.
  • He’s not interested in passing the big problems on, he came here to _____ ____.

Now I’m not suggesting you become little Obamas. I’m not suggesting you “dumb down” politics. And I’m not suggesting you replace your (substantial) manifesto with bullet-pointed lists or polished phrases.

I am asking you to acknowledge the competing demands for my attention and perhaps try a little harder to help me understand what you’re saying by packaging it in a way that’s easier to absorb and digest.

I’m guessing there are people out there who feel the same way. If you help them I suspect they’ll help you.

Keep it short and simple
Dear Labour
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes my attention span isn’t the greatest. Between Twitter and Facebook and texting it’s frankly a wonder I have time for much of anything else.
I’m mostly in a hurry and I think that’s probably part of the reason I often don’t know what you’re trying to tell me. It’s frequently too long, too complicated or both.
Check out the video I made. It’s interspersed clips from three different Obama budget speeches. It’s five minutes long but stick with it (maybe turn off that Blackberry first).
Having watched it just once I suspect you’ll have no problem filling in the gaps below. Give it a go.
<video>
Obama has _________ a massive deficit.
But he has a plan to ___ __ __ ____ by the end of his first term.
The budget includes ___ ________ dollars in deficit reductions over the next decade.
Despite tough cuts his budget is an ________ ____-_____ for the future.
Because so many americans are just one _______ or _______ _________ away from _________ there’s money for healthcare reform.
And because the countries that out-______ America _____ will out-_______ it ________ there’s investment in education.
He’s planning on making green energy the __________ kind of energy and sparking the ______________ needed for job creation in related industries.
The budget doesn’t raise tax on families making less that $___,000 a year by a ______ ____.
__% of working Americans will receive a ___ ___. A ___ ___.
He’s not interested in passing the big problems on, he came here to _____ ____.
Now I’m not suggesting you become little Obamas. I’m not suggesting you “dumb down” politics. And I’m not suggesting you throw out your (substantial) manifesto in favour of bullet-pointed lists or polished phrases.
I am asking you to acknowledge the competing demands for my attention and perhaps try a little harder to help me understand what you’re saying by packaging it in a way that’s easier to absorb and digest.
I suspect there might be people out there who feel the same way. If you help them I suspect they’ll help yo

7 comments on “Lost in translation”

  1. infused 1

    Yep, and watch him fail on all accounts. You will realise after awhile, Obama is all talk.

    • Sarge 1.1

      But it’s talk that gets votes. Look at our current govt. Populist, all talk and with no clear plan, yet they’re riding high in the polls. Why? Because most people don’t care who has the best policy, they care who has the best spin doctors.

  2. Ianmac 2

    I think that lately, Phil Goff has become much more concise in his message. eg Yesterday’s radio response to Seashore Seabed. Clear, unequivocal. The rights of the Public to gain access will be maintained. The questions in the House are also much more concise and therefore more difficult to wriggle out of straight answering. Sigh “But in 1886 Phil Goff said……”

    • Pat 2.1

      Goff has a simple problem that stems from being in politics for so long: whenever he has anything to say, he slips into a monotone drone. To the point where it is easy to switch off and not hear his message.

      I’m sure that Phil Goff the real person talks normally, but put a microphone near him and he reverts to the drone almost instantly. He needs some vocal re-training or something similar.

  3. Trevor Mallard 3

    Good post but substance is just as important.

    • Wendall 3.1

      you sent that from your blackberry in the House, didn’t you trev! lol

      Your caption contest post was so funny.

  4. Principessa 4

    Omigod I so agree. When I go to the Labour Website a window pops out at me asking me for my email address which is really annoying, then if I want to look for a press release on health issues there is no droppy down menu where I can look up health stuff. If I want to look for a particular MP’s press release I can’t find a droppy down menu that directs me to that members press releases.

    When I go to the National website I can do both those things and a friendly YouTube video starts up with a smiley man talking at me about his message in a conversational way that I understand.

    And I say all this with love as I am a LP supporter. And I suspect one has to do with one party having more money than the other.

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